Originally named after the loud Looney Tunes rooster, Foghorn Leghorn, this combo modified their name to unambiguously identify themselves as a traditional fiddle band.
For this album the lineup consists of Caleb Klauder (mandolin, fiddle) and Reeb Willms (guitar) who are based in Portland, Oregon. Beside them are Stephen “Sammy” Lind (banjo, fiddle) and Nadine Landry (upright bass), now located in Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec. Each take a turn on vocals between the instrumental numbers.
Rock Island Grange is their 9th release and was recorded live at Orcas Island Grange Hall in Washington State. It consists of 19 toe tapping tunes with a playing time just shy of an hour. Even the inclusion of a murder ballad (Rose Connolly) doesn’t spoil the party atmosphere.
Sixty minutes is a bit of an ask for a familiar old timey sound but it grabs, and just about holds, the attention through the vibrant energy and high quality musicianship.
Above all, though, this is social music that comes into its own in a concert setting; the dynamic crowd-pleasing performance on the video of Reuben's Train proves this point.
Good-time roots music like this will never be trendy but the authentic sound of folk, honky tonk, bluegrass, ragtime, white man's blues and Cajun should be protected by a preservation order.