Brenda Hough reviews Jesse Brock’s – Streamliner

Jesse Brock: Streamliner – Song List:  Black Rock City, Wonder Could I Live There Anymore, Streamliner, God on the Mountain, Big Mon, Hey Spikedriver, Nobody Loves Me, KIs on a Cold Cold Stone, What My Memory Tells Me, Treasures of the Past, Shuckin’ the Corn, Too Much Life to Let Fall Down.

With almost 40 years of bluegrass music experience, Jesse Brock has watched and listened to the early masters and developed his mandolin playing skills with his CW Brock Family Band, Lynn Morris Band, Dale Ann Bradley Band, Michael Cleveland, Audie Blaylock, and the Gibson Brothers.  All that experience has given him a mastery of band performance and the blending of instruments and vocals.  With the specially selected musicians of Streamliner, Jesse has produced a collection of songs that will delight any bluegrass fan.

Joining Jesse are stellar vocalist Greg Blake on guitar, Russell Carson on banjo, Barry Reed on bass, Felicia Mikels on tenor vocals, and Dale Perry on bass vocals.  Adding to the instrumental blend are Rob Ickes and Josh Swift on resophonic guitar, and Jason Carter on fiddle.  Like any championship sports team, the players blend their instruments and voices seamlessly, and the song choices touch the heart and soul of bluegrass music.

The two instrumentals, “Big Mon” and “Shuckin’ The Corn,” have Jesse leading the way with fast paced playing on the Bill Monroe original followed with banjo momentum opening the classic “Shuckin’ of the Corn.”  The songs were selected from the top modern writers, and Greg and Jesse both add one each.  The title song, “Streamliner,” brings to mind the fast futuristic trains that were “perfect with every curve.”  Jesse’s song takes you back to those bygone days when trains were the wonder of transportation.  Greg’s “Too Much Life To Let Fall Down” is the gentle tale of brothers fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War, and the family home that was built for the future legacy.  Greg’s mellow baritone unfolds stories of love and the sorrow felt by those left after a loved one passes is the focus of “Treasures of the Past” and “Kiss on a Cold, Cold Stone.”

“Nobody Loves Me” has that poor me pity vibe, and “What My Memory Tells Me” laments that his actions were “never enough to make her stay.”  Such are the ups and downs of love that have been in countless songs, but Greg Blake infuses each song with a believable emotion.  Jesse Brock has a winner with this song collection, and hopefully the band will be able to tour and showcase this wonderful new blend.