With her skills on the violin and on the stage as a dancer, it’s no surprise that virtuoso April Verch has become a staple of the bluegrass scene since her debut way back in 1992. The Canadian fiddler returns with lucky number 11 in her overarching catalog of releases, The Newpart, named after the family living room where her father and his band had rehearsed their performances during her childhood. Fittingly nuanced and retrospective in its delivery compared with past albums, the record stands as a solid, different, if not toned-down addition to her portfolio.
There are standout moments on The Newpart, including but most certainly not limited to the Americana-influenced foot stomping portions present on tracks such as opener “Belle Election”, and wistfully nostalgic title track “The Newpart”. Verch’s soft, saccharine vocal tone may not be for everyone, but the way that she lays down a track is fitting to the traditions of her musical lane. All in all, The Newpart represents Verch in tip-top musical shape, albeit in ex post facto force.
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