Still Learning

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Longtime bluegrass favorites Lonesome River Band’s latest effort blends several significant moments into a single story line. The music drifting from an old RCA record player brings back home-grown memories on “Record Time Machine,” though nostalgia alone is not enough to keep a rambling, heartbroken musician in one place for long, as the catchy “Goodbye Wheeling” laments. The protagonist’s wandering ways catch up with him on “Jack Up the Jail,” a bluegrass romp with fleet-fingered fiddling by Mike Hartgrove and classically driving banjo by bandleader Sammy Shelor. The album’s central character gets back on a healthy road as the band’s velvet-smooth sound takes center stage on “Love Me Again.” The arresting “40 Days” is built around a pulsing bass line and saucy fiddle melody, topped with the perfect vocal blend of Andy Ball and Brandon Rickman, while “As Wild as I Get” is a moody, country-inspired tune. The boys might claim they they’re still learning, but here, this outfit proves it can still deliver the musical goods after 25 years in the business.

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Other performers include Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin and Jason Isbell.