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The Lynn Morris Band
Shape Of A Tear

Review By Steven Stone
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The Lynn Morris Band Shape Of A Tear

CD Number: Rounder Records 116 610 509-2


  On their fifth album for Rounder Records the Lynn Morris Band reestablishes itself as one of the preeminent bands in bluegrass. The current band roster consists of Lynn Morris on rhythm guitar, vocals, and clawhammer banjo, Marshall Wilborn on bass and vocals, Jesse Brock on mandolin, and Ron Stewart on banjo, fiddle, and lead guitar. Guest Junior Brown adds his distinctive pedal guitar on one cut while dobro master Rob Ickes contributes to another.

Song selections on Shape Of A Tear demonstrate Lynn Morris' broad musical tastes. Songs by Buck Owens join those by Mary Flower, Hank Williams, Barry Tashien, Charlie and Ira Louvin, Emma Smith, Hugh Campbell, Nanci Griffith and band members Ron Stewart and Marshall Wilborn to form a remarkably cohesive whole. While not as hard-core bluegrass as Del McCoury and the Boys or Larry Sparks, the Lynn Morris band is still more traditional than modern bands like Hot Rize or Rhonda Vincent. Much of this classic bluegrass feel can be attributed to first class picking by mandolinist Jesse Brock and multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart. These guys can play the snot off of their respective instruments. Ron Stewart's composition "Road Rage" showcases the band's prodigious musical skills.

Ever since the late 1940's Martha White Flour has sponsored bluegrass bands. Currently Rhonda Vincent's band is underwritten by Martha White. In exchange for sponsorship they display Martha White banners on stage and perform the Martha White theme song during their set. The Lynn Morris is sponsored by SPAY USA who runs a national program to promote the spaying of pets. During their set Lynn Morros performs a song that Lynn wrote especially for SPAY USA. A "hidden" track at the end of this CD features Lynn Morris' SPAY radio spot. Sure beats Toyotas' "Oh What A Feeling." Shape Of A Tear has been getting plenty of playing time on my stereo. If you like bluegrass, it will be in heavy rotation on your system as well.




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