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Private Label SKYRACERCD01

Some say that bluegrass should be re-named crabgrass, due to its invasive nature. The spread continues with this young, accomplished band who bill themselves as “Anglo-Irish Girl Power Bluegrass”. The five members met at bluegrass venues in the UK, and started as a band in 2017. Buoyed by enthusiastic audience responses, they recorded this CD just a half-year after their formation. Despite the timeline, this is an impressively-mature release.

Fully seven of the 10 tracks are originals, and the quality of their writing stands out. They set the bar high with the opener, Fuel To My Fire, show that they are adept at a variety of textures with the gentle Virginia Rose, and then illustrate their instrumental mastery on Spinuous Shark. On slower tracks like the Bill Monroe classic, Sitting Alone In The Moonlight, they show their great control of harmonies. They even drop in some country-laced agony on Working Girl Blues. The diversity of their sound is helped by having two lead singers who complement each other. One sings with overdrive and energy and one with the sensitivity and reflection needed on the quieter songs.

All the requisite elements are there - fluid fiddle lines, chunky mandolins, high lonesome singing, close harmonies, jangling banjos, languid dobros, unshakeable bass, and the guitar effortlessly sliding from rhythm to lead. With their tight pack playing and regular solo instrumental forays, Midnight Skyracer certainly exhibits the craft of traditional bluegrass.

Ivan Emke

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.