OWL VALLEY – BLUEGRASS SELF TITLED

Brisbane/Gold Coast bluegrass outfit Owl Valley Bluegrass have been slowly toiling away for the last few years building a reputation in their home state and more recently venturing further afield via the festival circuit, a few pub and club gigs and pretty much wherever anyone is willing to soak up some good quality acoustic music. With a wealth of experience between them Stewart Porter guitar/vocals/harmonica, Rob Davis banjo/accordion/vocals, Dan Kerin fiddle/guitar mandolin/vocals, Mark Webber double bass/vocals and Geoff Wright Dobro/mandolin/vocals figured it was time to bite the bullet and commit their fine work to tape (or to be more precise, digital code) and offer it up for all to enjoy. With the help of master musician/producer Rod McCormack this talented combo headed down into enemy territory to record their debut album at the McCormack’s studio on the Central Coast of NSW and other than a few blisters, lost picks and broken strings there were no reports of major casualties. The resulting album is a real treat, featuring a wealth of spirited picking and fiddling, and a mixture of both old and new tunes;  the traditional ‘New River Train’ and banjo staple ‘Big Sciota’ and instrumentals ‘Fire on the Mountain’ and ‘Clinch Mountain Backstep’ sitting comfortably alongside Bill Munroe’s ‘Uncle Penn’ and The Dillards ‘Old Home Place’.  More recent offerings include the Mark Knopfler penned Railroad Worksong  (‘Working on the Railroad’) and ‘The Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ ‘Standing on a Rock’. There’s something for everyone here, bluegrass fans, folk freaks and old time country aficionados. Kim Cheshire