The Lonesome River Band, Carrying the Tradition

Jon Weisberger

By Jon Weisberger

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Carrying the Tradition

The Lonesome River Band
A modern classic that stands alongside the finest from Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs.

Southwest Virginia's Lonesome River Band had been around for almost a decade before making their breakthrough Carrying the Tradition, a 1992 release whose influence persists to this day. Backing the complementary vocals of then budding stars Dan Tyminski and Ronnie Bowman with driving guitar by group founder Tim Austin and dynamic banjo picking from Sammy Shelor (who still helms the LRB today), the album delivered nifty contemporary songs like “You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do” and “Hobo Blues” alongside first-generation classics like “Fireball Mail” and “I'm Coming Back (But I Don't Know When”) with old-school spirit and virtuosity elevated by rock & roll energy and a new level of attention to detail. The set earned the International Bluegrass Music Association's Album Of The Year award, and for a lot of bluegrass youngsters, it's a classic carrying the same pioneering weight as Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs do for the old-timers.