The local boys continue to make good. Regarded by many as one of the best up-and-coming bluegrass bands, Head for the Hills recently released its first “official” live album, and it doesn’t disappoint. Taken from the group’s live performances at the Aggie Theatre, Boulder Theater, Bluebird Theater and the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, the 16-track album encompasses everything there is to like about the lads. For starters, there’s a cover of the Norman Blake staple “Randall Collins” followed by the upbeat “Lost in the Loop,” which makes you feel like you are at a pub in Temple Bar Dublin. The group shows off their vocal skills in “One Foot in the Grave.” Next up is arguably the album’s most unique track – “Scribe’s Eye.” The ballad has a spacey intro and then turns into, well, somewhat of a rap song, further showcasing that the quartet has more in their arsenal than most bluegrass bands. “Scribe’s Eye” transitions directly into the instrumental “Solar Bowling Shoes,” as both tunes came from a Boulder Theater performance. My favorite back-to-back tracks on the album, however, were “Bossun Ridley” and “New Lee Highway Blues.” The former features deep lyrics and tells the tale of a pirate. The latter is a peaceful tune in which bassist Matt Loewen shines. The album wraps up with Iron Maiden’s classic “Run to the Hills.” All in all, Head for the Hills Live definitely is worth a listen.
– Hap Fry