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Album Review

Allowing Peter Rowan and Tony Rice to front a small acoustic band is a shortcut to creating a bluegrass-folk supergroup. Few bluegrass-folk vocalists achieve Rowan's rich, resonant delivery, and while he's certainly a "good" singer, he maintains weathered edges that make him a good (read "authentic") folksinger. Rice's guitar style, equally melodic and nimble, warmly wraps itself around Rowan's vocals. These winning attributes, however, only begin to explain the carefully woven tapestry of Quartet, a richly realized folk recording. Both bassist/vocalist Bryn Davies and mandolinist/vocalist Sharon Gilchrist add considerably to the spaciousness of the sound and intricate interplay between the four musicians. Davies and Gilchrist's vocal harmony likewise supplies an additional emotional layer on "Dust Bowl Children" and "To Live Is to Fly." While the songs have been carefully selected, the content of individual lyrics seem to matter less than the tone of Rowan's vocals, the harmony, Rice's lead lines, and the mix of acoustic instruments. Quartet, then, is more about creating an entwined sound with a solid bottom end than lyrical content, and the songs are simply vehicles for that sound. Quartet starts stronger than it ends, but the early material is very strong. While both Rice and Rowan seem more intent in refining earlier stylistic innovations than creating new ones, Quartet's progressive acoustic vision remains fresh and vital. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews


This album has to be my favorite of all time.
If you enjoy tasty acoustic music with great singing and songs
don't hesitate, buy now. You won't be disappointed.

High Minded Porch Music

If you have any affection for acoustic music, then you will find the first five songs on this album, plus "Cold rain and Snow" instance favorites. These are high minded geniuses, working their craft in perfect, collective harmony. A MUST have for followers and fans of either Rowan or Rice.


Born: June 8, 1951 in Danville, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tony Rice is one of bluegrass' most inventive flatpicking guitar players. Although he's displayed a mastery of the genre's traditions, Rice set the standard for more contemporary styles. A former member of the Bluegrass Alliance, the David Grisman Quintet, J.D. Crowe's New South, and the Bluegrass Album Band, Rice has continued to reflect his eclectic approach on solo recordings, two albums with flatpicking guitar ace Norman Blake, and two albums, recorded with his brothers Larry, Ron, and Wyatt,...
Full Bio

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