Open Road,
In the Life
(Rounder, 2004)

In the Life, by Open Road, is a recording that is very similar in sound to some of the older and more traditional performers, such as Flatt & Scruggs or Bill Monroe because of its straight-on bluegrass style. It definitely cannot be labeled as progressive or even modern bluegrass because of the intentional traditional way in which the selections are played.

The singing style of Bradford Lee Folk can be described as a little rough around the edges and very distinguishable from others in the bluegrass family due to his quirky vocal style. However, he is a very good songwriter, penning three of the 13 selections on In the Life . The harmony vocals of Caleb Roberts and Eric Thorin make up for the lacking of Folk's, in that theirs are very tight and right on line.

I recommend this CD because of its traditional sound that is lacking so much today in the bluegrass realm, and because of the seeming desire of the group to carry on this almost-forgotten path of bluegrass.

- Rambles
written by Paulette Isaacs
published 13 August 2005

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