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3 Fox Drive
Listen To The Music
Koch Records
www.3foxdrive.com


The near-explosion of new newgrass groups on the scene over the past five years has been nothing short of extraordinary. The listening public has been given a much wider range of choices than the customary Flatts And Scruggs or Alison Krauss And Union Station… One of the freshest of this fine new breed is called 3 Fox Drive. Yep, you guessed it. Three folks in the band have the surname Fox, and we'll assume for the sake of argument that they are all brothers and sisters.

The music runs along the same basic lines as the majority of the newer Union Station records - very clean production supporting powerful singers and brilliantly played instruments. Disregarding the first track, a decently wrought cover of the Doobie Brothers' "Listen To The Music", the album is full of soul and a certain nostalgic charm. "This Little House Of Mine" and "Between Me And Jolene" are great examples of the fine songwriting prevalent on this record - songwriting that pulls small moments out of life and draws beautiful imagery around them. "And on the bedroom door's a cardboard sign/ 'No Boys Allowed' just takes me back in time/ secret codes we made up/ things we were afraid of/ pinky swear times infinity/ Forever more will be between me and Jolene…" The band sticks to traditional bluegrass instrumentation, relying on mandolin and guitar to provide the rhythm tracks along with standup bass, and banjo and fiddle filling in the spaces. Production is perfect and beautiful: dobro sounding distinct and powerful without being overwhelming, bass carrying a soft low end, mandolin and guitar creating as much ambience as actual sound. Kim Fox writes wonderful songs that nicely showcase her sister Barb's voice, as well as her own, and harmony vocals are sharp and precise.

For fans of the newgrass revival of the past few years, 3 Fox Drive is certainly talented and creates hope for a continuation of the traditional aspects of the music within the expanding genre. Excellent songs based on experience and heartfelt emotion create the perfect underpinning for the group's instrumental virtuosity and finesse at arranging. I, for one, can't wait to hear more.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Listen To The Music
2. This Little House Of Mine
3. Slow Me Down
4. Short Walk To The Moon
5. Cold At The Bottom Of Your Heart
6. Man Behind The Wall
7. Here Comes That Feeling Again
8. An Eye For An Eye
9. It Always Rains When I'm Lonesome
10. Between Me And Jolene
11. Red Rose Bouquet
12. Some Old Side Road


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