Head For The Hills 

Robbers Roost

If you’ve ever paid any attention to the music originating from the Front Range of Colorado, you’ll quickly realize that string bands—or some form of them—dominate the stages of local venues. The likes of Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident and Yonder Mountain String Band have garnered deserved recognition nationally, while imitations like the McCloskey Brothers Band or Floodplain Gang (remember either of these groups?) go by the wayside. The latter lacked discernable characteristics in a saturated market.

On Robbers Roost, the 13-song debut from this Fort Collins, Colorado-based outfit, bluegrass of the non-traditional type prevails and, unfortunately, it’s nothing new. These boys can pick, as evidenced on the old-timey “Delphi Stomp” or the ode to home on “Goin’ Down.” But beyond these a sluggish mood takes hold.

Ever hear a bluegrass band rap “Before my hand was big enough to grip a forty of Olde English”? Me neither, but you’ll find it on the incongruous “Scribes Eye.” The title track wafts aimlessly beyond the six-minute mark and “Push on Through” could have the bite of moonshine, but feels like a watered down version sold at a higher price.

More Floodplain and less Yonder here, but remember that all these bands are better known for live shows than studio albums.

Head For The Hills plays the Top Hat at Friday, Feb. 15, at 10 PM. Cover TBA. Call 728-9865.
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