Nu-Blu, a bluegrass band hailing from Siler City, North Carolina, is set to release studio album number six called “Vagabonds” on Voxhall Records on April 28th.  It was a privilege to preview this album.  The musicianship is outstanding and a true slice of Americana.  The husband-and-wife duo, Daniel (vocals and guitar) and Carolyn (lead vocals and bass) Routh are joined by band-mates TJ Honaker (vocals and banjo) and Clint White (fiddle and mandolin). 

 

The album starts off with the upbeat tempo of “The Bridges That You’ve Burned,” showcasing Carolyn’s powerful voice from the get go.  Another notable tune is “Still Small Voice,” featuring guest vocalists Jimmy Fortune and Ben Isaacs.  Lush vocal harmonies and fast finger picking are a winning combination. 

 

“640 Battlefield Drive,” albeit a beautiful song, was simply too sad for my liking but certainly accomplishes a heightened sense of emotions with a heart-wrenching story.  Daniel handles lead vocals on “How Many Rivers” and Carolyn harmonizes exquisitely.  My favorite track on this CD is “Gypsies on Parade.”  It’s about life on the road and it has an autobiographical feel to it.  It’s a bold statement but “Gypsies on Parade” is to bluegrass as Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” is to rock and roll.

 

The band also puts a bluegrass spin on the Willie Nelson/ Waylon Jennings  classic “Good Hearted Woman” and Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”  The arrangement on Dylan’s classic rock anthem is brilliant, complete with a layered string section that includes a standout fiddle that cries behind the vocals.  If you like bluegrass, this is a must for your collection.  Moreover, Nu-Blu’s “Vagabonds” album could serve as a great introduction to this fast picking genre of music.

About The Author Dee Haley

Dee Haley's bio is all about the concerts. Since her first concert, Dee's favorite pastime has been checking out live music. With hundreds (maybe thousands) of concerts under this "musicologist's" belt, picking the top five shows was next to impossible. Dee's first and favorite concert was KISS, at "The Aud," in 1979. The following are some of the most memorable concerts on her list. Her top five concerts, a few honorable mentions, and to keep things interesting, her top five music festivals too. Top Five Concerts: 1.) KISS - Dynasty Tour - 8/8/79, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY (and every KISS tour since). 2.) Ronnie James Dio - Holy Diver Tour - 10/23/83, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY. 3.) Rammstein - Made In Germany Tour - 5/9/11, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada. 4.) Page & Plant - 10/19/95, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY. 5.) Aerosmith - Back in the Saddle Tour - 7/8/84, Erie Civic Center, Erie, PA. Honorable Mentions: 1.) Van Halen - 1984 Tour - 3/22/84, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY. 2.) Def Leppard - Hysteria Tour - 7/23/88, Cayuga County Fair, Weedsport, NY. 3.) Cheap Trick - Dream Police Tour - 9/22/79, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY. Top Five Music Festivals: 1.) Superfest 14 - 7/3/82, Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY. 2.) Monsters of Rock - 6/19/88 - Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY. 3.) 9/11 Benefit Concert - United We Stand - 10/21/2001, RFK Stadium, Washington, DC. 4.) Buffalo Guitar Festival - 6/14-6/17/01 - Highlight was Rik Emmett at The Tralf Music Hall (George Benson joined him on stage for an awesome rendition of "On Broadway"). 5.) Sars Benefit Concert - 7/30/03 - Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada.