The Earls Of Leicester – Rattle & Roar (2016) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

The Earls Of Leicester – Rattle & Roar (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 44:38 minutes | 880 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © New Rounder Records

Rattle & Roar is the second album from Grammy-winners the Earls of Leicester, a band formed in tribute to legendary bluegrass artists Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The group is a realization of veteran Dobro player Jerry Douglas who assembled a bluegrass dream team of five other accomplished Nashville musicians on guitars, banjos, mandolins and fiddles. Rattle & Roar contains 17 timeless favourites from the Flatt and Scruggs songbook, maintaining the same emotional authenticity, instrumental expertise and vibrant creative spirit that made the original versions such enduring classics.

The Earls of Leicester have discovered a kind of magic that, when harnessed, allows moments once relegated to memories to roar back to life. Old sounds rattle loose chains of space and time that have kept us from forgotten joys and who we once were. Suddenly, as we listen to and watch the Earls pick, saw, and croon, instead of contemplating once upon a time, we are living it. With their second album Rattle & Roar (Rounder Records), the Earls have conjured up a fresh batch of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs songs, delivered with their Grammy-winning signature blend of homage, virtuosity, and perspective. The inimitable Jerry Douglas (14-time Grammy-winner) remains the band’s producer and hypnotic Dobroist; blue-ribbon songwriter, singer, and producer Shawn Camp (Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton) still soars on lead vocals and guitar; revered multi-instrumentalist and sideman Jeff White (Vince Gill, Loretta Lynn) now deftly handles high harmony and mandolin; ace Nashville banjoist Charlie Cushman (Jimmy Martin, Mel Tillis) tackles banjo and guitars; topflight musician Johnny Warren (son of Foggy Mountain Boys’ Paul Warren) cuts in radiantly on fiddle; and the esteemed Barry Bales (Alison Krauss & Union Station) holds magnificently steady on vocals and bass. To capture the feel of a live show, Rattle & Roar was recorded in one room, with all of the band members around mics, no separation between them. The result pulses with impish joy, uniquely showcasing artists at the top of their game as they delight in their work not just as creators, but also as fans struck with childlike awe.

The notion of a handful of the best pickers in bluegrass paying homage to one of the music’s most innovative and influential acts is inarguably appealing. And with their first album, the Earls of Leicester, the all-star Flatt & Scruggs tribute act assembled by Dobro master Jerry Douglas, demonstrated the great possibilities of such a concept. But they also revealed its Achilles’ heel: their loving re-creation of Flatt & Scruggs’ classic sides served as a powerful reminder of the strength of the originals without adding anything that couldn’t be found in the old 78s, besides improved fidelity. Douglas and his bandmates haven’t solved this dilemma on their second album, 2016’s Rattle & Roar, but they have managed to use some subtle studio technique to give this session a more distinct personality than was displayed on the debut. As anyone would expect, the performances on Rattle & Roar are splendid, and the musicians – Douglas, Johnny Warren on fiddle, Charlie Cushman on banjo, Shawn Camp on guitar and lead vocals, Jeff White on mandolin (replacing Tim O’Brien from the first album), and Barry Bales on upright bass – sound even tighter and more joyously emphatic than they did before. (The harmonies are every bit as good, too.) While the production is unobtrusive, the audio is crisp, and the natural-sounding stereo makes the most of the group’s dynamics. And bits like the radio-sweep introduction to “Steel Guitar Blues” brings a modern aspect to the project that doesn’t interfere with the authenticity of the musical approach. Rattle & Roar isn’t especially different from The Earls of Leicester, but two years of playing together and a bit more care in the studio have made a difference. This is a stronger set than their debut, and will appeal to anyone who loves classic bluegrass.

01 – The Train That Carried My Girl from Town
02 – Why Did You Wander?
03 – All I Want Is You
04 – Steel Guitar Blues Intro
05 – Steel Guitar Blues
06 – You Can Feel It in Your Soul
07 – A Faded Red Ribbon
08 – Just Ain’t
09 – Mother Prays Loud in Her Sleep
10 – I’m Working on a Road (To Glory Land)
11 – Will You Be Lonesome Too?
12 – Flint Hill Special
13 – What’s Good for You (Should Be Alright for Me)
14 – The Girl I Love Don’t Pay Me No Mind
15 – Branded Wherever I Go
16 – Buck Creek Gal
17 – Pray for the Boys



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