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BALSAM RANGE 'Papertown' MH-14042-CD

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Paying tribute to their home town in Haywood County, North Carolina (all of the group's members are from that county), this superb band churns out some of the best hard driving Bluegrass that we've heard in the past few years. Blessed with two good lead singers, Caleb Smith and Buddy Melton, the group does all the right things, with fine arrangements of well chosen material. This is their 4th recording, and while there is no "TRAINS I MISSED" or even "CANEY FORK RIVER" among the 13 songs, the pieces are all good to excellent --there's nothing weak here. Three of the tracks were penned by Milan Miller, including the fine title song. The band's instrumental work is first rate, with some nifty lead guitar and excellent banjo by Marc Pruett (on STREAMLINED CANNONBALL Pruett proves that a piece can be played at superspeed and still be tasteful and pleasing). Buddy Melton is such a great, distinctive singer that he could probably carry an entire record by himself, but all the group members are right up there helping to create a sound that should appeal to every hard-core Bluegrass fan.