Album Review of
Take Me Back

Written by Joe Ross
October 25, 2020 - 9:56pm EDT
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Carolina Blue has a clear vision for their cohesive, appealing bluegrass. Presenting solid, well-crafted original material, the band also preserves a traditional style of music as played by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. While “Grown Cold” is a hard-driving opener with powerful intensity, “Take Me to the Mountains That I Love” exudes rustic purity that is at the heart of this genre. Based in North Carolina, the band formed in 2007 after release of their first album "Nothing So Blue." The 2020 Pinecastle label release of “Take Me Back” follows their well-received “Sounds of Kentucky Grass" (2017) and “I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me” (2018) album projects. As with previous releases, “Take Me Back” emphasizes an enchanting original repertoire from Carolina Blue’s songwriters, guitarist Bobby Powell and mandolinist Tim Jones. They offer spirited numbers like “Raining in Roanoke,” the poignant “Ballad of Mary Ann,” a bluesy ¾-time “Lost and Lonely,” and a reflective gospel original “March around Jericho” highlighting their vocal quartet. A tribute to Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe, “Number 73987” refers to his “second-hand mandolin hangin’ on the wall” and how the “master’s hand changed it all” with a “brand new sound on the Grand Ole Opry stage.” Besides Powell and Jones, the band includes Aynsley Porchak (fiddle), James McDowell (banjo) and Reese Combs (bass). An award-winning band, Carolina Blue is achieving a high profile within the bluegrass scene, and their popularity continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)