Archive for the Rockin’ Acoustic Circus Category

ReviewShine Wednesday: Rockin’ Acoustic Circus & The Blackberry Bushes

Posted in Rockin' Acoustic Circus, The Blackberry Bushes on November 3, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Every Wednesday, I feature a brief review of at least one album that has been submitted to me through the ReviewShine website. I have cleverly titled this recurring segment “ReviewShine Wednesday.

Today, it’s two acts that share a similar musical style.

First up is the Rockin’ Acoustic Circus from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The Circus is a six-piece bluegrass band made up of veteran guitarist Rick Morton (Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Mattea) and five teenaged prodigies.  The rest of the band is Sterling Abernathy (mandolin), Eric Dysart (fiddle), Carson Clemishire (banjo), and the brother and sister rhythm section of Zac (bass) and Emma (cello) Hardin.  Other than Morton, no one in the group is older than 17.

Despite their age, though, this is an experienced group.  The band’s new CD Lonestar Lullabye is their third, and their already impressive list of festival appearances includes The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. Given their line up, though, Rockin’ Acoustic Circus’ music is infused with a youthful exuberance that recalls the early days of Nickel Creek.  It serves them well.

Rockin’ Acoustic Circus: I Gotta Run (Buy Album)

Up next are The Blackberry Bushes, a four piece string band from Olympia, Washington.  The Bushes have been playing together for six years now, and the intricate interplay of their instruments and perfect vocal harmonies suggest a band that has been together at least that long.  Kendl Winter (banjo), Jes Raymond (guitar), Jakob Breitbach (fiddle), and Joe Capoccia (bass) walk comfortably in both bluegrass and string band territories and distinguish themselves through Winter and Raymond’s complimentary voices.  Their playful rendition of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” features both voices and serves as a highlight of the album.

Ten of the thirteen tracks on their new CD Little Bit of Grace are original compositions (“Fire,” Bill Monroe’s “Jerusalem Ridge,” and the traditional “Cluck Old Hen” are the others) with Winter, Raymond, and Capoccia each contributing a handful of tunes.  Raymond’s “Salt Creek” leads the album and does a fine job of showcasing the band’s talents.  The Blackberry Bushes will visit The WDVX Blue Plate Special in December.

The Blackberry Bushes: Salt Creek (Buy Album)