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Let 'Er Go, Boys!

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Album Review

Michael Cleveland's fiddle work has garnered lots of accolades from his musical peers and he has three IBMA awards to prove he's got the goods. Let 'er Go, Boys isn't so much a proving ground, then, as a way to spread his hot fiddle work further afield. To help him out, he's joined by a who's who of hot players, including dobro player Rob Ickes, banjoist Charlie Cushman, and mandolinist Jesse Brock. The real bluegrass star power comes into play on the vocal numbers, featuring Larry Sparks, Del McCoury, Dan Tyminski, and others. While the arrangements and players change from song to song, from instrumental to instrumental, the overall feel is traditional, or tradition derived with a rich acoustic sound. For the cynical, collections like Let 'er Go, Boys have fallen into a particular pattern. A happening picker surrounds him or herself with a bunch of other happening pickers and a few star vocalists (to help with radio play), and covers the CD with lots of quotes from famous pickers who couldn't make the session. Meanwhile, the happening picker has been lost in the mix, just one more player in a crowd and a real accessory on vocal numbers. You may find yourself wishing that there were more fiddle-banjo duos between Cushman and Cleveland, a format that really allows a player's style to stand out. Despite a somewhat predictable approach, though, Let 'er Go, Boys is a solid album that will be warmly embraced by bluegrass fans and pickers alike. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Henryville, IN, native Michael Cleveland quickly became known as one of the hottest attractions in bluegrass, aptly achieving recognition for his blistering and unconventional fiddle style, not for the fact that he is blind. His love for bluegrass began early, and in 1990 he first appeared at Bill Monroe's renowned Bean Blossom Festival. In 1993, at the age of 13, he appeared as fellow fiddler Alison Krauss' guest at the Grand Ole Opry, soon appearing on A Prairie Home Companion and playing before...
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Let 'Er Go, Boys!, Michael Cleveland
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