Highland Ramblers

Four the Pour
Self-released

It's hard to make an overarching creative statement in the space of just four songs. Happily, though, the Highland Ramblers keep the message fairly straightforward on Four the Pour. Although the tunes don't boast a lot of diversity in terms of style, the quintet shows plenty of heart when it comes to its specialty, old-timey string-band music. The Ramblers stick largely to traditional instrumentation, with most of the album's instrumental flights employing banjo, mandolin and dobro and major-scale patterns. The focus of the lyrics should be familiar to any bluegrass fan: "Rambler's Anthem" sings the praises of drinking and wandering; the story of "Sing My Song" is right there in the title; and the lyrics behind "Lookin' Round" and "First Date" are painfully simple. Luckily, the band offers plenty of vim and vigor to make up for the more unimpressive moments.

 
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