Review: The Mid-North – Tales From A Mountain

So, do you have a favorite bluegrass band from Australia yet?
If you don’t even know that Australia has bluegrass/Americana bands, you owe it to yourself to check out The Mid North and see what you’re missing!

The Mid-North has just released their sophomore album Tales From A Mountain, which continues in the same rich vein of bluegrass/Americana as their debut album You Were Right About The Stars. Hey, when you have a good thing going you don’t give it up, and given the breadth of The Mid North’s “good thing” from bluegrass, folk, Americana, and gospel (along with a touch of jug band) they aren’t about to run out of material anytime too soon.

By now you’re thinking they followed up their wonderful debut with more of the same. Indeed, “more” being the important part – the high songs are higher, the sweet songs are sweeter, the soulful songs are even more soulful, and the fun songs are just so much fun. I have to reach back to the first review for the description “infectious,” and yes, this album is even more infectious… it’s going to leave you with one big grin!

The band is Scott Collins (Guitar and Vocals), Bill Faulkner (Banjo)
Will Pregnell (Double Bass), John Woolhouse (Mandolin and Fiddle), Cath Cooper (Vocals).

The band has been together for a scant three years, but you would never guess that listening to the tight harmonies and the interplay of the musicians. No showing off here, they don’t need to show off. You can tell right away that the band is focused on making each song the star, and it just doesn’t get any better than that. As if that isn’t enough, all the songs on the album are well crafted originals.

Tales From A Mountain opens with “Corn Liquor” – an (yes) infectious tribute to corn liquor and love that will let you know everyone is going to have a great time and that you’d better have a partner to swing. “I Got You” – I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a love song I’d describe as “perky,” but this one nails in with all the best connotations. “Sunshine In My Pocket” is the first of the sweet ballads to be found on the album, it’s followed by “Undertaker” with an eerie fiddle intro and rolling banjo lick driving the tune home. Needless to say this is one of the more plaintive tunes.

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“Delta Mae”

At this point I have to say that you have no idea how hard it is to write a review when every tune on an album feels like it should be the highlight, I’ll give you a few more but then you’re going to have to go get the album!

”Sparkling Eyes” would be right at home coming up in the middle of a 1920’s musical revue, it captures all the fun and yet still sounds new. “Minnesota” is a bouncing ‘on-the-road-and-heading-home’ song. And the album closes out with the sweet guitar ballad “Old Crow.”

It’s a great album… and I’m just waiting for their North American tour 🙂

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