WILD AND FREE - INDEPENDENT (2020) FRANCES MOONEY & FONTANNA SUNSET

This is the sixth record release for Fontanna Sunset. Frances Mooney has been in the business for more than forty years and you hear that in each and every one of the thirteen tracks on this new album. Frances and the boys of Fontanna Sunset know what they're doing. The band includes Rickey Rakestraw on guitar, Matthew Mundy playing the mandolin, Brian Morgan on banjo and Glen Crain on resonator guitar. The boss herself is plays a down to earth upright bass. Each member of the band is contributing vocals. 

The record kicks off with the very beautiful single “High On The Mountain” written by David Stewart. This tight, swingin' and uplifting bluegrass tune reminds me of why I fell in love with this music. High on and all around this mountain, Frances Mooney & Fontanna Sunset take us on a journey over the hills and valleys, through the woods and meadows of bluegrass music. 

It's a solid record with a warm traditional feeling. A variety of songs and styles especially delivered with different lead singers throughout. Track 11 for example: “Stupid Heart“, written by Trey Ward, smoothly rolls along with Rickey Rakestraw's lead vocals. Another personal highlight is Jimmy Martin's “Prayer Bells Of Heaven.” Fontanna Sunset gave this classic a great rockin' arrangement with outstanding lead vocals and harmonies. Talking about arrangements, I've got to mention the original instrumental tune, “Chewing The Fat,” written by banjo player Brian Morgan. A hard driving yet melodic instrumental. Such a distinguished theme, together with Glen Crain’s Pitt Resophonic Guitar. 

Frances Mooney and Fontanna Sunset have delivered a well balanced record that raises the bar for 2020. 

REVIEWED BY SEVERIN THEINERT 
for UNCUT GRASS 
December 2019

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