Roots Time (Belgium) Reviews Open Road, Broken Heart

The Americana quartet ‘True North’ from Oregon on the American West Coast combines traditional bluegrass music with folk and acoustic harmonious vocals.

The album “Open Road, Broken Heart” from ‘True North’ opens very attractively with the ballad “One-Way Ticket”, a song for which you can enjoy the accompanying video in an acoustic live version.

The small moments of happiness that pop up in everyone’s life form the subject of the subsequent bluegrass song “Small Wonders”. Guitar ballad “Dark Horse Bar & Grill” seems to be about the name of a god-forsaken, dark place where one can think about the things of life in peace and anonymity.

Folk ballad “Ratio Of Angels To Demons” is a song about a fictional conversation between two good friends, one of which, however, has died. Picking up all kinds of collectively lived memories seems to be funny at times, but it is actually a sad and painful story. “Seed, Leaf, Flower, Seed” is about the things that are linked to the seasons and the repetitive succession that everyone in his life can experience. To finish off this album, we get two more traditional-sounding bluegrass songs with “I’m Gone” and “You Come Around.”

The comparisons made in the trade press between ‘True North’ and bands like ‘Alison Krauss & Union Station’ and ‘Mandolin Orange’ are not entirely unjustified, but we still find that in this quartet an added value can be found that is less present is with the mentioned groups: a very strong focus on the harmony and melody in the songs and also a never disturbing presence of all those typical acoustic bluegrass instruments. Nice record, you know! Bluegrass, folk and acoustic harmony vocals: that’s the key ingredient of the American band ‘True North’ from Oregon, serving 8 self-penned tracks and 4 cover versions on their album ‘Open Road, Broken Heart’. The typical and traditional bluegrass instruments create a very agreeable record from this highly original band. ”

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