Stacy Grubb 'Hurricane' Self-Release

The instrumentation here is a interesting mix acoustic and bluegrass with electric bass, guitar, piano and drums. Producer and arranger Ronnie Cochran has managed a balance between bluegrass and country that works very well. That Grubb has a voice that can carry this off is more than a bonus it is central to the music. She has also written the majority of the songs here and delivers them with a crystal clear conviction and a sense of vulnerability that makes her voice that bit special. Gary Dunham's song Appalachain Rain also adds a string quartet to good effect and shows that Grubb can stand tall next to the likes of Alison Krauss for adding to and pushing the boundaries of what might loosely be termed bluegrass music. A strong independent woman is portrayed in Violet Steele a woman who back in the day who lived in a cold, cold world and would "for your wallet would shoot you dead". There is a sense of time gone by in many of these songs that seems to give them an added depth such as her Alan Johnston co-write Time Hasn't Changed Anything. The assembled talent all play their part here and with players like Rob Ickes, Ron Block, Brent Mason and Aubrey Haynie you are bound to have high expectations. Expectations that are met throughout the album. Hard Row To Hoe has electric guitar and dobro blending well in a way that you don't get to hear too often with bluegrass purists resisting any such crossovers. But it works and makes for a rewarding and rich album for anyone interested in bluegrass music and how it may progress without actually becoming what might be termed "newgrass". The music here sounds more traditional with the winds of change blowing up a hurricane.