The Life We Live

The Life We Live

by Cumberland RiverCumberland River


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This bluegrass quartet has roots in the coal-mining country of Harlan County, Kentucky; two bandmembers -- bass player Joe Jones and banjo picker James Dean -- actually worked in the coal mines before pursuing a musical career. The band's original four members got together at a jam session in 2009, most of them vets of other bands. They were drawn together by a desire to write original music that would appeal to country as well as bluegrass fans. After finding 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, Dobro, fiddle) Andy Buckner on Facebook, they were off and running. The band's instrumental prowess and sharp musicianship are evident from the opening notes of "Harlan Man," the album's first track. Dustin Middleton's tough lead vocal and mandolin picking, Dean's banjo, and Justin Moses' fiddle bring this tale of a miner's tribulations to vibrant life. Dean's "Miners Prayer" is even more dramatic. It's the message a miner sends to his loved ones after dying in a mine collapse. Dean's lead vocal is full of chilling anguish. "Mary Flynn" is a ghost song with echoes of the murder ballads of the Appalachians. Middleton's almost whispered vocal and Moses' wailing Dobro maintain the spooky atmosphere. The bandmembers collaborated with their extended family to write the atypical Civil War ballad "Antietam's Hill," the story of a Southern soldier who believes in fighting to end slavery. There's not a weak track on the record, and previously in 2011 they placed six of these tunes on the FX show Justified, which could help them break through to mainstream listeners as well as bluegrass fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/26/2011
Label: Rural Rhythm
UPC: 0732351108325
catalogNumber: 1083

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cumberland River   Primary Artist
Dale Ann Bradley   Vocal Harmony
Steve Gulley   Rhythm Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Justin Moses   Dobro,Fiddle
Andy Buckner   Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Dustin Middleton   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
James Dean   Banjo,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Joe Jones   Upright Bass
Jamie Stewart   Dobro

Technical Credits

Joey Jones   Track Notes
Steve Gulley   Producer
Bryan Turner   Engineer
Andy Buckner   Track Notes
Dustin Middleton   Composer,Track Notes
James Dean   Track Notes

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