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Sweet Reason

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Album Review

Accomplished flatpicker Mark Cosgrove turns in a first-class picking session on his FGM Records debut. Beginning with an original instrumental, "Good Morning Isaac," he leads a well-chosen studio band including Tony Trischka (banjo), Mike Madon (mandolin), Peter Lorch (guitar), Larry Cohen (bass), Kenny Kosek (fiddle), and Jim Heffernan (Dobro). With "Dark Wind of Missouri," Cosgrove turns to singing and evokes poverty and strife amid the lyrical picking. Another welcome vocal is a take on Robert Earl Keen's witty "Paint the Town Beige." And the album concludes with something of a New Grass Revival reunion, as Sam Bush and Béla Fleck sit in on Cosgrove's own "Good Medicine" (a re-recording of the title song from his first album). But it's the regular band of stringmen that makes the strongest impression, each one given generous solo space along with the talented leader.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

Unlikely as it may seem, flatpicking guitarist Mark Cosgrove was the son of a Tony-winning Broadway costume designer (Mary Percy Schenck) and grew up in Manhattan listening to classical music. He turned to bluegrass at an early age, however (following a flirtation with the drums), and quickly became proficient. He won both the U.S. National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS, and the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in Wilkesboro, NC. He made his first recordings as a member of the Philadelphia-based...
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Sweet Reason, Mark Cosgrove
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