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In Good Company

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Album Review

Bill Evans is a master banjo player, one intent on showing that the instrument can tackle music that stands outside the usual country and bluegrass canons. That's not to say he ignores that side of things, by any means, and with some powerhouse guests, he plays some mean country music and bluegrass. There are also four Beatles covers, all performed instrumentally, that highlight the beauty and depth in the melodies ("You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is a standout, while "A Hard Day's Night" is nothing less than a banjo-picking fest at fast and furious speeds, where all the musicians get their heads down and sprint for the finish). But throughout the disc there are remarkable performances, as with the cover of John Martyn's "Walk to the Water," where Andy Hall is a tower on Dobro, although the speed of the performance belies the lazy mood of the original. But, really, this is a showcase for the breadth of Evans' talent, and it does that superbly.


Genre: Country

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

Anyone with an interest in researching Bill Evans had better not be in a hurry. The best way to approach his story would be to pour a cup of coffee, settle back in a favorite recliner, and slide your reading glasses into place, because when people start talking about the bluegrass banjo player, they talk effusively, affectionately, and with pride as they point to a talent that spans more than a quarter of a century. Evans, who hails from Virginia but now lives in California, is more than simply a...
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