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The Best Kept Secret

Jerry Douglas

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Album Review

"She Makes Me Want to Sing," the opening track on Jerry Douglass's Best Kept Secret is nothing short of a shock to the system. For starters, Douglass's trademark dobro sound isn't present until nearly a minute in. Second there are twin dirty slide guitars by Keith Sewell and Derek Trucks' (Allman Brothers Band) wailing atop of a fat, fat ugly, nasty bass. It's a hard nasty boogie jam that could be on a Canned Heat album. Whoa. Some sanity returns as Sam Bush and Bela Fleck trade fours with Douglas on "Whose Your Uncle, where progressive stomping bluegrass breakdown takes back the order of the day. But the surprises just continue to mount as Allison Krauss takes the vocal chair on the electric funk jam "Back In Love Again." But it goes off the rails when Douglas and band cover Joe Zawinul's (Weather Report) beautiful ballad "A Remark You made. With Jerry playing the saxophone line on his dobro. It's gorgeous and off-kilter, added to with great depth and sensitivity by Derek Jones' bassline. Other guests on this wild set include Bill Frisell on "Lil Roro" and John Fogerty playing and singing on "Swing Blues No. 1." But it's more than just guests, Douglass's tunes' are in stunning form here, particularly the title track and "U R My Flower." In sum, this will surely piss some people off, but should turn the heads of many others in his direction. Adventure and reckless abandon are the order of the day here and best Kept Secret doesn't disappoint.

Biography

Born: 28 May 1956 in Warren, Ohio

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jerry Douglas is widely renowned as perhaps the finest Dobro player in contemporary acoustic music. His main foundation is bluegrass, but Douglas is an eclectic whose tastes run toward jazz, blues, folk, and straight-ahead country as well, and he's equally capable of appealing to bluegrass aficionados or new agers with a taste for instrumental roots music. What's more, his progressive sensibility as a composer has earned him comparisons to likeminded virtuosos Béla Fleck and David Grisman. Douglas...
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The Best Kept Secret, Jerry Douglas
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