Review: Cane Mill Road – Let’s All Do Some Living

First things first, the title of this live album; “Let’s All Do Some Living” is borrowed from the Rolling Stones song “Wild Horses” (which is beautifully covered on track 8). The title alone captures the band’s love of playing live, which is firmly backed up by this recording. Not only can you tell that the band loves playing live, you can actually hear the joy they find in their live playing, and to me that marks the difference between a good band and a *great* band.

The album is a well chosen selection of covers and and their own fine creations; opening with Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freightliner Blues” and moving through covers of “Summertime/The Thrill Is Gone”, “Dogberry/Blackberry Blossom”, James Taylor’s “Me And My Guitar”, and the traditional “John Hardy”. It would be easy to slack on some of these covers, after all “Summertime” often finds a way to stand on it’s own when other artists cover it, but there’s no slack here, when Cane Mill Road covers songs it makes them their own!

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“Dogberry/Blackberry Blossom”

For their own songs the album includes “Hydroplant”, Tray Wellington’s banjo driven instrumental extravaganza, plus “Good Love” and “Here I Go” both written by Casey Lewis. It speaks well for the band that their own songs hang well with covers that have become classics.

I have to save the best for last: “Wild Horses”… and I almost don’t know what to say. Cane Mill Road played the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival this past summer, and Billy Strings stepped out to play this one with the band. I swear that after the opening notes my face must have been wearing the biggest grin, and this live version absolutely stands up to what I heard at Grey Fox. Cane Mill Road keeps going like this and it won’t bee too many years before you see them playing late night on the main stage at Grey Fox, and I for one am *really* looking forward to that!

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