fROOTS (U.K.) Reviews Elsebound

True North Elsebound : Quite outstanding blend of bluegrass-derived music from Oregon band with outstanding singer and writer Kristen Grainger.  Her songs are first class

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Hearth Music Reviews Elsebound

True North ELSEBOUND “We were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized

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"Fear of Falling Stars - a set of sometimes very personal bluegrass-based songs that highlight why the group are multiple-award winners.”

"Every aspect of this offering is crafted with intention and meticulous detail, executed with precision while remaining fresh and loose."

Kristen Grainger sings with vocals that are soulful and convey the sense of emotion that is packed into the lyrics. Her band provides sparse yet beautiful instrumentation, layering in subtle flourishes.

Glide Magazine

“Even in the darkest moments, whether in the music or the vocals, there’s a light somewhere on the horizon, bringing you back to listen again and again. Catch this falling star and put it in your pocket.”

Folk Radio UK

“On ‘Fear of Falling Stars,’ Kristen Grainger & True North return with a veritable feast of perfectly coupled harmonies, exquisite instrumental work, and mouthwatering lyrical treats that will leave you wanting to go back immediately for third and fourth helpings."

"Grainger’s voice is clear but gentle; her bandmates contribute harmonies that are tight but silky. The songs draw on bluegrass tradition but take its elements in entirely new directions without ever seeming aggressively experimental. Highly recommended."

"The musicianship is excellent as is Grainger’s vocal work, but the album’s greatest strength may be the material."

"As a writer, I suppose it’s natural for me to have a soft spot for well-written lyrics. I was gobsmacked, though, at some of the turns of phrase on the latest record from Oregonian Kristen Grainger."

“Kristen Grainger’s singing is perfection. No gimmicks, nothing superfluous. Just amazing tone and killer songwriting. They [True North] are the perfect modern bluegrass band… Focusing around the terrific lead vocals of Kristen Grainger, the band shows what can happen when great songs meet great singers… This is a band making wonderful musical choices. They are going deeper than mere instrumental wind sprints and reworked standards. Highly recommended.”

"Sometimes the most gentle approach accentuates the power in a lyric. Kristen Grainger & True North prove that again and again."

"These are powerful and emotional songs. This slice of Americana deserves to be spread a little further than America's Northwest."

"The music of True North is a contemporary blend of bluegrass sensibilities, singer/songwriter craft and a spirit that is willing to go where the song leads them. The harmonies of Kristen and co-band leader and husband Dan Wetzel are beautiful and reveal an intimate depth to them."

"The songs ring with resolute determination even though they ply each of their arrangements with carefully considered subtlety and finesse."

"What are front and center are Grainger’s songwriting, which is graceful and intelligent, and her singing, which is beautiful but plainspoken and becomes heart-stopping when combined in harmony with that of guitarist Dan Wetzel." the musical reputation of True North.”