A great bluegrass band is defined by its singers, and in Greg Silsby, Cumberland Gap has an ace. A long tall drink of mountain water, Silsby has a tenor voice that cuts through the air like a sharpened wing. He's not smooth, he doesn't croon or wail, but his pitch is precise and his feel for original and traditional material — the blues especially — is convincing. He has a band of super-pickers to back him up, but that voice always leads the way. He can sing a tune by the Dead or the Beatles, Bill Monroe or Anonymous, and he can carry the melody past twangy clichés and straight to the heart of the song.
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