Published Oct 29, 2013A collection of Vancouver-area roots musicians (Barney Bentall, Shari Ulrich, Wendy Bird, Angela Harris, Rob Becker, Eric Reed and Colin Nairne) came together in 2010 to form a new outfit that would play "classic bluegrass for modern times." The result was the High Bar Gang, a loose and playful cover band with a yen for gospel records.
Though it all appears promising, on this, their first album together, the Gang sounds decidedly average. The song selection is rather ho hum — these are identifiable classics, mostly, not songs that need yet another treatment — and the picking is surprisingly restrained. Though there are some bright moments of hot fretwork, they are few and far between as the emphasis here is on vocals and harmonies. These are all well executed (and the mono recording is ideally suited to amplifying their effect), but it isn't enough to convince you to put this on over, say, your Doc and Merle collection. Lost and Undone: A Gospel Bluegrass Companion is certainly a pleasant record, but it isn't likely to satisfy your craving for either bluegrass or gospel. (True North)