Hailing from Maine, Tumbling Bones are a four piece outfit with guitars, fiddle, banjo and double bass attachments. Their latest offering Loving a Fool is out now and this year they’re extending their European tour to make their UK debut.
Despite what Kyle Morgan’s high, soft pitched lead vocals might suggest on the spritely folk pop opener, Broken Things, they’re all men, their music forged from a shared love of bluegrass and pre WWII folk music that finds expression in both traditional and self-penned material.
As evidenced by the breakneck, banjo led trad tune Bound To Ride, they’re a lively bunch, the uptempo spirit also spilling out over the swing evergreen Just Because, old tyme blues stomp Money Is For Spending, and Morgan’s Appalachian-trad clogger Red, Red Rose. But as broken heart swayer Loving A Fool, guitarist Pete Winne’s crooningly warbled This Time Last Year and two a capella tunes, the cowboy gospel Shady Green Pastures and the traditional Bright Morning Stars, they’re just as home on the downtempo material.
Clearly influenced by the likes of the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, Bill Munroe, the Louvins (they do a fine ukulele backed version of I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby) and Jimmie Rodgers, much here takes you back to the days when families gathered around the valve radio to listen to shows like WWVA Jamboree and the Grand Ole Opry, indeed a muffled version of Monroe’s Voice Heard From On High deliberately sounds as though it’s crackling out over the airwaves.
Unfussy and honest in their approach to the music, they’re not looking to reinvent Americana’s old time roots, and while there may be many others out celebrating the heritage, only the very best do it with the same verve and passion as these boys.
Review by: Mike Davies
Loving A Fool is out now (self released)
UK Tour Dates
08 – Eighty Six’d Cafe – Ironbridge, UK
09 – SpArC Theatre – Bishop’s Castle, UK
10 – Orwell Bluegrass Festival – Orwell, UK
11 – The Blueberry – Norwich, UK
13 – Mrs Yarringtons – Battle, UK
14 – The Anchor – Wingham, UK
15 – Old Duke – Bristol, UK
16 – Green Note – London, UK
17 – Rickmansworth Festival – Rickmansworth, UK
17 – Square & Compass – Swanage (9pm)
18 – Square & Compass – Swanage (2pm)
19 – The Cock Inn – Sarratt, UK
20 – The Snowdrop Inn – Lewes, UK