Green Mountain Grass
As the Crow Flies (Zone)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., June 6, 2008
Green Mountain GrassAs the Crow Flies (Zone)
Originally from Champaign-Urbana, Ill., Green Mountain Grass has called Austin home since 2006. The quartet's third disc, As the Crow Flies, is its first since moving to Texas, steadfast bluegrass with a skilled mix of American music styles, from jazz to country to Native American, done with a gleam in the eye. Though the instrumental portion of what Green Mountain Grass does can be imposing, it's undone by weak, listless vocals. This is an ongoing problem with bands of their ilk, who take their ability to work as an ensemble so seriously that singing seems like an afterthought. A prime example is "Broken Lines," which features elegant fiddle and mandolin interplay from Adam Moss and Dave Wilmoth that's simply no match for the uncredited, amateurish singing accompanying it. In front of an audience, Green Mountain Grass' improvisational nature can be compelling. Unfortunately, they've yet to fully translate that attitude to disc.