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CD Reviews: Old North State Long Road Home


Old North State

Long Road Home


Old North State is comprised of Asheville natives Dillon and Jantzen Wray (nicknamed "Lorax" and "Resin" respectively) and drummer Chayce "Viper" Drummond. Splitting their time between North Carolina and Colorado, they've seemed to have picked up some interesting influences through their travels. Arguably a "newgrass" type of band, I find them to have more of a pop sensibility. True, the banjo is featured prominently, but as songwriters these guys go far beyond what I consider the usual limitations of bluegrass, and craft unexpected arrangements melded with lyrics that transcend genre, not to mention unique and very well-placed vocal harmonies. Punctuated with the occasional punk rock flavor (or even sudden wild scream!), Long Road Home sinks its hooks into the listener deeper and deeper with each passing track, piquing the curiosity. There's something here that reminds me of the great Elvis Costello, and I think it's more than just a vocal similarity. Perhaps it's a certain comfort projected by the band; knowing that what they're doing is going to be something that folks of all musical stripes are going to dig, whether they know why or not. Old North State has stumbled upon a sound like no other I've heard. I use the word "stumbled" because one can simply tell that what they're doing is completely organic. It's not so far out into left field as to know it's been contrived with a particular audience or market in mind, but it is most definitely something fresh, and most definitely more complex than merely merging genres. I found myself enjoying the album more the longer it played, and was a bit disappointed when it was over. That's a good sign, in my book. Old North State will be performing September 24th at The Claddagh in High Point, NC.

— Brent Fleury

1 comment posted for this article
 6/23/2012 - 2:20pm
   Fell in love with the music when I saw them in Colorado and had to buy the CD. There were 4 generations of us in the car who listened and loved the CD...Now that's amazing!
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