Curtis Grimes Premiere – Miles Don’t Matter

I love it when musicians do musical side projects. It usually means that they are passionate enough for something they took the time to do despite all the other demands on their attention, and the result generally reflects that passion. Such is the case with Front Country’s album, Through the Gates, by multi-instrumentalist Jacob Groopman. Last December, Jacob made the most of a two-week quarantine to record songs he had worked on both before and after the pandemic.

There are a variety of styles on the mostly instrumental record, but they revolve around an American roots sound. The title track is a piece by Russ Barenberg that is so well conceived and executed that you almost forget there are no vocals. At the other end of the spectrum is Flatbush Waltz, a klezmer piece that is about guitar and mandolin with a touch of classical strings. Table Mountain Road / The Frieze Britches and Old Melinda / Gentleman From Virginia hit a more traditional Appalachian sound.

Groopman also takes a Tony Rice number, Gasology, and loads it up with rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll drums and jazzy electric guitar. It gave me the same amazement that I first heard the Chick Corea footage from the '70s or the early weather forecast. He also applied this style to a traditional composition, The Blackest Crow. The album ends with Leela, Leela, a melody with a Caribbean influence that made me reach for a rum punch. It's the icing on the cake, and if you like string virtuosity, check out Through the Gates.

About the author: I actually drove from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I saw Dallas from a DC-9 at night.


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