Bluegrass: The Little Grasscals - Nashville's Superpickers
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As part of the world traditions-exploring series of albums on Naxos, bluegrass stands as representative of American traditional music. A crew of pickers following in Bill Monroe's tradition are called forth to present a number of traditional bluegrass numbers, and do so with some pretty good skill. The banjo and mandolin players are probably the highlights of the ensemble, taking Earl Scruggs' three-finger plucking quite seriously and producing the ordered, yet frantic sound that represents bluegrass so well. The fiddlers show off some good work on the way as well. While the songs are all old standards, it's the spontaneity of improvisation that brings them to life, along with some decent vocals from the various singers with the ensemble. There's a definite twang inherent in all the sounds, probably enough to scare off the majority of the country-hating crowd. Despite this, the music is really performed quite well. It might not be the Foggy Mountain Boys, but it's not bad by any stretch of the word, either.