On the heels of their second International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year award, Balsam Range continues to be a tour de force in Bluegrass with their album, Aeonic, available now from Mountain Home Music Company.
With songs full of humanity, dynamic performances graced with subtleties, and material that is both personal and profound, Balsam Range presents a collection of music that would be powerful in any genre but is made all the more compelling through this Western North Carolina band’s acoustic music mastery.
The album leads with the band’s #1 radio single “The Girl Who Invented the Wheel,” an out-of-the-box hit with lead vocal by the 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year, Buddy Melton. It continues with highly crafted, original and penetrating songs arranged and performed by one of the most vital artists in the roots genre. “Tumbleweed Town,” “The Rambler,” “Hobo Blues” and “Help Me To Hold On”are journeys into self-reflection and a search for meaning, as well as social statements. Each is powerful lyrically and performed with detailed subtleties only achievable by artists at this level. The lead vocal duties, shared with Melton by Darren Nicholson, Caleb Smith and Tim Surrett, offer another layer of depth from song-to -song.
“Get Me Gone” is the second national radio release from the album and features Melton on a “leaving” song co-written by Walt Wilkins, a writer of the band’s 2010 IBMA Song of The Year, “Trains I Missed.”
Two-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Tim Surrett takes the lead vocal to conclude the album in an unexpected cover of The Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone,” bookending this collection with unconventional sounds. The Beatles-style harmony arrangements and driving syncopation help prove why this band has extended their status at the top of the genre while turning new audiences into dedicated fans.
It has been said that great songs are timeless. But they also organize time into attractive human pieces while their lyrics manage their way into our hearts and minds with lasting meaning. Great music has no expiration date — it is Aeonic.