New Moon celebrates New Moon
Area bluegrass band New Moon will officially debut their new album with a CD release party this Saturday night, April 17, at The Troubadour near Berkeley Springs.
Called New Moon – what else? – the disc includes 15 songs that range from lively bluegrass and folk standards, such as "Saro Jane," to ballads like "My Heart Never Lies."
New Moon, the band, consists of four Morgan County musicians with plenty of picking experience – Doug Patton on mandolin and guitar; Tim Mosser on banjo; Mike Cusic on bass; and Phil Kraft on guitar and dobro. All contribute lead and harmony vocals.
New Moon, the album, kicks off with "One Way Track," a Ricky Scaggs tune that, like so many other bluegrass numbers, has a train theme.
From there, the program becomes very varied. There's "The Breeze," a song by rocker John Cale, side by side with Ian Tyson's dramatic "Four Rode By" and the old country-rockabilly standard "Just Because."
On Kate Wolf's lovely "Across The Great Divide," the New Moon crew is joined by guest Gus Bell.
And, what's a bluegrass album without some hot instrumentals? In this case, that bill is well filled with "Philbilly Rag," a Phil Kraft original.
And gospel? There's a harmonious version of Peter Rowan's "Dancing With The Angels."
The closer is a fine rendition of "Hickory Wind," the song that Gram Parsons wrote for the Byrds back in the late 1960s.
Through it all, New Moon carries on with taste and style.