Haunted By a Memory
Portland based, neo-traditional bluegrass group Sam Hill was a perennial favorite amongst bluegrass music fans in the Pacific Northwest for about a dozen years until their breakup at the beginning of 2005. Three critically acclaimed CD's chock full of impressive, traditional sounding original songs, as well as exciting stage shows, had helped boost the group's popularity and brought them to many of the West Coast's major festivals. Sam Hill also performed across the United States, touring New England, making an appearance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, as well as showcasing at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual trade show in Louisville, Kentucky. 'Haunted By A Memory,' their third CD released in 2001, features Jeff Smith on mandolin, Doug Sammons on guitar, Pat Kramer on fiddle, Peter Schwimmer on banjo, and Dee Ann Davidshofer on bass. This CD contains 12 original songs. Review by Ken Reynolds, California Bluegrass Association You say you like your bluegrass straight forward, in your face, with a strong traditional flavor? Then you need to get your hands on the latest release by one of the Pacific Northwest's premier bluegrass bands know as Sam Hill. 'Haunted By A Memory' is a self produced project by this dynamic group. Most of the selections on this project are original compositions with the exceptions of the song 'Darlin' Corey', a traditional song, and 'Too Late To Cry' which is an old Stanley Brothers tune. Most of the original songs on this project have that traditional flavor that would make one think that they have been around for a long time. There wasn't a song on the entire project that I didn't like but my favorites were 'Borrowed Time', 'Haunted By A Memory', and 'Tennessee Mine'. To gain insight to this groups instrumental ability, all one has to do is listen to the three instrumental cuts on this CD. 'Last Ride For Clyde', composed by Jeff Smith, and 'Kick It Off Already', composed by Peter Schwimmer, and 'St. Charles', composed by Pat Kramer. As you listen to these cuts it will become abundantly clear that these folks know what they are doing instrumentally. This group is blessed with three lead vocalists, each strong in their own right. The harmonies are clean and tight and well blended. If you want to add some great traditional sounding music to your collection, I highly recommend that you check this one out.