Lonesome Highway is a fourpiece group from Romney, W.Va. Personnel includes John Arnold (banjo, harmony vocals), Tom Suddath (bass, vocals), Jimmy Kountz (mandolin, vocals), and Buddy Dunlap (guitar, vocals). This CD, their second, features primarily original compositions with nine of the fourteen tracks from Dunlap and Arnold.
The band has chosen tunes from the slightly more progressive end of the bluegrass spectrum for the project. The lead vocals are generally good with strong harmonies (although a few cuts are not as convincing as they could be), and the instrumental work is solid. Among the highlights are Vince Gill’s “All Prayed Up,” Dunlop’s “Hoping You Will Change Your Mind,” a spirited a cappella version of Dudley Connell’s “See God’s Ark AMovin,” and Tom Foley’s “Alberta Clipper.” Also included here are nice versions of “Gravel Yard” and “Dark Hollow.”
My one reservation is the overall choice of material—seven of the first eight songs are all from the love-sought, love-lost, or love-gone-wrong categories. More variety and generally stronger material would have strengthened this release. Overall, it’s a solid and wellperformed effort on the part of Lonesome Highway. (Lonesome Highway, HC66 Box 20, Romney, WV 26757, www.lhway.com.) AW