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Reviews of Appaloosa Daydream
Review by Fireball Mail Magazine
"Appaloosa Daydream, the Urban Monroes’ third CD release; trots, gallops and sometimes flies across a 10-song soundscape of original and traditional bluegrass music. Songs like the upbeat and vocally divine original, “Lamp in the Window” can take you to a warm fire on a cold night, while the title track prances delightedly in a valley of instrumental bliss. Don’t be fooled by seeing “Little Maggie” on this CD’s track listing either. This is uncharted territory. That recognizable title could not prepare one for this sonic surprise package, with a performance as hauntingly beautiful as it is muscular. Combining motifs from Darling Corey and Little Maggie, the band’s arrangement exchanges energy from moment to moment like the ebb and flow of ocean waves as this trail again leads to the unexpected and exciting.
With enduring arrangements and some clever musical horse sense, the Urban Monroes nimbly negotiate a path to discover the unexplored in the midst of some familiar and some not-so-familiar terrain. The CD lays out that fresh panorama in eloquent testimony of the band’s talent. "
Review by Jamboree Mountain Bluegrass Magazing
"From haunting bluegrass vocal ballads to joyous upbeat instrumentals, Urban Monroes' latest CD Appaloosa Daydream gallops across the bluegrass fields. The view from the saddle offers glimpses of stunning vistas both new and familiar with the Cascades of the band's home range on one hand and the Appalachians on the other.
The fan-friendly release showcases requested concert favorites and is packed with surprises such as the intricately meshed arrangement of Blackberry Shortcake; a refreshing retake of the bluegrass jam session standard Blackberry Blossom. Another is Little Maggie. Rather than just re-shoeing this old war horse and giving it a quick kick, this is an inspired reinvention of the old favorite. While in delightful contrast, the band's old time-ish arrangement of the title track pumps elements of tradition into a new tune.
Appaloosa Daydream offers the chance to gallop, trot, prance and roll in the bluegrass. Urban Monroes have put their brand on each of these tracks and prove they have the ponies to run with anybody. "
- ▼ 2013 (5)
- ► 2012 (9)
- ► 2011 (18)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
With the Holiday season quickly approaching, the release of a new bluegrass Christmas single is as timely as a sleigh full of Rolexes. Rather than "Ho-Ho-Ho-ing" into the holidays though, the Urban Monroes offer a song with a more personal message. That song, "Underneath the Stars," begins in the dry arid troubled lands of life and ends at the joy filled Nativity where the gift of all gifts arrived in the most humble surroundings and underneath the stars.
Written by the Urban Monroes' Fran Kent, "Underneath the Stars" was originally created for a Christmas CD put out by the Menards chain of stores. The Midwest based retailer's Yuletide offering included singles by several of Portland's best artists. The UM's track includes its own guest star with the band's long-time fiddle-friend Annie Staninec joining the guitar, banjo, and bass in a rapid flight across a desert landscape to a Christmas culmination. "Underneath the Stars" is available to DJ's for download at Airplay Direct at www.airplaydirect.com/urbanmonroes where they will find other UM treats with songs for the season like Mr. Grinch and others.
While the band was hard at work on "'Stars", Santa dropped in to make an early delivery as they topped the RMR Top 50 Bluegrass Chart in the number one spot for the second time in three months. It was one more exclamation point for an exciting month and the band looks forward to a new year with their new CD Appaloosa Daydream