Review: Folk Family Revival "Unfolding"

Creating a winning sound is no easy feat, but the four good ole boys of the Folk Family Revival make it look easy on their new album "Unfolding."
The front of the album cover is absolutely beautiful, but the back cover unexpectedly gives absolutely no clue to the age, ethnicity or gender of Folk Family Revival members. In fact, the cover leaves little impression at all except to suggest that some folk music will be on offer.

The album begins with a somewhat mysterious instrumental intro that leads into a great surprise: the uptempo cut titled "Unfolding." In fact, the song is superb and features elements of Red Dirt, traditional country and only hints of folk and Americana. The passionate vocals from Mason Lankford are intense - as is the instrumentation from two of Mason's brothers (Barrett and Lincoln). Adopted brother and friend Caleb Pace (Guitars / Mandolin / Lap Steel) rounds out the foursome.

The bluesy "Fallin'" offers a comfortable melody and a country rock vibe. It is followed by the haunting Americana cut "Have A Nice Life," but it is "Shade From The Storm" that shores up Folk Family Revival's country music credibility. The song should also be considered by country radio program managers.

The album's biggest surprise is the bluegrass-infused "Mountains," which also offers elements of gospel and rock. "Dream All Night" has a cool John Mayer meets Wade Bowen vibe.

However, it is "Addicted To The Road" which emerges as the album's best song. The melody is musical perfection, but for true radio success a mix without backing vocals and a slightly increased pace might be necessary. "Addicted To The Road" is a track that has an anthemic quality that could be a Number 1 country chart hit for a major male country star, and it would play well in both concerts and country radio. "Holding You Now" is another song with radio potential.

The four members of Folk Family Revival have a knack at creating memorable songs, and "Unfolding" is a major musical surprise that will leave you longing for more. Indeed, all the best revivals do.