No Other Way
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2002, Volume 9, #12
Written by John Metzger
On its third disc No Other Way, Mountain Heart takes a step back from the strictly religious nature of its previous album The Journey, and the result is a more accessible outing. Granted, itís not entirely a secular affair, but the way the band intermingles gospel selections (The Spirit Moved, Tedious and Tasteless) with tales of the broken-hearted (Faithless Heart) and those who have lost their way (Gamblerís Blues) tempers the preachiness, thereby allowing the groupís talent to shine.
And what talent there is. Founded by three alumni of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Jim VanCleve, Steve Gulley, and Barry Abernathy), Mountain Heart now includes bassist Jason Moore and former Union Station mandolinist Adam Steffey. Not surprisingly, the group doesnít deliver quite the hardcore bluegrass sound for which some purists might yearn, but its more mainstream, less rough-around-the-edges style makes the group all the more appealing to a wider audience. The picking is superb as instruments fold around one another, dancing with serpentine rhythms on the upbeat tunes and providing a gently flowing undercurrent to the slower ones.
In 1999, prior to the release of its first album, Mountain Heart was dubbed Emerging Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Association. No Other Way is a prime example of why that honor was so justified. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box