With their razor-sharp instrumental attack, soulful three-part vocals, and wide range of material both original and adapted, NewFound Road has emerged as one of the most exciting new bands on the bluegrass landscape. Newly signed to Rounder Records, NewFound Road's fourth album Life In A Song (produced by Rob Ickes) will be released September 26.
On it, NewFound Road members Rob Baker (mandolin/vocals), Randy Barnes (bass/vocals), Tim Shelton (guitar/vocals), and Jr. Williams (banjo/guitar/vocals) resourcefully balance both the timeless and the modern elements of bluegrass, emerging with a sound that is eclectic and yet supremely focused. Life In A Song follows up the band's successful third album Somewhere Between, which featured the number one bluegrass radio hit "It's Raining the Blues."
The roots of NewFound Road lie in southwest Ohio, where the band first got together five years ago. Sensing an unusually strong musical kinship, they set out on the road, initially performing bluegrass gospel music exclusively. But their wide range of influences made a strictly gospel path seem limiting, and after much discussion, NewFound Road opened up their repertoire.
Life in a Song is a powerful testament to just how vast NewFound Road's influences are. The original songs range from the pristine, eloquent lament "In My Sleep" to the title track, which pairs a reflective lyric with a superbly streamlined, uncluttered modern bluegrass arrangement. The outside material includes two contributions from Tim Stafford of the Grammy-nominated band Blue Highway: the surging opener "Cold Blue Day" and the haunting ballad "Douglas Graves." Other covers include a gently swinging version of Freddy Fender's honky-tonk classic "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and a hard-driving take on Ray Charles's "Leave My Woman Alone."
NewFound Road will be taking its driving sound to audiences around the country. Upcoming tour dates are listed below, with more to be announced in the coming weeks and months. A complete listing is also available at www.newfoundroad.com.