Carolina Road’s new single approaches bluegrass record

kjahner@newsobserver.comNovember 22, 2013 

— In the search for a successful single, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road ultimately found one when it looked west.

“That’s Kentucky” has topped the Bluegrass Today chart for five consecutive weeks, tying the record for that particular chart.

The song, written by well-known bluegrass songwriters Tom T. Hall, his wife, Dixie Hall, and Troy Engle, debuted at No. 4 when it was released by the band in September; it only went up from there.

“We thought it was going to be good,” said Jordan, the band’s front-woman, vocalist and mandolin player who lives in Garner. “We had no idea it would debut at No. 4 and stay atop the charts for five weeks.”

The band, formed in 1998 by Jordan, had its first No. 1 single with “A Light in the Window” in 2011. “That’s Kentucky” comes off the band’s self-titled album that released in September of this year.

The band also recently released a music video of the song that includes footage of them playing at Yates Mill Pond in Raleigh, just west of Garner. While most of the band is from North Carolina, the group’s newest and youngest member, John Bradley, hails from the Bluegrass State.

In the song, the band sings of bluegrass, racehorses and moonshine stills, all while invoking the names of “Daniel Boone and old Abe Lincoln, not to mention Bill Monroe.” Boone was a frontiersman among the first to try to settle Kentucky; Lincoln, the 16th president, was born there; and Monroe, a mandolin player, helped found the bluegrass genre of music.

“It’s just got really good harmonies on it. We’re getting a lot of good reviews on our harmonies on it,” Jordan said. “There’s some great banjo playing on it, great fiddle playing on it. It’s just a well-written song.”

The band will host a festival in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., called Christmas in the Smokies from Dec. 11-14.

The band will return to the area to play a Christmas Party at Tir Na Nog in downtown Raleigh on Dec. 17. Only 75 tickets to that event will be sold, Jordan said.

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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