News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News


May 9, 2013

Diamond Hill Station goes bold in ‘Katy Bar the Door’ album

TERRE HAUTE — On the second track of Diamond Hill Station’s new CD, the band deftly rambles through a catchy, love-gone-wrong song called “Same Old Thing.”

There’s a beautiful irony in its title, because the Terre Haute-based bluegrass quartet’s latest album, “Katy Bar the Door,” is anything but the “same old thing.” It contains all original material, with the four members sharing the songwriting and lead vocal duties, in refreshingly bold fashion. The CD jacket cover features a billowing tornado, blending everything in its path, and the disc similarly stirs hints of jazz, blues and rock into Diamond Hill Station’s traditional bluegrass genre base. The group even takes on a fugue — a composition style rooted in 18th-century Europe.

As singer-guitarist Michael White stated, “We have always tried to separate ourselves from the other cookie-cutter bands, and with ‘Katy Bar the Door,’ we feel we have achieved that goal.” Indeed, mission accomplished.

Of course, attempting such a Beatles-esque democracy in writing and vocalizing comes with risk. The songlist offers no old standards to catch ears and jog memories. Likewise, stepping into a lead-singing spotlight may nudge some musicians outside their comfort zones. With a decade-long history as a band, Diamond Hill Station proves up to the challenge.

The two founding members, White and bassist Lloyd Shonk, deliver two varieties of compositions.

White covers heartache, loss and longing in “Same Old Thing,” “Nashville County Line,” “Dark Hollow Bend” and “Pretty Little Sally.” Any of the four will be crowd-pleasers at future gigs, but “Dark Hollow Bend” spins a woeful yet captivating tale of a young man who snubbed his mother’s warnings to steer clear of the river with catastrophic results.

Shonk injects spirit and sentimentality with rich gospel harmonizing on “Highway to Heaven” (written by his mother, Velda) and his own “Sundown,” a tribute to his father.

In his turn at the wheel, banjo ace Bruce Anderson steers Diamond Hill Station into fun detours off the bluegrass main street. “Tailspin Fugue” dips a toe into the 1800s classical pool, while “Storm in the Skillet” employs a folk-rock flavor; either of the two instrumentals could add color to a movie soundtrack. Anderson adds “Distant Star,” lyrically connecting the dots between constellations and a lost love, with shimmering major-to-minor chord changes. Each reveals the band’s fine instrumental chops.

Mandolinist Dave Bagdade shows a keen understanding of a good song hook, penning the title track, “We Can Just Pretend” and “Somebody Else’s Problem.” The opener, “Katy Bar the Door,” describes a true love in a prairie homestead, where “things are real pleasant here in no-man’s land” and a couple braces together for a storm, huddled under the stairs, “bundled in her prayers.” By contrast, “We Can Just Pretend” playfully hopes for a connection that may not exist, while “Somebody Else’s Problem” bids a humorous, relieved, don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out “goodbye” to an old flame who ran off.

The album remains experimental yet cohesive, with veteran producer Don Arney overseeing the recording process at his Quantam Music Production studio in southern Vigo County, along with assistant mix engineer Joe Syester. The end result, “Katy Bar the Door,” is an almost-perfect storm of bluegrass-driven creativity.

Mark Bennett can be reached at 812-231-4377 or

Finding the sounds

“Katy Bar the Door,” Diamond Hill Station — Look for the album online at, and iTunes. Also,

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Raw: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Visits Iowa US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010