It’s A Good Feeling
2017—Mountain Fever Records. The appealing part about this group is their unique ability to tell an interesting story within their music. If you strip away the songs that are written by someone else as well as the covers and get to the heart of the album, you will find a collection of captivating songs filled with riveting stories. Case in point “She’s Not The One.” Written by Mike Andes, this song is at first glance a typical country song. But as you progress through the lyrics you will find a exhilarating story, one that begs you to share. Another riveting story is found in their song “Guitar, Suitcase, And A Bible,” as it shares the tale of a homeless man, who happens to be a Veteran, and his wisdom. Speaking of wisdom, “The Golden Rule” is a harmonically-rich and sophisticated song. Both of these songs will certainly hit our list of Top Songs of 2017, while earning a nomination each for the Spirit Award’s Song of The Year award. Another song worth mentioning from this album is “Steel Bars” with it’s classic jailhouse theme. The album opens with the title track that captures your soul as it takes you on a ride of pure enjoyment. The downfall of this album comes with their rendition of Charlie Pride’s 1971 hit signature song “Kiss An Angel Good Morning.” Granted, the boys do their best to re-create or even bring new life into this classic song, but it does not transfer over to Bluegrass that well. Plus we are not much on cover songs, especially of well known songs like this one. The boys also include a cover of another infamous song called “A Daisy A Day.” When I heard this, I was surprised as it prompted a wide variety of memories for me. This song was written and recorded by Jud Strunk and The Mike Curb Congregation in 1973. Mike Curb went on to create the CURB Record label. Since then it has become one of those songs that has been recorded by anyone and everyone in the music industry. Nothin’ Fancy does do an excellent job in bringing this song over to Bluegrass, however, it still is a cover. Other songs on this album include “Lonely Dancer,” “Hard Hearted,” “Over and Over,” and a beautiful instrumental with “Red Wing.” I understand that the tradition in Bluegrass music is to honor those entertainers who came before you as you re-record some of their more notable songs, nonetheless, I would absolutely love to hear a full length album of original works from Nothin’ Fancy. These boys are far too talented as songwriters, musicians and over all story tellers to resort back to someone else’s music. $$$$
(This review was printed in the November / December 2017 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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