Rick Faris: The Next Mountain

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CD Review 12/31/21

CD: The Next Mountain
Artist: Rick Faris
Label: Darkshadow Recording
Artist Website: rickfaris.com
Label Website: darkshadowrecording.com

Rick Faris and Dark Shadow Recording have brought us a capital B Bluegrass CD with the release of The Next Mountain: tastefully recorded, easy on the ears, toe-tapping, just thumping. From the first listen, I was hooked. Faris’s stellar vocals combined with an all-star group of musicians really bring it home. Besides the vocals, Faris is not unfamiliar to good guitar work. This is a very enjoyable CD.

The twelve original Faris-penned songs are:

  1. What I’ve Learned
  2. Deep River
  3. Laurel Of The Mountains
  4. I’m Asking You Today
  5. Hoot Owl Call
  6. Time To Move On
  7. Tall Fall
  8. See You On The Other Side
  9. Can’t Build A Bridge To Glory
  10. Dust On The Road
  11. Evil Hearted You
  12. Moonshine Song

Once again, Stephen Mougin and Dark Shadow Recording give us great talent, original music, and flawless recordings to enjoy. I am thankful to all the musicians who bring us original music in the tradition we love. Producing this music and packaging it in a manner that is very pleasing is an important part of the entire process. Salute to all involved with The Next Mountain.

There are just too many stellar musicians to mention here, and they all bring home the bacon. Everything is in the pocket, and even the fast songs (“Moonshine Song”) are unrushed. This is how it should sound.

My favorite songs are: “What I’ve Learned,” “Laurel Of The Mountains,” “I’m Asking You Today,” “Hoot Owl Call,” “Tall Fall,” “See You On The Other Side,” “Can’t Build a Bridge to Glory,” “Dust On The Royal,” and “Moonshine Song.” I could add some more, but one has to stop somewhere. Nothing disappoints. Everything satisfies. If I picked a most favorite, it would be “I’m Asking You Today,” which just swings all the way through.

Having this CD in your regular rotation will bring smiles to your face. The sad part will be the day you reach for the CD cover only to fail to find the CD inside, finding it instead on the floorboard of the truck, covered with mud and boot-prints. This ever happened to you? Well, it has me. I’d hate to mislay this one.

Salute to Rick Faris for bringing us new, original music that expands the frontier of Bluegrass in the most satisfying way. It broadens horizons within the context that is Bluegrass music. This is easy when contemplated, but rather difficult when executed, because having your own sound can only develop within the context of new music. Faris has figured this out. I salute him.

When you add Laura Orshaw, Ronnie and Rob McCoury, Jason Carter, Mike Bub, Sam Bush, and Ronnie Bowman, you’re gonna get some good results. I also particularly want to mention the bass playing of Zak McLamb and the mandolin playing of Harry Clark.

I appreciate what I have here with The Next Mountain. I sure want some more.

 

Mississippi Chris Sharp

 

 

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