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Down the Road - Bluegrass Songs of Flatt & Scruggs

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Album Review

The Bluegrass Album Band is a bluegrass supergroup consisting of A-list session players and established bandleaders who got together in the early '80s to record an album of straight-ahead bluegrass standards; the result was called simply The Bluegrass Album, and it was so popular that the same pickup group (in slightly changing configurations) made five more such recordings over the course of the next 15 years. This compilation focuses on their renditions of songs either written or made famous by the great Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, known to most Americans as the composers and performers of the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies. Led by the rich voice and powerful guitar playing of Tony Rice, the Bluegrass Album Band never sound less than completely tight and assured, and on timeless material like "The Old Home Town," "I'll Never Shed Another Tear," and the charming novelty tune "Head Over Heels," their affection for their illustrious musical forebears is both obvious and infectious. J.D. Crowe's banjo playing, which in other contexts can get a bit adventurous, here pays explicit tribute to the metronomic solidity of the classic Scruggs sound, and Bobby Hicks' fiddling is similarly old school. The Bluegrass Album Band's full-length albums are a better value for your money (this collection is offered at mid-price, but contains only a half-hour of music), but there's no denying the consistently high quality of the music on this one.

Biography

Formed: 1980

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The Bluegrass Album Band was a bluegrass supergroup formed in 1980. Originally, the band featured J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Tony Rice, Bobby Hicks, and Todd Phillips. All of the members were known as progressive bluegrass musicians, but the Bluegrass Album Band was designed to showcase the traditional side of their talents. Their first album, The Bluegrass Album, was intended as a one-shot project, but it proved so successful that the group recorded four other albums over the course of the decade....
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Down the Road - Bluegrass Songs of Flatt & Scruggs, The Bluegrass Album Band
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