Only So Fast, the latest CD from Steve Smith and Hard Road on the Desert Night label, is a collection of ten originals plus contributions from Kim McKee and Leadbelly. From hard driving bluegrass and old-time to modern acoustic music, the CD features 3 instrumentals and nine vocal tunes including several by the award- winning songwriting team of Chris Sanders and Steve Smith.
Only So Fast is the second CD from this New Mexico modern/retro string band; it represents the signature vocal stylings and fresh sound arising from the synthesis of Smith’s Appalachian and Sanders’ Mid-western roots. Stellar fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar and bass work abounds throughout alongside compelling vocal duos and trios.
In his liner notes author, composer and banjo player Bill Evans observes: “Eclectic. Original. Virtuosic. Toneful, tuneful and tasteful. These are just a few of the first thoughts that come to mind when I reflect about the remarkable new music you are now holding in your hands from Steve Smith and Hard Road…”
Hard Road is a tight ensemble led by one of the outstanding mandolinists of our generation. This band brings together virtuoso playing from veterans and newcomers alike coupled with compelling original tunes. Everyone in the group shares a diverse musical background including classical, jazz and world music as well as a deep respect for traditional and folk music. A high level of musicianship feeds an infectious groove, and strong individual vocals blend as if these singers were family. This group is generous with each other and generous with each audience, sharing award-winning original music that presents a personal take on a universal experience.
Steve Smith – mandolin, vocals, guitar
Chris Sanders – vocals
Elijah Copeland – bass, vocals
Bob Hull – guitar
Wayne Shrubsall – banjo, vocals
Nate Lee - fiddle