“Stony Creek Band has been a 518 institution for years, first playing at the equally iconic Stony Creek Inn way up north in the Adirondacks 40 years ago. They held court in the North Country clubs back in the day, so it's fitting that this is record is called "Live!
The band's mandolin virtuoso Chan Goodnow sadly passed in 2001, but the surviving members carry on, with John Strong singing and playing acoustic guitar, the brilliant and beloved Hank Soto on guitar, Mike Lomaestro (drums), Fred Lantz (mandolin) and David Maswick (bass).
This CD was recorded live at the Hudson River Music Hall, and kicks off in rip-roaring style with a sharp arrangement of Dylan's "Down Along The River," played with conviction and clarity. Traditional tune "Crow Black Chicken" is given the SCB treatment, which means a powerful vocal coupled with dazzling solos, and speaking of solos, instrumental "E.M.D" is just over-the-top chops from Soto and Lantz. The Jimmie Rogers' tune "Blue Yodel No. 4 (California Blues)" features yet another jaw-dropping breakneck speed solo from Soto.
Never Talks Back (Red & Blue Baby)" rocks out, as does Soto's hard driving "Here's To The Ladies," soon an up-tempo ride through "I Know You Rider" takes it to the ranch.
The cosmic cowboy, new grass, honky-tonk heroes just nail it, with uncanny chemistry only decades of playing together and reading each others musical minds can do. Lets hope for many more years to come. Check them out at http://www.stonycreekband.com.”
- David Malachowski
Albany (NY) Times Union