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Come On Down to My World

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Album Review

This 1998 release found J.D. Crowe and his band, the New South, at their creative best and definitely at the top of their game. Always skirting the fine line between what is traditional bluegrass and what is country, Crowe and his band stick close to tradition while alternately blazing new trails in the genre. That said, this album probably has a higher quotient of straight country done up Crowe style than any previous outing. From its remake of Charley Pride's "(I'm So) Afraid of Losing You Again" to Merle Haggard's "Back to the Barrooms" to Townes Van Zandt's "White Freight Liner Blues," the band takes on this type of material with considerable élan, imparting a fresh slant to everything. The more traditional instrumentals, "J's Tune" and "Careless Love," individually call to mind the work of Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, respectively. Mandolinist and lead singer Dwight McCall's original "I Don't Know" is another highlight falling into that nether region between bluegrass and country. "Come Back Sweetheart" and "You Didn't Say Goodbye" are more traditional pieces and serve as musical anchors to Come on Down to My World, an album that shows the wide range of Crowe's music and his unbelievable facility on his instrument.

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