CMJ - 5/22/00, p.33
"...Ronnie stretches his wings and dishes out a progressive bluegrass sound that rivals Ricky Skaggs..."
No Depression - 9-10/00, p.121
"...Excellent, teeming with blazing virtuosity, colorful songwriting, high lonesome vocal harmonies and that authentic sound..."
Personnel: Del McCoury, Terry Eldredge (vocals, guitar); Mike Bub (vocals, bass); David Grier (guitar); Bela Fleck, Rob McCoury (banjo); Jerry Douglas, Gene Wooten (dobro); David Grisman (mandolin); Jimmy Campbell, Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter (fiddle); Larry Atamanuik (drums, percussion).
Recorded at 1103 Studio, Nashville, Tennessee. Includes liner notes by Ronnie McCoury, Steve Earle, Jon Weisberger, Tim O'Brien and John Hartford.
Personnel: Ronnie McCoury (vocals, mandolin); Mike Bub (vocals); David Grier (guitar); Gene Wooten (dobro); Rob McCoury, B‚la Fleck (banjo); David Grisman (mandolin); Jason Carter , Jimmy Campbell , Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Larry Atamanuik (drums, percussion).
Liner Note Authors: John Hartford; Ronnie McCoury; Steve Earle; Tim O'Brien.
Recording information: 1103 Studio, Nashville, TN.
An impressive debut by any standard, mandolinist Ronnie McCoury, on his first effort away from the Del McCoury Band, shows himself more than capable of stepping out of the shadow of his father. Though Del McCoury and brother Rob McCoury, as well as Mike Bub and Jason Carter, provide the musical backing on the majority of the tracks, this is a Ronnie McCoury-led project, as he shows an expert eye in song selection, as well as writing nine of the thirteen tracks. Displaying a rather strong Bill Monroe bend to his songwriting, on tracks like "Our Love Never Dies" and "Sometimes Sleep Closes These Eyes," many within the bluegrass genre are already seeing McCoury as one of the future pillars of the traditional form. Hot instrumentals, such as "Dawggone," on which Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and David Grisman give musical support, and "Noppet Hill Breakdown," again backed by his Del McCoury Band partners, give ample evidence as to why McCoury has received seven International Bluegrass Music Association's Mandolin Player Of The Year awards. An impressively varied and accomplished set, Heartbreak Town never disappoints. ~ Matt Fink