By Joshua Wallace
The Urban Pioneers have released their second album of 2018 following the amazing Hillbilly Swing Music. This album takes a different approach to their sound and is a collection of 10 traditional tunes with a heavy dose of fiddle done in a folksy bluegrass style. The set is heavy on instrumentals showcasing Liz Sloan’s fiddle playing and Jared McGovern’s banjo picking. Joe Macheret of Joe’s Truck Stop rounds out the band on guitar for this recording while Martin Sargent is on bass. They recorded it pretty much like you see in the music video accompanying the announcement with the group gathered around one mic. The entire record was done in a five hour fast recording session so it is very raw. It’s practically a live studio record.
The album is heavy on instrumentals such as the opening track “Mississippi Sawyer”. It is a nice fiddle tune with McGovern providing some clawhammer banjo. It’s a good start to the album and eases you into these old traditional tunes. “Little Liza Jane” is the featured track on the album which you can hear in the Youtube video released alongside the announcement. Songs like this take me back to the Addicted To The Road album and the style the Urban Pioneers had in the early days. Another great traditional is “Sugar In The Gourd”. This is another old fiddle tune that highlights Liz Sloan and she does shine here. Finally, it wouldn’t be a strong fiddle album without a tune that had dueling fiddles. Joe Macheret provides the second fiddle for “Flop Eared Mule” which closes out the record. It’s a tune that will surely get toes tapping and folks out on the dance floors.
The Urban Pioneers have turned in another fantastic record. This time instead of focusing on the mix of styles that Hillbilly Swing Music provided, they focused on the hillbilly side of their sound and gave us an album of fiddle driven bluegrass and folk tunes. Joe Macheret of Joe’s Truck Stop adds some great guitar and fiddle playing to the record. It really reminds me of some of the earlier Urban Pioneers recordings, but everyone is much butter at what they do with the band having 4 full length albums This album was produced to help raise funds a legal defense for Jared McGovern. I can’t say much about the circumstances surrounding this other than he was accused of a felony theft and needs to raise funds for a lawyer to claim his innocence. All proceeds from this album will go to that end. You can purchase the album in CD or digital format or just donate to the cause at the band’s website.
Favorite Tracks : Mississippi Sawyer, Little Liza Jane, Crow Black Chicken, Sugar In The Gourd, Sourwood Mountain, Flop Eared Mule
Urban Pioneers – Play 10 Old Timey Favorites (2018)
- Mississippi Sawyer
- Little Liza Jane
- Back Up And Push
- Crow Black Chicken
- Sugar In The Gourd
- Red Wing
- Pig’s Foot
- Sourwood Mountain
- Flop Eared Mule