Every now and then, BluesBunny finds a band or artist that puts a smile on their face. Adam Hill, of Portland, Oregon, does just that. Four Shades of Green is a rather fine album as far as male folk singers go. With influences lying as far apart as Dr. Dre and Nirvana, it's peculiar that Mr. Hill has released such a straightforward bluegrass album, but that is probably a good thing.
Blending traditional tracks with a few of his own compositions, Adam Hill is accompanied only by a handful of backing singers. All the instruments on the album are played by Mr. Hill. This is an impressive talent, but Mr. Hill shows modesty rather than smugness in his delivery. As the title suggests, this modestly-packaged album is very much influenced by the green acres of Oregon. The album opens with a crackling sound which accompanies the lone dulcimer on "Down in the Valley". Had that sound continued through the album, it would be out the window by now. Thankfully, the album comes to life with the plodding rhythms of "Empty Rows". From there on, Mr. Hill goes from strength to strength. The occasional reoccurrence of "Down in the Valley" - there are four instrumental tracks by that name - seems to take sounds from the vast gorges of Oregon, giving the album a very honest feel.
At times, the sound of Mr. Hill's music can bring Bright Eyes to mind, without the accept-me-MTV friendliness. That is not to say that this album is inaccessible and indeed this album would be a welcome addition to any bluegrass enthusiast's collection. Whether or not more will come of Adam Hill is yet to be seen, but there's plenty of potential there. Bluesbunny hopes that there is more to come from him.
Available from CD Baby