Greg Yost, Country Standard Time
"Although they have long been a staple of rock and roll music, concept albums focused on a singular theme or narrative are a rare species in country music and virtually unheard of in the bluegrass genre. That's why "Susanville" from Virginia's The Dixie Bee-Liners is one of the most revolutionary bluegrass releases in recent memory....
"Based on the premise that 'every car on the highway has a story,' this album takes listeners on a journey through the roads of America and the people that travel them.... This premise gives the sextet the freedom to expand their sound and explore a lot of territory, both musically and emotionally.... Sit back and enjoy the drive."
THEY TRANSCEND GENRE
Frank Gutch, Jr., Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
"When Susanville hit my desk, it scattered my 2009 Top Ten list to the winds....
"And what Susanville is is a damn wonder. The concept is GPS genius in its simplicity.... 'Heavy' rocks the acoustic side like an American Fairport Convention or Fotheringay, and 'Restless' is insomnia rock with bluegrass tinges throughout. 'Susanville,' the title track, is ballad-beautiful emotion-as-music....
"I've said this before and, yep, I'll say it again and again until people pay attention. The Dixie Bee-Liners ain't your Granddaddy's bluegrass band, nor are they just Americana. In my head, they transcend genre. And Top Ten? No-brainer. The best thing though, is that this album is a teaser. The step from Ripe, which I loved, to Susanville is huge. The next one gives me something to look forward to. And I'm looking. Forward."
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Henri Deschamps, The Bluegrass Legacy
"History in the making: Poised at the crossroads of the Crooked Road and Abbey Road... a masterpiece."
A GRAND RECORDING
Donald Teplyske, The Lonesome Road Review
"Susanville is a grand recording, a concept album within a field where such is uncommon....
"A dramatic bluegrass and Americana band, The Dixie Bee-Liners' second album (an eight-song EP was the band's introduction in 2006) is a departure from their previous Pinecastle album, 2008's Ripe. The band has pulled back a bit from typical bluegrass trappings, successfully aiming toward an "acoustiblue" recipe.... Those who take the time to experience the disc will find lovely vocals, spirited and challenging instrumentation, and perhaps a perspective on those we pass within the bustle of our lives."
BREEZY BUT SUBSTANTIAL
"Bluegrass mingles with blues, swing, and honky-tonk, and need I say, it would be a terrific CD for road trips of any length.... Breezy but substantial, The Dixie Bee-Liners should appeal to fans of modern bluegrass and far beyond."
ALL THE RANGE AND SOUL OF [ALISON] KRAUSS, WITH PERHAPS EVEN MORE VERSATILITY
John Walker, Americana Roots
"You might not be familiar with this band yet, but if you like bluegrass in the style of Alison Krauss and Union Station you will need to check this one out. Lead singer Brandi Hart has all the range and soul of Krauss, with perhaps even more versatility.
"Hart teams up with band mate Buddy Woodward to pen all twelve songs on their new CD titled Ripe. The Dixie Bee-Liners draw their sound from traditional bluegrass, but add a twist all their own. Much of this is perhaps influenced by Woodward's past pop and rock experience. The blend works well here throughout the CD..... Produced by Bil VornDick, The Dixie Bee Liners may be a band on the rise."
A FASCINATING NEW SOUND
Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio's Bluegrass Breakdown
"A ground-breaking project featuring a fascinating new sound that combines old-time, bluegrass and the band's secret ingredient into something that is captivating...breathtaking... This is a band that's boldly going where none has gone before...not afraid of minor chords and best of all, [they] have perfected the art of making things sound lonesome with their command of the modal sound."
WOUND UP PLAYING THE ENTIRE ALBUM
Rusty Brown, WEPG Radio
"I intended to play a couple of cuts, but wound up playing the ENTIRE ALBUM after callers kept asking who that was, and station personnel wanted to hear more and more. I've never done that before! It just kept getting better and better with each song. It's so regreshing to get in new music that good that was written by members of the band...I'm already looking forward to the next release!"
PERFECTLY PUT TOGETHER
Bob Cherry, Cybergrass
"This album shows just how original this group is. From the lyrics and music to how it is all perfectly put together, The Dixie Bee-Liners have a sound all their own and, it's a pleasing lively sound! If this is the direction contemporary bluegrass music is headed, I'm all for it. In fact, I'll take a bit more!"
Dr. Brett Matheson, Black Rose Acoustic Society, Sound Advice
"Brandi has a sultry, killer voice that rivals any other female vocalist in bluegrass today...this album is fresh indeed -- and highly recommended."
Tom Peterson, Victory Magazine
"This is a brilliant record, no doubt about it...remember when T-Bone Burnett figured out the way to sell five million Bluegrass records was to make 'Man of Constant Sorrow' a rock song? Wait'll the suburban good ol' boys hear RIPE."
"These seasoned musicians have taken Bluegrass to the next level...its like stepping into the pages of an American Civil War novel. Get ready to catch Bluegrass Fever all over again!"
TOO GOOD FOR THIS PLANET
Al Shusterman, KCBL "Backroads Bluegrass"
"If you mix equal quantities of old time, folk, and bluegrass you come close to describing this unique CD. The female vocalists must have come from heaven because they are too good for this planet... You need to listen to this CD several times in order to fully apreciate the beautiful lyrics to each song..."
Gary Williams, VaBluegrass.com, "The Old Dominion Jamboree"
"From the opening instrumentals, to the clear fresh vocals and the subtle background harmonies, 'Down on the Crooked Road' draws in the listener. The lyrics paint a picture of the music and its heritage to the point that it gave me goose bumps. Our show's tag line is 'Bluegrass...Virginia's Classical Music,' and The Bee-Liners have done it proud!"
Nina Schnipper, KDNK "Smokin' Grass"
"Rarely do songs get stuck in my head like the ones from RIPE. Brandi's and Rachel's vocals and harmonizing make you daydream. The band's songwriting is especially impressive. Rarely is a band's second CD or project this ultra-good!"
PURE AND SWEET
Tim W. Jackson, New River Voice
"Pleasing musicianship, vocals pure and sweet, and songs that are melodic and have lyrics worth listening to.... Pluck this disc for yourself and take a big bite."
'RIPE' SHOULD TEMPT NEW TASTERS TO BLUEGRASS
Deborah Wilbrink, Bluegrass Music Profiles
"Rich instrumental layers soak Ripe.... Brandi Hart's bell-like voice sings stories of love and tales of personalities, written by her and Buddy Woodward.... Twelve songs start strongly with traditional sounds... [culminating] in the masterful title song.... Ripe should tempt new tasters to bluegrass as well as those who cheer on its development and love a show of skill."
ASTONISHINGLY SOPHISTICATED AND INNOVATIVE
"While the instrumentation on this cd is traditional -- guitar, dobro, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and upright bass -- the songwriting is astonishingly sophisticated and innovative. Woodward and Hart, clearly proud of their Southern lineage, harken back to the pre-rock era, when perhaps the smartest songwriting in all of American music was emanating not from Tin Pan Alley but from the South. Both share an intensely literate way with lyrics; musically, Woodward's tunes lean more to the upbeat, amusing side, contrasting with Hart's haunting, frequently minor-key style. Call it Bible Belt Noir, if you will: the band does. If this is the future of bluegrass, we've got a lot to look forward to."
FIVE STARS: HOTTEST NEW ALBUM RELEASE!
Robert Bartosh, Roots Music Report
"Every once in a great while, a new release comes across our desk that introduces a band that we know is going to be the next big thing in bluegrass music.... The Dixie Bee Liners are one of those bands... pure to the bluegrass tradition and the vocal performances are beyond words. They are profoundly talented and the sound is their own. The bluegrass music scene should brace for this new album."
A VOICE THAT COULD GIVE ALISON KRAUSS A RUN FOR THE MONEY
Jennifer Webb, NY Times' About.com Country Music Guide
The Dixie Bee-Liners is a collection worthy of praise... Brandi Hart has a voice that could give Alison Krauss a run for the money and could Buddy Woodward be the next Dan Tyminski...? With their immense talent on display, one could not help but think Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward should be on their way to an even bigger career in the very near future."
Tim Walsh, Bluegrass Now
"Eight expertly-crafted bluegrass and Appalachian originals cover a lot of ground in 29 minutes. 'Davy' and 'Family Tree' drop playful hooks and clever innuendo...the masterpiece, 'Lost In The Silence,' delivers authentic emotional depth amidst Hart's seductive vocals...the youthful 'Yellow-Haired Girl' seems 'older than the hills,' and the bluesy gospel bombshell, '(Lord) Lay Down My Ball & Chain,' brings it home with bass slaps, hand claps, and finger snaps...the Dixie Bee-Liners are on the verge of creating (dare I say it) a real buzz."
STEEPED IN TRADITION... BUT VERY 21ST CENTURY
Barry Mazor, Senior Editor, No Depression
"New York's Dixie Bee-Liners demonstrate some classy picking, which you'd figure with the practiced bluegrass and country rock vets in the band, but it's their voices that really stick with you--the sweet but pointed vocals and clean harmonies of Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward, steeped in tradition, but with tones and rhythms that are very 21st century."
DYNAMITE... BIBLE BELT NOIR, BLEAK AND GORGEOUS
"One of the most exciting and talented new bluegrass bands anywhere, The Dixie Bee-Liners are the brainchild of Manhattanites Buddy Woodward and Brandi Hart. The songwriting team share vocal duties in a viciously talented sextet, which includes the creme de la creme of the surprisingly bustling New York bluegrass scene...one of those rare albums where there's literally not a bad song on it...particularly striking is "Lost in the Silence," a hypnotic, white-knuckle-intense ballad that goes deeper than urban country: This music is Bible Belt noir, bleak and gorgeous...both Hart and Woodward have very distinct, yet complimentary, voices - both as singers and as writers...guitarist Danny Weiss's warm and laid-back style is instantly recognizable on tracks like the darkly burning, blues-inflected "Lord, Lay Down My Ball & Chain." His gutsy exploration of the lower registers and his split-second, heart-pounding crescendoes distinguish Danny among the hundreds of hotshot pickers out there...creating eerily beautiful traditional music with great intelligence, passion, and wit, The Dixie Bee-Liners are, in a word, dynamite!"
THEIR VOICES PACK A WOLLOP
Chris Harris, Commonwealth Journal
"These are no just-off-the-street warblers. Their voices pack a wollop that sounds carefully honed, regardless of genre. The distinctive Bluegrass twang is there, with tricky and furious instrumentals that render you unable to keep from tapping your foot, even if you're not an avid fan of Appalachian sounds."
GUTS AND EMOTION
Lou Giampitruzzi, NY Bluegrass and Old-Time Forum
"Fresh! All the guts and emotion that makes Bluegrass music so special and that makes the NYBGOT scene the
place to be."
A NICE LITTLE CAPSULE OF URBAN TWANG
Henry Koretsky, Bluegrass Unlimited
"They set down a compelling, sultry groove that lets their urban roots and backcountry longing meet in some fine uptown sanctifying."
GUSTO AND PANACHE
David Cowling, Americana UK
"Steeped deeply in the history of blue-grass (the picking here is as deft and swift as any) and with an urban sensibility, these new-grass performers win you over by dint of their love of the material and their wonderful voices...each song is tackled with the same gusto and panache."
STYLISH AND ACCOMPLISHED
John Lupton, Country Standard Time
"...a pretty stylish and accomplished bluegrass quartet...with a knack for sounding both traditional and contemporary at the same time...at the heart of the sound are the vocals of leaders Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward...Hart in particular has a voice that commands attention, especially on ethereal, traditional-sounding fare like 'Lost In The Silence' and 'Yellow-Haired Girl'."
THESE URBAN MUSICIANS KNOW THEIR GRASS
Americana Rhythm Music Magazine
Originally from New York, these urban musicians know grass. And while their intent is to re-locate to the Valley region, you'd never know they weren't natives based on their music. These guys have received all kinds of positive press. It's new-grass in flavor, with shades of the classics bleeding all through it. Lead singer Brandi Hart's voice sets the tone for this up and coming next generation of grassers.
STRUCK BY THEIR WARMTH
John Lawless, The Bluegrass Blog
"I was immediately struck by their warmth, and the sucess with which they merge a more modern approach to songwriting with the traditional forms of bluegrass and old time music."
SHARPLY WRITTEN, WELL-EXECUTED
Jewly Hight, No Depression
"Considering what a musical melting pot New York City is, it's not remarkable that a promising bluegrass band like the Dixie Bee-Liners would assemble there.... Hart [possesses] a reedy, girlish lilt... plenty adequate for these sharply written, well-executed songs."
Jerome Clark, Rambles
"The Bee-Liners have fashioned a sound so distinctive that you couldn't possibly mistake them for anybody else, certainly not another standard-issue acoustic-roots outfit.... The Dixie Bee-Liners have too much talent, creativity and intensity in them to remain obscure for long. A lot of contemporary bluegrass is little more than empty hot licks, bland vocals and country-pop songwriting. The Bee-Liners, who are anything but the just-cited, give contemporary bluegrass not just a good name but a lesson in how modern and traditional sounds, lovingly wed, can infuse old musical styles with fresh life in a new century."
SPIRITUAL AND EPIC
Joe Ross, Talent on Display
"Taking note of this hard-working and talented band's debut effort, Pinecastle Records label has now signed them to their impressive artist roster. What's all the fuss about? First, their songs have both spiritual and epic qualities. Second, their contemporary leanings exude great potential to attract younger listeners to the genre. Third, I liked the way they provide textures to their music.... Their repertoire moves a listener because it also draws upon the best elements from both contemporary folk and bluegrass. Musically comfortable together, they have the innate ability to project a consciousness that they are truly going somewhere with their tuneful and captivating approach. That, in a nutshell, is what all the promotion and subsequent commotion are about."