Bluegrass is a living vibrant art form thanks to bands like Front Range. This quartet hails from the Denver, Colorado area, which has a reputation for spawning innovative bluegrass bands. This is their fifth release on Sugar Hill records. Produced by their guitarist and principle songwriter Bob Amos, Front Range has a traditional complement with mandolin (Nike Lantz), banjo (Ron Lynum), and bass (Bob Dick). Unlike most bluegrass releases that cross my desk, Silent Ground hasn't got a single guest artist; it's all just them chickens, pickin' and singin'.
Bob Amos wrote five of the tunes on Silent Ground with band-mate Ron Lynum contributing another three. The remaining five songs consist of two traditional spirituals arranged by Bob for Front Range, "Roll Call' by R. Drexal Rayford, "Been Down so Long" by Rick Lang, and finally an unusual version of Robert Johnson's blues classic "Love in Vain". Recorded at Stark Brook Productions in Winchester, VA, Front Range returned to Air Show Mastering in Boulder, Colorado so David Glasser could apply the euphonic finishing touches. David Glasser, to those in the know, is arguably the finest digital mastering engineer for acoustic music working in America today. Cookie Morenco, who is a producer known for her great ears, uses Bob Ludwig for analog projects, and David for her digital projects. If you haven’t heard his work, you’re missing out on great sounding CDs.
You think bluegrass music stopped growing once Bill Monroe passed on? Then you need to listen to this CD. Front Range is really something.