The Brand New Opry/Another Time – AIX Records AIX 80043 single DVD-14 disc with both DVD-A & DVD-V ***1/2:

The band featured on this disc includes: Jonathan McEuen (vocals, acoustic guitar), Phil Salazar (vocals, fiddle), Mark Searchy (harmonica, vocals), Tom Corbett (mandolin); Randy Tico (acoustic, electric bass), Orest Balaban (bass), and special guests: Jaime Hanna (vocals, acoustic guitar), John McEuen (banjo, mandolin), and Nathan McEuen (vocals, acoustic guitar).  When the music first started up with banjo and fiddle a-blazin’ I immediately thought that the best description of this disc would be “hoedown.” 

However, the material is much more diverse than that and track two shifts into what will remind some of Roy Orbison.  Track five is a sweet, mellow instrumental that has an entirely different feel than the upbeat songs at the earlier part of the record.  Five was a fine example of the superb recording quality offered by this disc—clearly A/A-.  Track six is a wonderfully solid, beautiful country song while track seven is playful and drags the listener right into the same feelings meant to be evoked by the tune.  Different musicians are utilized on different tracks to excellent effect.  The tracks I enjoyed the most were the mellower tunes that possessed less of the twangy country style, although those who like this type of music will find my rating very conservative.

Plenty of Features/Extras:  Video is 1.78:1 widescreen enhanced; DVD-A “Stage” Mix; DD 5.1 “Audience” Mix; DTS 5.1 “Stage” Mix; 96 kHz/24-bit Stereo Mix; Lyrics; Musician Bios (9); Recording Information; Photos (9); Interviews (1); Live Videos (3); Discographies (2).

SongList:  The Grand Ole Opry Song; Food Around; Moving On; Head For The Border; Open Road; Grand Design; Summertime; Lowlands; Hills Of Sylmar; World Of Hunger; Beautiful Night; Red Red Hair.

– Brian Bloom