HGR CD Review: Colebrook Road

COLEBROOK ROAD COLEBROOK ROAD (no label) Named after one of several such thoroughfares located near their home base of Harrisburg, Colebrook Road celebrates traditional-flavored bluegrass on their self-titled debut CD. Lead singer, guitarist and dobro player Jesse Eisenbise, banjo picker Marcus Weaver, upright bass player Jeff Campbell, fiddler Joe McAnulty and mandolin picker Wade Yankey introduce listeners to their brand of fast-firing, precision bluegrass and folk sounds through the disc’s ten tracks. The group’s instrumental performances are tight and sharp, and their vocals and harmonies bright and clear. Colebrook Road’s songs celebrate the values of small-town living, nature and rural heritage. Several songs herald the rural work ethic; the uptempo disc opener “Conewago Clay” and rapid fire disc closer “Sun Up Sun Down” both celebrate and tolerate long hours in the field and on the job, while “Both Sides of the Line” concerns survival and making ends meet. Other songs deal with farming issues; the hopeful “Dry Ground Blues” wishes for a little rain, while “Coyote” compares the plights of wildlife losing habitat and independent farmers losing their land. “Something in the Night” paints a picture of rural nocturnal calm, while “Without You” laments loneliness. Colebrook Road showcases their instrumental skills on two romping instrumentals, “Misfire” and “Grandma’s Cookin.’” Recorded and mixed by Bill Trego, Colebrook Road’s set sounds crisp and fresh; and the group’s arrangements are airtight and busy, with the blend of constant instrumental prowess and vocal dynamics resulting in never a dull moment. Colebrook Road’s first offering provides a strong introduction that roots the group’s sound in traditional bluegrass, while giving it a newgrass edge and makeover. (The CD can be obtained through the group’s website, www.colebrookroad.com.)