Since 2007, North Carolina’s Balsam Range have left their mark on the Bluegrass world. Their fifth album, Five, saw multiple songs land at #1 and earned the band the IBMA for Vocal Group of the Year in 2015. On November 11th, the five-piece - Buddy Melton (Fiddle, Lead and Tenor Vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Lead Vocals, Baritone and Low Tenor Vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (Banjo), Tim Surrett (Bass, Dobro, Baritone and Lead Vocals), and Caleb Smith (Guitar, Lead & Baritone Vocals) – released their latest, Mountain Voodoo, an album that focuses on personal journeys, home, and perseverance and showcases the band’s impressive musicianship and stirring harmonies.
Mountain Voodoo begins with the uniquely written “Something 'Bout That Suitcase,” which ponders the hopes and dreams contained a piece of luggage that’s “tattered torn and burstin’ at the seams.” That’s followed by the jaunty mandolin of “Blue Collar Dreams” which confronts the frustrations of working hard and chasing your dreams; the swampy, cleverly told tale of a broken heart on “Voodoo Doll,” and the subdued “Eldorado Blue,” which reflects on leaving home or remaining where you are – and being satisfied with one’s decision.
The album also includes “The Girl From The Highlands” a journey song inspired by Scottish highlanders traveling to the US, the calming “Rise and Shine,” the exhilarating “Chain Gang Blues” and the vibrant instrumental “Spring Hill.” Mountain Voodoo is rounded out with the old-school country flavor of “Hello Heartache,” the stirring “Lines In The Sand”, whose reserved instrumentation details the desire to fix a crumbling relationship and the impactful hymn-like closer, “Wish You Were Here.”
A musical journey that meanders through peaceful valleys, and climbs exuberant peaks, Mountain Voodoo is well-crafted thirteen track collection that will leave you spellbound.