Palmer Divide | The Bow River Sessions

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The Bow River Sessions

by Palmer Divide

"Bluegrass music is about synergy. It’s about the big picture. Palmer Divide gets that. Although there’s still plenty of breathtaking solos on this disc, the beauty of these songs lies in the layers of sound." - J. Adrian Stanley - The Gazette
Genre: Country: Progressive Bluegrass
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Tracks

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1. Long Gone Baby
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3:45 $0.99
2. Every Good Reason
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3:55 $0.99
3. Legend of Baby Doe
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2:43 $0.99
4. Dress Rehearsal
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4:11 $0.99
5. If You Don't Let Go
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2:24 $0.99
6. 24 West
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3:20 $0.99
7. One More Night
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3:35 $0.99
8. Oklahoma Daydreams
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3:42 $0.99
9. White Oak Flats
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3:46 $0.99
10. Red Dirt On My Shoes
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4:01 $0.99
11. Camp Creek
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12. Mile High Dreamin'
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“If you’re looking for a great band that plays first class original material, with excellent musicianship all around, look no further! This band is smooth, hot, and tasteful…. you’ll love this band!” says Grammy award winner Mike Auldridge. "Palmer Divide is one of the most dynamic bluegrass bands in the Rocky Mountain area.” writes Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine “Palmer Divide is thoughtful, well-executed original bluegrass in a world full of regional cover bands. These guys do it right.” writes Grammy award winner Tim Stafford. Whether it is national praise from some of bluegrass music’s most elite performers or periodicals, or receiving standing ovations from appreciative audiences all across the west, the musical community as a whole has sat up and taken notice of Palmer Divide. They have also made believers of festival promoters along the way as well, garnering such comments as “Palmer Divide is composed of four of the West’s finest musicians. I would highly recommend Palmer Divide for any musical event!” from Ken Seaman, Promoter/Host of the Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival, The Greeley Bluegrass Roundup, and a founding Member of The Bluegrass Patriots and “It was great fun having Palmer Divide at HMHF this past year. You were great. Thanks again.” writes Ron Thomason, the Promoter/Host of the High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and the founding member of the Dry Branch Fire Squad.

Their individual and collective resumes include such highlights as; multiple performances at the White House, the Grand Ole Opry, and The Nashville Network, winning the SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year, the Deer Creek Fiddlers Convention Dobro competition, and the Rockygrass Bluegrass Band competition, appearing in both Bluegrass Unlimited and Bluegrass Now magazines, and having their latest Prime Cuts of Bluegrass single worked into airplay rotation on XM's Bluegrass Junction, it’s easy to see what the buzz is about. Palmer Divide's featured songwriter, Jody Adams, routinely has tunes being featured on CMT, MTV, Access Hollywood, A&E, Fox Sports, the WB Network, ESPN, as well as, having written the theme song for Bill Bennett's Radio Show ”Morning in America”. Several of his songs have also been featured on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights.”

In 2004 Palmer Divide formed as a band with the single goal of not being just another bluegrass cover band. The band was created by members from several other successful Colorado Front Range bands; Black Rose, Mountain Heritage, Lost Creek, and White Lightning. With their own approach to acoustic music Palmer Divide offers up their brand of acoustic music with well crafted lyrics, innovative and rock solid instrumentation, and tight 3 part harmonies. Their unique yet hauntingly familiar sound pulls from their deep respect of traditional bluegrass music and well as their desire to create a modern acoustic sound that is all their own. After performing in various cover bands all over the country for the last 25+ years they were excited to perform music that could only be labeled as “theirs.” When the original four members first got together they decided to perform only music that they had written; "a bold undertaking for a new bluegrass band trying to garner festival and concert work" noted Dick Pierle, founder and owner of Old Blue Sound. The four original members were extremely confident in the music they had written and arranged and felt if given the chance to perform it in front of an audience others would like it as well.

Needless to say, Palmer Divide hasn’t looked back once since its inception...


Reviews


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Joe Ross

Healthy, whole-grain bluegrass music without a lot of preservatives and additive
Playing Time – 40:54 -- Conceived as a way to accurately portray Palmer Divide’s live contemporary bluegrass sound, soul, spontaneity and synergy, “The Bow River Sessions” were recorded during three days over one weekend in a makeshift cabin recording studio near the Medicine Bow River in Elk Mountain, Wyoming. To capture an organic and earthy feeling, Palmer Divide recorded the lead vocals and all the instruments live without overdubbing. Then, the harmony vocals were added later so that they could get vocal separation for the mixing process.

Conceptually, the resultant music is a success without anything trendy or gimmicky. The Colorado-based band’s musicality fully compensates for any minor shortcomings that result from recording live. The songs are all originals, with the majority of them from the pen of Jody Adams whose lead vocals are warm with a texture as rich and smooth as suede on songs like “Oklahoma Daydreams,” “Dress Rehearsal,” and “Red Dirt on my Shoes.” A successful singer/songwriter who has appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, White House, and on The Nashville Network, Jody Adams’ mandolin is also a pervasive thread throughout their musical fabric. His occasional understated fiddle is a flavoring that the album could’ve used more of, especially on the slower numbers, for a more thorough bluegrass and all-encompassing sound. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Adams is a SPBGMA mandolin player of the year award winner.

It’s interesting that none of the other three Palmer Divide members are Colorado natives either, but they do have one common experience having played in Black Rose, a trio that later went on to win the Rockygrass band contest. Originally from east Tennessee, Greg Reed (guitar, mandolin) also has experience with White Lightning and The Cletus Brothers. Written with his son, Greg’s instrumental “White Oak Flats” was inspired by the old family homesteads and cemeteries in the Great Smoky Mountains. A Virginia native who migrated to Colorado in 1997, Mickey Stinnett (banjo, Dobro) also has performed with Flatland Grass, Benny Galloway, Cletus Brothers, and Lost Creek. Two of Stinnett’s instrumentals (24 West, Legend of Baby Doe) appear on this project. Bass-player Dick Carlson comes originally from Nebraska and he toured from 1976-82 with the western swing band, Sour Mash, before relocating to Colorado. Palmer Divide seems to be Black Rose’s evolution from a trio to a quartet (with the addition of Jody Adams).

“The Bow River Sessions” is more than just a tepid collaboration, but one can’t help but wonder how the addition of a fifth member to the band might take them to even greater heights. I’d like to hear more of their fine originals. I’d like to hear Palmer Divide’s next album produced in a more controlled studio environment. And I’d like to see them invite an award-winning guest fiddler like Ronnie Stewart or Tim Crouch to provide some tracks for further embellishment. Meanwhile, as their second album (their debut was called “Goin' Home”), “The Bow River Sessions” is a fine documentation of this group’s captivating creativity, relaxed sophistication and great potential for Colorado bluegrass stardom. If you like healthy, whole-grain bluegrass music without a lot of preservatives and additives, check out this album from Palmer Divide. (Joe Ross)