There are really only two completely American musical genres – jazz and bluegrass. Fargo, North Dakota-based trio, True North, is an American original. And just so there is no confusion, they don't play jazz.
True North plays bluegrass, tinged with the blues, sprinkled with Americana, infused by Gospel, and nestled up comfortably next to country-folk with an occasional nod to high lonesome. This is a guitar strumming, banjo picking, fiddle sawing, upright bass slapping concoction that will have you foot-tapping and knee slapping if you've got a drop of frontier blood in you.
Down The Road, the trio's debut project is a fourteen-song collection of American family values set to music. The title track, which opens the album, is a dichotomously cheerful tune about the loss of friends, through the natural progression of life and the inevitability of death. Rather than focusing on the sadness that is inherent in such loss, the True North boys chose to cast their eyes on the glad reunion that looms over the horizon for true friends. "It hurts to say goodbye, but through the Lord I know/ That I'll see you down the road."
"Tricycles and Tonka Trucks" lets the bluegrass banjo take center stage while lead vocalist Eldon Johnson mourns the loss of the innocence that was part and parcel of life as a boy. The theme carries on, though with a slightly different twist in "I'll Go On (Sarah's Song)," where young love finds its fulfillment in a lifetime of commitment.
Somewhere between Nickel Creek and the Crabb Family, True North is assessable enough to appeal to mainstream middle America without selling out their bluegrass roots. Down the Road is a delightful break from the tedium of the ordinary.
True North is An American Original