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 2018 - Mountain Home Music Company.  Sideline is made up of six multi-talented bluegrass musicians that include Steve Dilling, Jason Moore, Nathan Aldridge, Skip Cherryholmes, Troy Boone and Bailey Coe.  As talented as these musicians are, their choice in songs is beneath their skills.  First, the group includes six cover songs including “Memories That We Shared” originally recorded by Johnson Mountain Boys (1996), Darin & Brook Aldridge’s (2010) “Something Out of Nothing,” Darrell Webb’s “All Because of Me,” and Gordon Lightfoot’s 1967 hit song “Song For A Winter’s Night.”  Their final cover is their instrumental version of the classic pre-Civil War song “Cotton Eyed Joe.”  I can understand re-releasing “Cotton Eyed Joe” as it is a staple in Bluegrass, nonetheless, to re-release the others was just pure laziness and only proves that they are a cover band.  When we set aside the covers and get to the core of the album, we find several songs that maintain a similar baseline melody.  This melody is heard in “All Because of Me,” “Satan’s Chains,” and “Old Time Way.”  Although each of these songs are written by different songwriters, their melodies are very synonymous with each other.   This brings us to the more noticeable songs with “Thunder Dan” and “Frozen In Time.”  “Thunder Dan” is a time-honored song that portrays a story about a mountain man.  Written by our friend Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman, “Frozen In Time” is a tender ballad about going home.  This song will certainly hit our list of Top Songs of 2018, while earning a nomination in the Spirit Award’s Song of The Year category.  With talented men like these, I don’t understand why they would choose the songs that they did.  The old adage, “If you can’t record it better than the original, then don’t record it!” comes into play with this one.  Other than the two songs, “Thunder Dan” and “Frozen In Time,” this one is completely unacceptable! $-$$

© Strictly Country Magazine (March 2019)

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