The Road Less Traveled – High Road III

highroad2013roadGRADE:  A-

  • Album – The Road Less Traveled
  • Artist – High Road III
  • Label – Custom
  • Style – Country, Progressive Bluegrass
  • Release Date – 03/19/13
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes)

 

SYNOPSIS:

I was introduced to the music of High Road III after their performance at the National Quartet Convention in 2011.  Since that time I have been waiting for the trio to release an album.

March 19th, 2013 gave listeners the release of High Road III’s album, The Road Less Traveled.  High Road III is a female trio composed of Sarah Davison (piano), Anna Grace Kimbrough (fiddle) and Kiley Phillips (acoustic guitar).

High Road III takes the listener on a musical journey of progressive bluegrass, country and haunting Appalachian melodies.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The talent High Road III possesses is amazing.  Not only do Sarah, Anna and Kiley perform all the vocals for The Road Less Traveled, but they also recorded all the instrumentation for the record.
  • The group’s song “High Road” is an impressive piece of songwriting and vocal work.  The layered harmonies make this song a must listen.  The song relays the message that the high road is not always the easiest to take, but in the end it is the only road to take.  Love this song!
  • The group also shows their prowess at songwriting.  Sarah and Anna co-wrote another stand out track, “There Is A Man”.  Anna and Sarah trade-off the lead on another vocal masterpiece.
  • Another big progressive bluegrass ballad is “By The Mark”.  This sounds like something the Isaacs would record and High Road III sings this tune with precision.  “I’ll know my Savior when I come to him by the mark where the nails have been”.  You’ll need to hit repeat on this song before moving on to the rest of the album.
  • What separates High Road III immediately from many other new artists in Southern Gospel music is their distinct sound/style.  The listener does get hints of the Isaacs in their music but their sound melds progressive bluegrass sounds with haunting Appalachian melodies and some country flavor for good measure.
  • You won’t get through the album without having to hit repeat on “Hold Me To The Rock” and a nice a cappella rendition of “How Deep The Father’s Love”.
  • The listener is able to hear High Road III’s musical talents with an instrumental of “My Tribute” to close the album.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “High Road”, “By The Mark”, “There Is A Man”, “Hold Me To The Rock”, “How Deep The Father’s Love” and “Keep Your Lamps”.
CRITIQUE:
  • I have complained this year in my reviews of albums and the use of song covers.  Here is one case where High Road III is able to take songs that have been recorded before and make them their own.  For several, it was as though I was hearing the song for the first time.  The one cover that felt slightly out-of-place was the praise and worship tune, “Revelation Song”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Revelation Song”.

 

WRAP UP:

High Road IIII don’t understand why it took me so long to listen to this record.  The Road Less Traveled is the kind of artistic expression that can be hard to find in music sometimes.  Sarah, Anna and Kiley combine to create one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.  Do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to the music of High Road III.

SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:  1. “Finbar Dwyer’s Fancy with Two Coats”/Sarah – Ralph Stanley  2. “Keep Your Lamps“/Sarah – Andre Thomas  3. “High Road”/Sarah; Kiley; Anna – Sarah Davison, Anna Grace Kimbrough  4. “Hold Me To The Rock”/Sarah; Anna; Kiley – Rachel Harlow, Anna Grace Kimbrough  5. “There Is A Man”/Anna; Sarah – Sarah Davison, Anna Grace Kimbrough  6. “Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus”/Kiley; Anna; Sarah – Traditional  7. “By The Mark”/Ensemble – Sarah Davison, Anna Grace Kimbrough  8. “Revelation Song”/Kiley – Marc Edwin Allen, Nathan Barcalow, Derek Doherty, Alejandro Linares, Randy Strohmeyer  9. “How Deep The Father’s Love”/Sarah; Ensemble – Christopher Townend, Stuart Townend  10. “My Tribute”/Instrumental – Andre Crouch 

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One thought on “The Road Less Traveled – High Road III

  1. “By The Mark” is a cover of a Dailey & Vincent tune from their debut album. While theirs is a more straight-ahead bluegrass duet, you’re right about the Isaacs vibe this group gives it. Great rendition.

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