Hard Road Trio Releases “Monticello”

Image634763877413813226Image634763878565259084The Hard Road Trio took the long road to get to a place where their music feels at home.

With their original Southwestern acoustic blend of Americana and Bluegrass music from the wide-open spaces of New Mexico, The Trio extends their roots into old time, jazz, country  and modern chamber music.

Folk icon Tom Russell says:

"This fine CD reminds me of the raw and colorful beauty of the New Mexico landscape. Stories of honesty and power. Steve Smith shines on the mandolin... a master."

The Hard Road Trio - mandolinist Steve Smith, guitarist/vocalist Chris Sanders and bassist Anne Luna - is the product of over 30 years of performing, the amalgamation of three songwriters who have found their collective voice in the light and air of the Southwest.  The Hard Road Trio’s sound has grown from Steve’s love of bluegrass rooted in his native Virginia, the beauty of choral singing ever-present in Chris’ Minnesota childhood and the musical traditions of Anne’s New Mexico family. Together, north and south meet the west and create a unique heartbeat ... a spacious sound full of light that "...refuses any one label, except perhaps that of good, evocative music,” says Bluegrass Unlimited.

Monticello includes guest appearances by Michael Witcher, Nate Lee, Tim May, Bill Evans and co-producer James McLaughlin.

The project was recorded in the small New Mexican town from which the album takes its name. Nestled into the quiet community of writers, artists, and farmers, The Hard Road Trio channeled their energy and captured their authentic sound on the recording.

"We set up  and recorded so much of this material live," says Smith. "It breathes."  “For two weeks in October of 2011 we set up a studio in a century-old adobe in Monticello NM. Our dynamo of a producer/engineer, James McLaughlin, flew out from Virginia and set up his control booth in the kitchen while we recorded in the meeting room enclosed in Steve’s custom-built gobos (moveable acoustic isolation panels). Without the distraction of cell phones or email, free to enjoy the scent of lavender, the taste of green chili and the serenade of coyotes, we created this album in the beauty of old New Mexico.”


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