Dry Branch Fire Squad 30th Anniversary

A 30-year-long career is a milestone worth celebrating, and these American bluegrass veterans do so in fine style here. This collection can be viewed as a complement to an earlier anthology, 1987’s Tried And True. Four unreleased recordings are featured alongside 17 DBFS favourites. Bandleader and lead vocalist Ron Thomason has been the one group constant, but he’s always surrounded himself with top-calibre players and singers. Their material focuses on traditional and public domain tunes, as well as numbers from genre legends like Carter Stanley and A.P. Stanley. The gospel side of bluegrass is well represented here, alongside such social commentary as the still timely "Devil, Take The Farmer.” The great Hazel Dickens guests on "Hide You In The Blood,” while the harmony vocals of Mary Jo Leet and Suzanne Thomas enrich many other cuts. The current group incarnation is all male and the loss of that male/female vocal interplay will be hard to replace. However, this is a well-balanced collection that will please the bluegrass purist/enthusiast. (Rounder)