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Members include Bob Amos, lead vocals, guitar; Bob Dick, bass, baritone vocals; Mike Lantz, mandolin, tenor vocals; Ron Lynam, banjo, guitar, vocals. Addresses: Record company--Sugar Hill Records, 501 Washington St., Suite A, Durham, NC 27701. Management--Front Range, P.O. Box 65, Winchester, VA 22604. Website-- Front Range Official Website: http://www.frontrangenews.com.

Front Range, a contemporary bluegrass band, has set itself apart with lush three- and four-part harmonies, distinct instrumentation, and engaging live performances. First becoming popular in the early 1990s, they continue to please audiences with their mix of traditional bluegrass and eclectic contemporary music. Their steady release of albums has earned them both recognition and enduring popularity.

The band, which took its name from the front range of the Rocky Mountains centered in Colorado, where they formed in the mid-1980s, at a time when contemporary bluegrass (with its blend of traditional and progressive bluegrass) was taking root. The group's four original members still comprise their current lineup. Bob Amos, lead vocalist, is also a songwriter and acoustic guitarist. While he had an early interest in music, he attended college and earned a master's degree in geology, working as a geologist in Denver for a time in the 1980s. He has homes in the Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and in Vermont, locales that he draws upon when writing his lyrics. In addition to his work with Front Range, Amos also tours with the Bob Amos Band, and released Wherever I Go, his first solo album, in 1999.

Among the musicians on Amos's solo effort was fellow Front Range bassist Bob Dick (the younger brother of Dave Dick, banjo player for Salamander Crossing). Dick studied jazz bass at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and honed his skills with several New England bluegrass bands, including the Tony Rice Unit. Ron Lynam, bass vocalist, banjo player and guitarist, has been with Front Range since 1985. Originally from Wichita, Kansas, he played in several local bands while an anthropology student at Wichita State College. Lynam moved to Colorado in 1978 where he worked as a carpenter by day and played in bands at night. He won the Telluride Bluegrass banjo contest in 1985 and was named Best Banjo Player at the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in 1997. Rounding out the Front Range mix is Denver native Mike Lantz, tenor vocalist and mandolinist.

Front Range released their first album New Frontier in 1992 on Sugar Hill Records, a label dedicated to bluegrass and traditional music. The release garnered immediate attention for its energetic mix of traditional and progressive bluegrass. Jim Caligiuri commended the album for the CMJ New Music Report, remarking that "While [Amos's] songs have a strong traditional feel to them, the band's playing is so vital and the harmonies so strong that the music comes across uncommonly fresh, rousing or deep blue as the mood allows." The band quickly followed their first album with Back to Red River in 1993. Reviewing this second effort, Caligiuri emphatically declared in CMJ that Front Range is "[o]ne of the most exciting new bluegrass bands around." Two notable cuts on the album are an a cappella gospel rendition of "Over in the Gloryland" and a high-energy version of "Sunny Side of Life."

In 1995 Front Range released the gospel album One Beautiful Day, which won the International Bluegrass Music Association for Best Gospel Recording. The album helped solidify the band's reputation for creating virtuoso instrumentation and four-part harmonies amid a masterful mix of original material and commendable versions of classics. Amos produced the band's next release, Ramblin' on My Mind, which returned to an eclectic mix of folk, western swing, blues, gospel, and even Celtic styles. The album stayed on the top ten list of the Gavin Americana chart for several weeks and remained at number three on the National Bluegrass Survey (ranked by Bluegrass Unlimited) for several months.

Maintaining their fresh and energetic output, Front Range released Silent Ground in 2000. Once again marked by a diverse sampling of styles from western swing to spiritual, the album contains both standards and original material from Amos and Lynam. While the album follows the same structure of their previous releases, reviewers commended the band for the consummate musicianship that continues to set them apart. Archie Warnock noted in Bluegrass Unlimited that "as Front Range's career has progressed, they have matured and refined their sound, and successfully avoided the traps that have caught less talented or focussed bands." He continued, "Strong original material sets Front Range apart.... Add their tight harmonies, thoughtful arrangements ... and solid instrumental skill ... and it all combines to make Silent Ground one of the most enjoyable recordings in some time." Original material on the album includes Lynam's western swing "Cowtown Boogie" and his instrumentals "Dust Devil" and "Silver Plume," along with Amos's "Montana Gal," the Bill Monroe-influenced "Leave Me to Cry," and the ballads "Silent Ground" and "The Sweetest Flower of My Heart."

While Front Range's studio output has been consistently praised, they are also highly regarded for their live performances whose up-tempo and entertaining sets draw crowds at concerts and bluegrass festivals throughout the United States and Europe. Commenting on their remarkable creativity and unique new sound, based on tradition and experimenting with original material, Allen Price observed at the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange online, "[Front Range] offer the classic elements of the great bluegrass bands: tight harmonies, precision playing and the thrusting drive that gives bluegrass its unique sound and feeling. But they do it with a twist." Keith Rollag commented in the Northern California Bluegrass Society, "While many top bands are starting to sound the same (by using the same studios, producers, and guest artists), Front Range continues to forge their own path."

by Elizabeth Henry

Front Range's Career

Group formed in the mid-1980s; released first Sugar Hill Records album New Frontier, 1992; released Back to Red River, 1993; One Beautiful Day, 1995; Ramblin' on My Mind, 1997; and Silent Ground, 2000.

Front Range's Awards

International Bluegrass Music Association, Best Gospel Recording for One Beautiful Day, 1995.

Famous Works

Further Reading



Front Range Lyrics

Feel free to share Front Range lyrics. Just click on "Add a comment…" below and paste the song name and the lyrics. However, please do not post Front Range lyrics unless you have received permission from the copyright owner. Make sure to include the name of the Front Range album along with the lyrics.

Visitor Comments Add a comment…

almost 13 years ago

Anyone have permission to share lyrics for The Hills that I call Home?

about 13 years ago

The song is on the album "Back to Red River." It is called, "Hills That I Call Home." Bob - if you're listening to this thread. I saw you guys in Heilbronn, Germany, in 2000 or so. I was amazed. Very cool. Thank you! I was saddened to learn of Mike's death a few years ago.

over 13 years ago

Just saw Front Range on an old Ronnie Reno show. Bob did an original that I would love to get a copy and/or the lyrics. Don't know the name of the song.First line of the chorus is "in the land of Ethan Allen" Please help this old picker. Thanks Gene

over 13 years ago

Years ago I taped a Front Range (Bob Amos) song off the radio. The song was "High Mountain Meadow". It is not on any of their albums. Was this song released as a single? I would love to purchase an original copy.

over 13 years ago

I remember hearing your music when your band came to Columbus, Ohio. We purchased a CD (One Beautiful Day) and and a tape (Back to Red River) and have signatures from all your band members. They are almost worn out, we listened to them so much! Thanks for the memories!

almost 14 years ago

Hey, thanks for the comments. I was the bassist for Front Range from 1992 until we stopped playing in 2004. For those of you who did not know, our mandolinist, Mike Lantz passed away in 2005 from brain cancer. We decided to not continue with the band. Mike was a dear friend and one of the original members, it wouldn't be the same without him. Bob Amos has a section of his website (bobamos.com) dedicated to the band, and I hope to get a website up myself with some pics and memories. It was a great band to play in, I feel very lucky to have been part of it. Our music lives on each time you play one our albums and thanks!!

over 14 years ago

I'd like to have the lyrics to --my heavenly home. thanks

over 15 years ago

On a recent visit to Gettysburg for the August Fester...I put Front Range in the old player, to give good tunes for setting up camp. I had folks come up to ask me who "was that". The answer is part magic and part sorrow. I sure miss their music! Linda Lookadoo!

about 16 years ago

Is there anyway that I can get ahold of Ron Lynam? He was one of my High School teachers in Ault, Colorado! He was one of my favorite teachers!

about 16 years ago

Why haven't I heard you guys before now? Where have I been? Just listened to the album "One Beautiful Day" and was simply carried away. Everything just seems right here. Harmony is tight and simply beautiful. You don't over play the breaks. The recording sound quality is outstanding on my system. The content and message of the tunes is wonderful. The title cut simply blew me away! It's perfect. The message is stated simply and yet it is at the same time, profound. I am a pastor and that song touched my heart and gave me hope. Isn't that what a Gospel bluegrass song should do? The message is beyond what I come to expect from bluegrass and I love bluegrass music almost as much as I love God. I will have to learn to sing this one even if I can't sing it with all the beauty and grace of your performance. The message is worth hearing over and over again! Thanks! I will be buying more Front Range CDs for sure!