Album Review of
Somewhere Beyond

Written by Joe Ross
July 17, 2022 - 1:07am EDT
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Somewhere Beyond is the sixth album from Breaking Grass, a bluegrass band based in Booneville, Mississippi . Formed in 2010, the band has had a very stable personnel lineup with Cody Farrar (guitar/lead vocals/songwriter), Tyler White (fiddle), Zach Wooten (mandolin) and Britt Sheffield (bass). This cohesiveness definitely shows in their music from the winners of the Mississippi Bluegrass Band Championship, Athens Old Time Fiddler’s Bluegrass Band Competition (Alabama) and Uncle Dave Macon Days Bluegrass Band Competition in (Tennessee). The only lineup change I know of occurred in 2016 when Jody Elmore replaced original banjo-player, Thelton Vanderford. Breaking Grass’ three previous albums on the Mountain Fever label were Just as Strong (2014), Warning Signs (2017) and Cold (2019). Somewhere Beyond also includes two guests, Randy Kohrs (Dobro) and Aaron Ramsey (lead guitar, gong).   

With his own self-penned songs, Cody Farrar can pack more punch in one verse than many can in a half dozen. His impressionist songs like “It Ain’t Enough” and “Outrun the Wolf” have an edgy, newgrass feeling full of interpretive twists. Farrar even reminds me of John Cowan when he’s singing “The Boy on the Black Horse” with passionate force. As with his previous releases, Farrar delivers each lyric with convincing emotion, power and intensity.

As a band, Breaking Grass obviously put considerable time and effort into their arrangements that establish grooves of fluid instrumental fills, flowing dynamics and penetrating background vocals and harmonies. More conservative radio dee-jays might just opt for airing their single, “Pauline,” but some of their more adventurous material will certainly spins some heads, and a song like “100 Degrees in the Shade” will certainly heat up the airwaves and telephone lines with requests for more from this amazing band with a unique, progressive signature sound.  I’d say this innovative band is well on their way to meeting their main objective - to make music that all ages can enjoy. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)