Old Salt Union “Old Salt Union” (Compass Records, 2017)

Old Salt Union are a five piece traditional old time string band playing music that any fan of the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show or The Infamous Stringdusters will instantly fall in love with. This is however a group with a modern twist with members having a varied musical background including classical and hip hop as well as more traditional bluegrass. The ten tracks on show are mostly written by the group members although there is a superb cover of Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’ with a clever video that you will want to check out mimicking Simon’s original with Chevy Chase.

For fans of this genre this album is a must and it is hard to pick out any specific track for special praise although ‘Bought and Sold’ is a beautiful love song without the saccharine, and ‘Tuscaloosa’ features soaring harmonies. There is also a top instrumental in ‘Flatt Baroque’ the title giving a nod to the great Lester Flatt of Flatt and Scruggs fame. Production is by Alison Brown a Grammy Award winning banjo player whose direction and attention to detail has paid off in giving the album a professional but not too polished feel. Released in the US last year this album has only just arrived here so hopefully there will be a tour to promote this soon. In the meantime, kick back and enjoy the ride, it’s fun and so rewarding.

 

Author: Michael Farley

Living in North London allows me access to many great music venues so I can get to see as many Americana and Bluegrass (yes I love Bluegrass!) acts as I can. My other passion is football and I follow the North London team with the Cockerel as it's badge. Thankfully I have a fantastic wife who shares these obsessions or else I would probably be single by now!

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