This sophomore recording by the original roots bluegrass group Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising features the music of 2008 Roots Music Association Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year Dennis Nelson, along with songs written by the other members of the band.
"This band has grown musically so fast!!! Very impressed! ~ Buddy Michaels, WBAG/KRX/WLHC
"Nice original tunes and a fitting performance. It's nice to have folks introducing fresh material like this to the music." ~ Joe Steiner, WLFC
"Spinning this one ALOT!" ~ Gracie Muldoon, WorldWideBluegrass.com
"Love this band! Great job!" ~ Jean Johnson, WorldWideBluegrass.com
"I like it." ~ Donald Malcolm ~ WOOL/WHIC/WVFA
"More good tunes from the west coast!" ~ Stewart Beach, WRHC
"Great old-timey sound! ~ Darwin Lee Hill, WHVW
"Nice song writing and they enjoy what they do which makes their music enjoyable." ~ Billy Dunbar, KKRF/WWB
" It's a kick to go to the mailbox and find a new CD from a Northwest band, particularly on with the energy and joy of "stories never told", a new release by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising. Featuring all original tunes by band members, the disk shows a range of songwriting chops, good picking, well-balanced vocals with fine harmony singing. Think about the best campfire jam you've ever experienced, ramp it up several notches, and you begin to get a sense of the goodtime feeling of "stories never told".
KBPR is Kathy Boyd, whose rock steady bass provides solid rhythm throughout; Tim Crosby on fiddle, mandolin and guitar; Dennis Nelson on guitar and Tom Tower, Dobro and banjo. They're tight.
And for songwriting, it's hard to match this: Nelson was the 2008 Roots Music Association Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year and band mate Crosby finished in the Top 5.
"Phoenix Rising", the only instrumental on the disk, is a lively up-tempo romp. But it's the stories told here that make the music memorable. Folks will have different favorites. I'm partial to Crosby's "Uncle Whiskey", a cautionary family saga punctuated with tasteful banjo. There are too many good ones to mention here. Check out the website to find the album and book them for your festival. ~ Dick Davis, Washington Bluegrass Gazette, Spring 2009
"Stories Never Told" from Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising, is similar to their previous effort (BU, Oct. '07). The 15 tracks are all originals and include "Uncle Whiskey", "Risky Business", and "Bigfoot Jubilee". While the vocals tend to be somewhat rough in spots, there is still plenty of entertaining music. ~ Bluegrass Unlimited, July 2009
"This Oregon-based band has cleverly infused original songs with a bouncy, tongue-in-cheek humor and a true-to-form roots bluegrass sound. Phoenix Rising is Kathy Boyd on bass, Tim Crosby on fiddle/mandolin/guitar, Tom Tower on Dobro/banjo and Dennis Nelson on guitar.
The album features 15 songs, all written by band members, with one instrumental and 14 vocals. The instrumental, the band theme song, "Phoenix Rising", has a strong interplay of fiddle and banjo with an underlying rhythm that could power an old country dance.
Dennis Nelson's songs have a lyrical connection to the classic traditional songs. His "Whispering Pines" has a nostalgic look at the past with grandparents, and a lost love living in the piney woods. His "Living In Those Hills So Far Away" has a barefoot boy, fishing pole, front porch and a lonesome valley - another portrait of the past. His "The Grass Is Always Greener When It's Blue" is a tip of the hat to some bluegrass song cliches - the angel band, the old folks at home and the tavern in the town.
Multi-instrumentalist Tim Crosby's songs have an extra dollop of humor. His "Hard Luck Son We Know You" (a unique title to be sure) has time for dancing, Grateful Dead, tofu and herb tea all mixed in a bouncy blend of fiddle and banjo. His "Risky Business" catalogs life's hazards - meteorites, snake bites, muggings, plague and falling out of airplanes.
Tom Tower's unique perspective on songwriting has his muse following a "Bigfoot Jubilee" in the Abiqua and then searching for "Holy Words and Sacred Water" on your long journey home.
Dance to the rhythms, laugh at the lyrics and enjoy the show!" ~ Brenda Hough, California Bluegrass Association Bluegrass Breakdown - April 2009
"Another thoroughly entertaining project. It doesn't take much to close your eyes and imagine being in the center of a great jam late at night. The original material is thought provoking and makes you want to listen to it over and over. Once you hear it, the more you want to listen to it again and again. The vocals are heartfelt and you can feel the enthusiasm in their voices. This project has a read easy going feel about it. You just have to love it!!!! I know my listeners did. I played the entire project and a majority of the songs were requested to be played again. This project will be be my constant companion for many weeks to come ~ Al Shusterman, KCBL Backroads Bluegrass
"Listening to "Stories Never Told" both on my computer and JBL monitors - this is very easy to listen to! The image is like standing in front of the stage with everyone nicely spaced.
The strings and banjo are well balanced, the guitar player plays great, vocal harmony is wonderful! The band is so tight. Sounds warm like a record and is very enjoyable. You can tell these guys have played together awhile, they move together like rushing water moving over the changes, ebbing and rising with each others ideas!
This CD is a wonderful capture. The recording from beginning to end is well balanced and the mic choice especially on lead vocal was a great choice!! I can hear why you are doing so well getting air play and gigs it is as good of a band and recording as I have heard any where on the planet!! I loved the compositions and playing on this CD!! Now I am going to go listen without anymore typing." ~ Jim Eastman
"Many thanks for sending us a copy of Stories Never Told which I have been thoroughly enjoying. You all have definitely etched out your own unique sound and have written some truly memorable material which you play with some real enthusiasm and excitement. I especially enjoyed "Living In Those Hills So Far Away," "Oh the Dreadful Wind and Rain," "Uncle Whiskey" and the humorous "Bigfoot Jubilee" and "Karaoke Cowboy," which I feel confident are crowd favorites.
Thanks again for the fine tunes-I'll be doing my best to get the word out in Nashville and in our other syndicated locations."~ Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio Bluegrass Breakdown
"Lots has been noticed and said about bright & bubbly Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising - a traditional, fun bluegrass group to listen to and apparently watch. Though I've not seen them perform in person - I've heard many reports of the Bluegrass community giving them high marks for stage performance, presence - and entertain-ability - and just noticing the vids on their MySpace page - I'd say the rumors are correct. I've also gotten to know Kathy in a 'chat' kind of way and she certainly is a positive energy soul. I like that! Kathy is one of the most enthusiastic folks in know in Bluegrass and she gets everyone excited about her band!
Being the Band Manager of Phoenix Rising, Kathy is a cute gal that has her hands and soul full with this up and coming band. Her boundless energy is packed into a big grin as one terrific bass player. Her friendly and fun bandmates - Tim Crosby (2008 RMA Nominee for Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year) is a super picking multi-instrumentalist (dont you just hate those people!) and a talented songwriter. Dennis Nelson, another guitar pickin' super songsmith - actually won the 2008 RMA Songwriter of the Year for Bluegrass! Wow! The songcrafting is definitely a strong suite of this band! Last and certainly not least (I mean who can keep a good banjo picker down?) is Tom Tower, especially if he also picks the Dobro! KUDOS to the entire multitalented band!
When I sat down to review their latest Stories Never Told, just the title of it captured my imagination. We all carry stories deep in our soul that are private and personal and not easily, if ever, shared. Wow, I thought this is gonna be something real good and I was not disappointed. My mind was already flowing with anticipation and I haven't heard a song yet! I found them to be a real nice lively & traditional bluegrass band with solid tunes on their CD. Good tunes, especially, Holy Words and Sacred Water, (a great gospel message!) and Am I Fool For Your Love Baby or What? That song cracks me UP! A Crazy & Fun Duet! Of course - more than one made me smile.. like Karaoke Cowboy - oh man! I know this guy from somewhere! HA!
The song Phoenix Rising - an instrumental named for the Band - is a lively number with some real nice banjo picking on it and I really liked the fiddle kickoff on Whispering Pines as well, and I also loved the tune as it reminded me of my parents' childhood stories, being raised in those Kentucky hills. Adorably done! Still smiling when Bigfoot Jubilee starts.. one thing for sure - this band keeps your foot a-tapping and your face a-grinnin' - its just a plain ole Bluegrass Fun time! Isn't that what we all want? SURE! Well it's here waiting for you - from Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising!" ~ Review by Gracie Muldoon, www.worldwidebluegrass.com
"The three early release tracks for "stories never told", in my least varnished view, are fantastic! Am so looking forward to the remainder of your songs on the entire CD!! Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising is a field full of creativity with no apprehension about sharing it!!" ~ Eric Cole, Eric's Oregon Territory Bluegrass on the WWB
"Y'all have good stuff" ~ Mike Fitzgerald, Fitzgrass on WEBR internet radio
"This is awesome." ~ Bette Carl, Hooah!!! Radio
"Thanks so much for the songs. They sound very good and I will be sure to add one or two to my show on Saturday night." ~ Jim Chatfield, Bluegrass in the BASSment on the WWB
"For me, and I know, too, for our listening audience, it's always a sheer fresh-air delight to hear good quality music with lyrics with rich meaning, and that's where your album comes in!" ~ Geoff Morris, Wall-to-Wall Bluegrass on the WWB
"Thank you for all the tunes and GREAT information behind them that you sent! I can't wait to play these this week!" ~ Teri Ann McLean, Bluegrass Mix