John Lawless,
Five & Dime
(Copper Creek, 2004)

I very nearly missed out on reviewing this album because of the wonderful bonus features. If you put it on your computer to listen, you will go immediately to these features of banjo tabs, pictures, catalogues, etc., and might have difficulty finding the music.

But never fear, put it where it belongs on that CD player and you will enter a wonderful world of music and song.

It opens instrumentally with "Cemetery Ridge." Next comes the beautifully performed "Twilight," bringing you into bluegrass country. Give a listen to "On the Bean." If you like banjo picking, you will love it. If you don't, you may well be converted.

A favourite instrumental track of mine on the album is the wonderfully titled "How R Ya Waltz." Put it on. Clear the furniture and waltz your partner round the room. For a favourite vocal track I would choose "Listen to the Music," a great song well performed, but also a short review comment of the album.

While he uses a lot of his own compositions on the album, Lawless also goes back to some of the greats such as Carter Stanley's "Baby Girl."

Another track on here is useful for a reviewer looking for a phrase to close his article; the closer "Up All Night" fits the bill because if you put this album on late in the evening you will be up all night listening.

by Nicky Rossiter
19 May 2007

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