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Album Review

Like consummate musicians, for their first album together Norman Blake and Tony Rice largely ignored flash and speed in favor of songs and mood. There is some exceptional flatpicking here, but even the more manic passages are tempered by a softness that is striking, and perhaps even a little disappointing, in its modesty. Once the listener gets past the desire to hear hardcore chops, though, the album reveals its full beauty, especially in Blake's gorgeous "Last Train From Poor Valley" and Rice's cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'." Perky fiddle tune medleys and bluegrass standards provide some balance, but this is gentle listening throughout.

Blake & Rice, Norman Blake & Tony Rice
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