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Bluegrass band retains organic recording sound

By: J. ADRIAN STANLEY THE GAZETTE
August 25, 2006
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Title: “The Bow River Sessions,” by Palmer Divide Style: Bluegrass What this band’s all about: Palmer Divide united many fine local musicians who wanted to make original bluegrass music.
Jody Adams (mandolin, fiddle, guitar) has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and the White House and also has a successful career as a singer/songwriter. Dick Carlson (upright bass) is a former member of Western swing band, Sour Mash, and the local trio, Black Rose. Greg Reed (guitar, mandolin) was a member of the Denver band White Lightning and also played with The Cletus Brothers and Black Rose. Mickey Stinnett (resonator guitar, banjo) played in the Cletus Brothers, Lost Creek, and Black Rose. Inspiration for the album: Palmer Divide decided to ditch the studio and recorded this album in a barn in Elk Mountain, Utah, over a three-day weekend. The band played as though they were in a live setting and left the little flaws. “Albums are so computer produced anymore that we just felt that it was time we tried to find some spontaneity and emotion,” Adams said. Best CD-making moment: The first time the band listened to the recording and knew the unconventional recording was successful. CD vitals: 12 songs, 41 minutes Test drive: www.palmerdivide.com Available at: www.palmerdivide.com See ’em live: Palmer Divide will release its new CD at the Fiddles, Vittles and Vino festival at Rock Ledge Ranch, located at 30th Street and Gateway Road. The festival includes wine and food tasting and takes place at noon on Saturday. Palmer Divide will perform several times. The festival costs $30 for adults and $5 for children. For more information call 578-6777. Review: If you’ve ever heard a mandolin picked with expert speed, you know that it’s easy to mistake bluegrass music for one amazing solo after another. But bluegrass music is about synergy. It’s about the big picture. Palmer Divide gets that. Although there’s still plenty of breathtaking solos on this disc, the beauty of these songs lies in the layers of sound. Instrumentals such as “Legend of Baby Doe” create sonic kaleidoscopes as melodies weave to produce a complex sound. When lyrics are present, the words tend to be mature and grounded — concentrating on the yearning of a heart or the comfort of a good home. This album is a true gem.
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