Into The Fire is Monroe Crossing's second Gospel disc, released in December of 2006. 15 songs featuring: "Into The Fire (Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego)", "He Did Rise", and "Get Thee Behind Me." With Art, Lisa, Mark, Matt and Jason Ericsson on banjo.
Critical Acclaim for Into The Fire
Bluegrass Now Magazine: "New, unique and captivating"
Monroe Crossing, a Midwest bluegrass and gospel quintet, derives its name from Bill Monroe and plays old-time, straight ahead, traditional bluegrass. The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association has honored them with multiple awards including "Bluegrass Album of the Year," "Best Female Vocalist," "Best Guitar Player," "Best Mandolin Player" and "Best Banjo Player." They will be inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in November of this year.
The band consists of Nigeria native, Lisa Fuglie on vocals, fiddle and mandolin. Art Blackburn contributes excellent vocals and guitar, while Matt Thompson supplies solid mandolin and vocals. Benji Flaming adds his exciting brand of banjo, notably on "One Life." Mark Anderson rounds out the group with a solid bass line. I especially enjoyed his slap bass on "The Old Cross Road."
Musical highlights of this all-gospel recording include the exhilarating "He Did Rise," "Get Thee Behind Me" and some impressive, staggered, three-part harmonies on "The Touch of God’s Hand." In short, harmony is a major strength of this group and it is no more apparent than on "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and the energetic original title track.
The project contains excellent covers for Bill Monroe’s "The Old Cross Road," Don Reno’s "Oak Grove Church" and Gillian Welch’s "Orphan Girl." Additionally, the release includes songs from the repertoires of the Louvin Brothers ("Satan’s Jeweled Crown"), The Country Gentlemen ("Standing in the Need of Prayer"), The Dreadful Snakes ("Who’s That Knockin’ At My Door") and the Carter Family ("The Far Side Banks of Jordan"). While the titles may sound familiar, don’t be fooled. The arrangements are new, unique and captivating. Without question, bluegrass gospel enthusiasts will relish this recording.