"William's Still Alive", an Urban Monroes original, made the Roots Music Report "Best Albums of 2015" Chart

Reviews of Appaloosa Daydream

Review by Fireball Mail Magazine

"Appaloosa Daydream, the Urban Monroes’ third CD release; trots, gallops and sometimes flies across a 10-song soundscape of original and traditional bluegrass music. Songs like the upbeat and vocally divine original, “Lamp in the Window” can take you to a warm fire on a cold night, while the title track prances delightedly in a valley of instrumental bliss. Don’t be fooled by seeing “Little Maggie” on this CD’s track listing either. This is uncharted territory. That recognizable title could not prepare one for this sonic surprise package, with a performance as hauntingly beautiful as it is muscular. Combining motifs from Darling Corey and Little Maggie, the band’s arrangement exchanges energy from moment to moment like the ebb and flow of ocean waves as this trail again leads to the unexpected and exciting.

With enduring arrangements and some clever musical horse sense, the Urban Monroes nimbly negotiate a path to discover the unexplored in the midst of some familiar and some not-so-familiar terrain. The CD lays out that fresh panorama in eloquent testimony of the band’s talent. "


Review by Jamboree Mountain Bluegrass Magazing

"From haunting bluegrass vocal ballads to joyous upbeat instrumentals, Urban Monroes' latest CD Appaloosa Daydream gallops across the bluegrass fields. The view from the saddle offers glimpses of stunning vistas both new and familiar with the Cascades of the band's home range on one hand and the Appalachians on the other.

The fan-friendly release showcases requested concert favorites and is packed with surprises such as the intricately meshed arrangement of Blackberry Shortcake; a refreshing retake of the bluegrass jam session standard Blackberry Blossom. Another is Little Maggie. Rather than just re-shoeing this old war horse and giving it a quick kick, this is an inspired reinvention of the old favorite. While in delightful contrast, the band's old time-ish arrangement of the title track pumps elements of tradition into a new tune.

Appaloosa Daydream offers the chance to gallop, trot, prance and roll in the bluegrass. Urban Monroes have put their brand on each of these tracks and prove they have the ponies to run with anybody. "

BMP Interview

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where did the summer go? I swear I left it right here, but now the stores are all haunted with ghoulish apparitions, black and orange candy, and out of place looking Christmas lights, so it seems a change in the season has occurred. (Does it seem a bit odd to you that all that prepackaged, artificially sweetened, food like stuff is surrounded by images of skeletons, ghosts, and tombstones? It doesn't seem like a good selling point to me. As a result, I'm sticking with cake.)

For some non-caloric entertainment, the band has a new page at and a new look at Stop by and see the changes and let us know what you think and while wandering the web, remember that you never know what a little browsing will turn up. We found a familiar name at around #9 on the National Bluegrass Chart compiled from ReverbNation. Here's that chart:

There are over 20,000 artists on these charts. Here are the top 35 Bluegrass artists reporting on the national folk chart at ReverbNation.

Top 35

Punch Brothers
Henhouse Prowlers
Cadillac Sky
Farewell Drifters
Spring Creek
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
Steep Canyon Rangers
Head for the Hills
Urban Monroes
The Expedition Show
Dixie Bee Liners
Lonesome Traveler
Hardline Drive
Liberty Bluegrass Band
Del McCoury
Mountain Heart
Ashleigh Caudill
Amanda and Scott Anderson
Exception to the Rule
Monroe Crossing
Pete Wernick
Anderson Family Band
Nu Blu
Rhonda Vincent
Greensky Bluegrass
Eric McDonald
Justin Moses
Daily and Vincent
Bluegrass Parlor Band
Unstrung Heroes
Sandy Pickers
Lindsay Lou

Speaking of summer...I think that got mentioned earlier, if not just go with it...a new video of our of the song "Fireball Mail " is below. The story line is the Urban Monroes blasting all over the western U.S playing festivals. Does it get more summery than that?

And lest we forget, here's the cover of our new CD, Pavement and Pathways. Two singles from it have already been released on Poetman Records. The most recent "Sink or Swim" appears on Poetman's inaugural bluegrass radio sampler with a track from Rhonda Vincent.

Every now and then we like to post a playlist. Here is a recent one from KGNU Boulder

Urban Monroes- When the Aspens Turn
The Hillbenders- Highway Gambler
Romano Paoletti- Ragtime Blues
Martin Gilmore- Don't Talk About Hard Times
Lonesome Traveler- Right Where I'm Supposed to Be

Ryan Spearman- Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
Blue Highway- Lonesome Pine
Sam Bush- Sailin' Shoes
Giddyup Kitty- Colorado
Lonesome River Band- Record Time Machine
Tim O'Brien/Darrell Scott- Walk Beside Me
J Douglas/P Rowan- Tribulations
Jerry Douglas- Little Martha

Jimmy Martin- I Like to Hear 'Em Preach It
Laurie Lewis- Going to the West
Tony Trischka- Fox on the Run
Trampled by Turtles- Victory
New Grass Revival- Sapporo
The Bluegrass Band- Duelin' Banjos

Infamous Stringdusters- God's country
Mountain Heart- Deadwood
Hot Rize- Climbing Up A Mountain
Frank Solivan and D.K- Line drive
The Farewell Drifters- sunnyside drive
Blue Canyon Boys- Rocky Mountain Bound
The New Tradition- Daniel Prayed
The Dillards- The Old Home Place
Peter Rowan- The Family Demon

Tim O'Brien- I've endured
Gillian Welch- Red Clay Halo
Yonder Mountain S.B- rain still falls
Strength in Numbers- Slopes
Ralph Stanley- Mountain Folks
Bluegrass Patriots- High Country
The Churchmen- Take Me in the Lifeboat

Steve Martin- Daddy Played The Banjo
Punch Brothers- rye whiskey
Del McCoury Band- Recovering Pharisee
Tony Rice- Church Street Blues
John Hartford- I'm Still Here
Pete Kartsounes- Old Bluegrass Home
Psychograss- hot nickles
Laurie Lewis- Maple's Lament

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Urban Monroes Bluegrass Cruise

Whidbey Island

We played Whidbey Island Bluegrass Festival last weekend...sun, sand, whales, volcanoes and lush vegetation adorn the home of the Whidbey Island Bluegrass Festival in Puget Sound. The festival had a record turnout this year. Not surprising considering how beautiful that place is.

We ran into a lot of people who had made the trip to see us play, including some of our Myspace friends.  Thank you for coming and helping to make that day wonderful.

Favorite Surprise Comment About Whidbey Run Across Accidentally While Surfing the Net:  "Listening to the Urban Monroe's music was pure joy" Colette

  The blue waters of a Pacific inlet and the setting sun back-lighting Whidbey Island as seen from the ferry on our way to play the bluegrass festival there.

That's Camano Island, but those storm clouds are billowing over the distant mountain range in Canada.

Braving the winds and looking for killer whales in the Puget Sound

Sunset over the Olympic Mountains as seen from the scenic lookout of Taco Time on our way to play the Whidbey Island Bluegrass Festival.

A view from the ferry of Puget Sound

On stage at the Whidbey Island BGF. The ocean is visible through the trees.


A perfect day and setting for playing bluegrass
 Northwest String Summit
Here are a few pics from out show at NWSS . We also would like to point out that the first two tracks in our player (on this page to the right) are live from our String Summit Show. Thanks to the String Summit sound crew and Peacock Radio for providing them

A striking chalkboard sign with the schedule at NWSS. Glad all that work got preserved in a picture before it got erased.

On stage at NWSS. Our friend Ki is smiling at the camera.

Northwest String Summit stage and the crowd as viewed by the audience on the hillside.

Every now and then we post a playlist. Here is one from KRVM
Moe - Can't Seem To Find - L
Hot Buttered Rum - Summertime Gal - Limbs Akimbo
Great American Taxi - Fuzzy Little Hippie Girl - Reckless Habits
The Gourds - Country Gal - Haymaker
Darol Anger & Mike Marshall - Coal Burnin' Grease Fire - Brand New Can
Danny Barnes - Caveman - Pizza Box
Crooked Still - The Golden Vanity - Some Strange Country
I See Hawks In L.A. - Raised By Hippies - Live In The KRVM Studio
I See Hawks In L.A. - Dear Flash - Live In The KRVM Studio
I See Hawks In L.A. - Byrd From West Virginia - Shoulda Been Gold

Shinnyribs - East TX Rust - Well After Awhile
Truckstop Honeymoon - Homemade Haircut - Homemade Haircut
The Sugar Beets - The Reason We Make Love - Secret To Happiness
The Infamous Stringdusters - Fork In The Road - Fork In The Road
The Urban Monroes - My Window Faces The South/ Wheel Hoss - When The Aspens Turn
Brian Cutean - Mississippi John n Taj - Guitared & Feathered
Ashleigh Flynn - The 7th Sea - American Dream
Casey Neill - Memory Against Forgetting - Memory Against Forgetting
Jim Page - More Than Anything Else In The World - Head Full Of Pictures
Sarah Jarosz with Black Prairie - Queen Of The Silver Dollar - Twistable Turnable Man
Yonder Mountain String Band - Kentucky Mandolin - Mountain Tracks: Vol. 5
Lewi Longmire Band - Allegheny County - If I Live To Be 100

High Desert Museum
 Shots below were taken on the way to play a show at the High Desert Museum.

Looking into part of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation

A beautiful day to travel

Mount Jefferson (a volcano)

Well stickered guitar case on the floor at the High Desert Museum

Dam Jam
We headed to Dam Jam in Rockport, Utah

I think this place was laid out just to have its picture taken!

Stone monoliths stare down at the speeding traffic on I-84. I think the one in front is making a face at the camera.

Clouds over the "endless road of rock" somewhere in Idaho. There are a couple hundred miles similar to this. Even so, the variation in the scenery is still remarkable.

Speaking of variation in scenery, I don't remember taking a side trip to another planet, but some of the photos look like I did. Still in Idaho not far from the Utah border.

  Jamming at the Dam Jam. Looks like they saw me coming with the camera.

Early evening at the Dam Jam. That's the dam in the background.

Jamming and eating... 

Lots of people were there. The Rockport reservoir is on the the other side of that dam. It's a bit disconcerting if you dwell on it too long.