Review: Steep Ravine – Turning of the Fall

Sam Bush has a great rant about “Bluegrass Unlimited,” and on first listen this album certainly fits into “Unlimited”!

Alt-Bluegrass? Country? Folk? Rock?
Yup, there’re drums. But the instruments are acoustic. The fiddle is sweet. The vocals carry more than a touch of The Byrds. The songwriting is beyond solid. And this band and this album are both so much more than the sum of their parts.

The album opens with “Out My Window,” which is a fitting introduction to the ride you’re in for over the rest of the album. The songs are all “Alt-Bluegrass,” but the breaks are all bluegrass. Genre-bending? For sure.

“Out My Window”

When you hit “Wallflower” at track three you’re not going to have any problem at all imaging Roy Orbison singing this track. “Atmospheric Bluegrass?” Not spacey, but it carries a great aura. Yeah, it’s THAT good!

Track four is “Kansas City Moon,” a sweet mandolin-powered love song.

“Highland Hornpipe” at track six is an instrumental tour de force, no slackers here.

I’m not going to give you a song by song description, this album harkens back to the good ol’ days (vinyl anyone?) and *really* needs to be listened to as an album.

The band is Simon Lindsteadt (songwriting, guitar, vocals), Jan Purat (fiddle, vocals), Alex Bice (bass, vocals), and Jeff Wilson (drums). Turning Of The Fall is the band’s third album. And would it surprise you if I told you the band was from San Francisco after all the above descriptions of the songs?

If you’re not hung up on the definition of “bluegrass” and love good music (and can imagine Roy Orbison sitting in with The Byrds and a bluegrass backup band ( 🙂 ) you really need to fasten your seatbelt and give this album a listen!

Stormy Deep Records

Mark Hudson

Mark Hudson is a long time local HVBA member and music lover who, unfortunately, had to move away. He misses the local scene but will look for you at Greyfox!

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