Review: Balsam Range – Mountain Voodoo

There are some albums that get your fingers itching, needing to pick up an instrument and start playing along. Bluegrass music is participatory anyway, which is one of the great things about it. But this is more than that. It’s music that you not only want to play along to, to explore where it goes in that sense, but that you also want to be a part of.

There’s a couple of barn burners on here, such as “Chain Gang Blues,” thought they happily come later in the mix, right about the time that we ready for them and not a moment before. Which is great, too. This album is easily the best programed release from Balsam Range, which perhaps is one reason why it feels like their best one yet. “Last Train to Kitty Hawk,” was their first one to really catch a lot of ears, and perhaps because of the strength of the title track.

This one, despite a title that is a bit cringeworthy—Mountain Voodoo—has great tracks, too. These are them: “Something ‘Bout that Suitcase,” “Eldorado Blue,” and “I Hear the Mountains.” But they come within more of a package than the previous collections from Balsam Range.

“Chain Gang Blues”

As always the musicianship, the arrangements, the harmonies, and the care that the band has demonstrated in the past are all here again. A fantastic album from a fantastic band. If you haven’t yet experienced them, this one is a great place to start.

Mountain Home Music

Glen Herbert

Glen Herbert is a writer, editor and amateur musician. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.

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