Album Review

Mountain Ride, Time to Roll

Written by Taco Olmstead

“You know, for most of its life bluegrass has had this stigma of being all straw hats and hay bales and not necessarily the most sophisticated form of music. Yet you can’t help responding to its honesty. It’s music that finds its way deep into your soul because it’s strings vibrating against wood and nothing else.”
~ Alison Krauss

If I had little else to say about this album it would be just that, it is musically honest. There’s a lot of music out there that is seeking little more than to emulate the great music of its genre. What Mountain Ride has poignantly delivered is anything but an emulation, but rather a genuine sound with a message of integrity.

I often hear bluegrass songs written and performed that leave many a farm boy scratching their head and wondering if the bullshit is on the boots or just in them. I didn’t have this feeling at any time listening to “Time to Roll”. Rather, I felt that every note and every word were both intellectually honest as well as lived. From the opening track to the personal standout “Pay Your Dues” to the title track, “Time to Roll”, there is an unquestionable authenticity to the emotions that eagerly flow beside the lyrical prowess exhibited therein.

Throughout the album there are repeated nods to both traditional bluegrass as well as “newgrass”, while still maintaining the bands loyalty to their own sound. The albums use of earthy tones and endearing melodies paired often with harmonica will leave no fan of bluegrass, or songwriting or music in general, wanting for more. Each track rings true to an emotional soul and each line reads like that of a laureate. While the album stays true to its roots of a seemingly simple sound, there is a complexity to be admired here.

If you’re smart, you’ll be sure to check out Mountain Ride next time their journey brings them close by. If you’re wise, you’ll go ahead and buy this album and journey far and wide to catch them live. We are all looking for that musical light, the good news is that much of it abides here.

Listen to the album and download your copy here.