Native Coloradan Dylan McCarthy was the 2019 RockyGrass Mandolin Champion, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Heartland Emmy award for this musical composition. McCarthy, a Berklee College of Music grad, currently makes his home in Lyons and is a well-known member of the acoustic music scene. He performs regularly with Americana band, Thunder and Rain, as well as the Lyons Bluegrass Collective and Follow the Fox.
Set for official release on May 1, his album entitled “Lost and Found” is comprised of seven original instrumental compositions and can be ordered here. Guitarist Eric Wiggs co-produced and arranged this CD with McCarthy, with Wiggs engineering and mixing the collection at Vermillion Road Studios.
The recording starts off with the track “Mosquito,” which features McCarthy’s mandolin, Justin Hoffenburg’s fiddle, Bradley Morse laying down the bass, and Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose on banjo. Mosquito hums right along until you can just imagine that pest zeroing in on exposed flesh to bite into.
Padilla’s emotive slow fiddle opens “Polaris” as McCarthy’s mandolin melds with Cooke’s dobro. Morse takes a bow to the upright bass and makes this song shine and groove with a slow burn.
“The Jamestown Turnaround” has an old-fashioned sound that harkens back to Vaudeville. Each musician takes us on a lighthearted and playful romp.
“Old Bisbee” rollicks and reminds me of an old-time string band piece where each of the musicians sound as if they’re smiling while enjoying the heck out of playing.
A spooky piece called “The Doldrums” starts off with a drone tone then picks up a Native American vibe via McCarthy’s broody picking and Cooke’s haunting dobro. It takes listeners back to a simpler time, like jamming around a campfire.
The title song, “Lost & Found,” ends the recording. It is perhaps the strongest and most diverse tune of all. McCarthy starts off picking some fine mandolin while the rest of the band joins in. This uplifting piece showcases everyone’s unique talent; McCarthy’s accomplished mandolin playing simply shines.
Overall, this lovely instrumental-music recording is a pleasure to listen to, especially in these trying times. It is pure, simple, and peaceful. The wonderful local musicians contributing to McCarthy’s debut recording make it a sure bet for success and the first of many to come for this already-a-champion artist.