Album Review of
Salem Town

Label: Mountain Fever

Genres: Bluegrass

Styles: Contemporary Bluegrass, Traditional Bluegrass

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Written by Joe Ross
September 12, 2019 - 12:40am EDT
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Backline’s third album, and debut project on the Mountain Fevel label, demonstrates that this young, up-and-coming band has the potential to go a long way in the bluegrass music industry. From South Carolina, their signature sound emphasizes fresh, original material sung primarily by guitarist Katelyn Ingardia. She grabs our attention with beautiful, life-affirming tales like “Better Days,” “Trying To Move On,” “Heartbreak” and “Gonna Move.”  The title cut is a spooky foreboding tale of witches in “Salem Town.” Band members include Zachary Carter (banjo), Jason Belue (bass), Katelyn Ingardia (guitar), Milom Williams II (mandolin) and Travis Tucker (Dobro). Guest fiddler Clint White appears on six tracks. Milom Williams sings lead on his two self-penned compositions (“Strange Woman” and “”Won’t You Please Come Back To Me”), as well as the album’s closer, “Rose Marie.”

Together since 2016, Backline chose a band name that identifies with the historical heritage of South Carolina “Mill Hill Towns.” The term was used to describe the back of a textile mill, the last row of houses in a housing section, and even the back section of a working area.  With airplay and engagements further afield, Backline’s music could easily reach the forefront of the bluegrass community and build them a much bigger legion of fans. Their vision is to take their “fresh, fun, different, yet familiar” sound to a broad demographic of bluegrass fans.  With this album, they certainly seem poised to become more than just another cohesive, crowd-pleasing regional band.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)