Rockin' Acoustic Circus - Lonestar LullabyeROCKIN’ ACOUSTIC CIRCUS
LONESTAR LULLABYE
Flying Weasel Records No Number

Rockin’ Acoustic Circus is an intriguing new six piece band from Oklahoma. Lonestar Lullabye gives the impression they’re less a bluegrass band that plays Americana than an acoustic Americana band that also plays bluegrass. Instrumentation is fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, and cello, with two strong lead vocalists.

Both Eric Dysart (fiddle) and Emma Hardin (cello) have distinctive singing voices, with quirky phrasing that fits their sometimes quirky songs (the lion’s share of which are written by Ronnie Wiggins). It’s surprisingly effective when Dysart launches into the straight ahead bluegrass number, “Money In The Bank,” with the whole band holding its own quite well. Their instrumental tracks, “Bethany,” “Wolf Tone,” and a “Cello Medley” (all fiddletune standards), show an adventurous spirit and eclectic tastes. The playing is excellent, although occasionally the fiddle skids a bit on sharp corners. The group pays attention to creating interesting arrangements, bringing in elements of reggae and swing in order to keep things interesting and unpredictable.

The CD jacket lists nine tracks, but there are four unlabeled bonus tracks, which include a laid-back cover of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and a rendition of David Grisman’s “Opus 38.”

Wide ranging stylistic influences, original material with imaginative approaches, and unique instrumentation all combine to make this a very interesting and unpredictable music experience. In a time where copycat bands abound, Rockin’ Acoustic Circus delivers a fresh approach to new acoustic music. (Rockin’ Acoustic Circus, 13031 S. 143rd E. Ave., Broken Arrow, OK 74011, www.rockinacousticcircus.com.) HK