Matthew: Joy Was Just a Thing That He Was Raised O
Energetic! Dynamic! Entertaining! Moving! This is how audience members have described the music of Niagara Region's Peace River Band. Founded in 2006 by the late Reverend Kirk Ritchie, the group performed strictly gospel music at the beginning, playing churches and local events on both sides of the Canada/U.S.A. border. These gospel roots were in evidence on Peace River Band's first CD released in 2008. However, following Kirk's untimely demise, the group began expanding it's stylistic repertoire to include bluegrass, country, folk, and even cajun influences. The band's progression and constant evolution is seen today in the growing number of original songs and instrumentals composed by band members - compositions which will be featured prominently on Peace River Band's exciting new CD to be released later this year. Led by guitar player/ vocalist extraordinaire Mary Lou Fitzgerald, Peace River Band's popularity continues to grow and inspire people. I like the different feels of their CD, from the more modern sound of the title track Mathew, to the traditional old tyme frailing of Don's banjo on I'll Fly Away. Great vocal leads and harmony throughout. Nice treatments of the standard Monroe instrumentals, the fiddling tips a respectful hat to Kenny Baker on Jerusalem Ridge as well as the twin fiddle tradition on Ashland Breakdown - yet Jimmy manages to deliver an original sense to the time and feel. I assume the recording has some overdubbing of parts in places - nice to use the technology when available. I trust this disk is recognized in the community as a quality project. Peace River Band is on the move! If your event or organization is looking for diverse, fast-paced musical entertainment laced with lots of humor and good fun, they are ready to perform for you!