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"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. "

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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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Urban Monroes Update-February Festivities

Happy February, a month full of history and holidays! Of the significant dates packed into Black History and American Heart month, Valentine's Day probably gets the most publicity. (I always like to think of it as Halloween for people who aren't afraid of commitment.) There are also birthdays for two Presidents, the states of Oregon, Arizona, and Massachusetts, and the Ground Hog... February even gets an extra day this year. I was reflecting on these Februarian festivities while listening to Gentleman Jim Chatfield's Bluegrass in the BASSment show on World Wide Bluegrass last night. During his program, he played the Urban Monroes' latest release, Lamp in the Window, and a cut from Pavement and Pathways: My Window Faces the South. It seemed like a good time to check in on where the band is so far this year.

The aforementioned Lamp in the Window was released just last month, one of three Urban Monroes singles out since fall. The other two, Little Drummer Boy and Mr. Grinch were available at Christmas and had the band on top of the Airplay Direct charts at year's end. We are currently ensconced on APD's All-time Global Top 50 bluegrass chart which is not a bad place to be ensconced if one must be.

Also as a new year begins, the previous year’s activity is summed up. One of our favorite summations came from the folk and bluegrass dj.org where the Urban Monroes made their Top 100 Artists of 2011 chart.

The DownHome Den has had the band at #1 on their Weekly Top 10, as voted on by listeners. A bit farther from home, the Peelgrass show out of The Netherlands has had the band in their playlist and CFBX has continued to have the band in high rotation.

In the works right now is another Urban Monroes single. We're hoping to have a special guest artist on that recording, with Jim Chatfield being an "UM for a day" as he likes to call it. There are still some logistical details to work out before this can happen, but it should be a lot of fun and we're looking forward to the results.

So, now the only thing left for February is deciding what to do with that extra day. I’m hoping to save it for July when the weather is better and I can really enjoy it…