Our album review from Bluegrass Unlimited...
MON RIVER RAMBLERS - TWENTY-SEVEN - Yard Sale Records
The Mon River Ramblers are based in Pittsburgh, Pa., deriving their name from the Monongahela River that flows through the heart of the city. Starting out as a jam band at the University of Pittsburgh, the group currently consists of the Kuzemka brothers, Jim (guitar) and Jeff (banjo), along with Paul Dvorchak (fiddle), Robin Brubaker (bass), and Luke Stamper (fiddle).
The ten-song disc is the band’s recording debut and consists of original material, the lone exception being the gospel standard “No Hiding Place.” The band’s style is highlighted by precise picking, especially on a pair of instrumentals, “Economic Breakdown” and “Catamount.” Their lead and harmony vocals are flawless on numbers such as “One More Night,” “This Old Road,” and “Always Be Blue.” For a first time effort, the Mon River Ramblers have come out swinging with a home run that should open doors of opportunity for the group. (Luke Stamper, 4503 1/2 Corday Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, www.monriverramblers.com) LM
Concocting songs of love, whiskey, heartbreak, and everything in between, Pittsburgh, PA’s the Mon River Ramblers have gone from street corners to Telluride stages; all along the way creating their unique vision of bluegrass music. What started as late night pickin’ sessions around a dimly-lit candle and a robust bottle of whiskey soon blossomed into a five piece bluegrass machine. The Mon River Ramblers have quickly and rightfully earned a reputation as the top bluegrass progressive bluegrass band in the city of Pittsburgh. The band is comprised of life-long musicians and music lovers who have a shared passion for creating an electrifying, soulful, and innovative take on bluegrass music.
In May of 2009, the Mon River Ramblers released their debut album, ‘27’, engineered by Doug Wilkin at Wilkin Audio in Regent Square, not far from downtown Pittsburgh. The record showcases the group’s impressive vocals, musicianship, and arrangements. It has been receiving positive reviews in local and national publications as well as airplay across the country.