Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza (USA 1999) @320

The humblest of beginnings can beget the best prizes, as is the case with this spectacular summit meeting of bluegrass mandolinists. The story goes like this: Ronnie McCoury, son of the great Del, is driving his father's 1954 GMC coach in the (where else?) Shenandoah Valley and has a minor epiphany, dreaming up what he describes as a "Bluegrass Mandolin 101." When he shares the idea with Acoustic Disc founder (and mandolin virtuoso) David Grisman, the project is off with a sprint. Next thing you know, there's eight great mandolin pickers--veterans Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Frank Wakefield, and Buck White, and (relatively) younger maestros Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs, McCoury, and Grisman, with Del McCoury on guitar--grabbing 34 tunes for their collective own. They open with a unison reading of "Blue Moon of Kentucky" that recalls how important mandolin ensemble music was in bridging the worlds of concert and popular music generations ago. Then the ensemble's off on a solo-rich ride, with fiddle tunes like "Old Joe Clark" offering everyone a moment in the picking light and Bill Monroe's "Roanoke" giving the session's two planners a chance to speed through in unison. Then there are banjo-tune adaptations like "The Cakewalk" and numerous episodes of influence, where you have Wakefield, one of Grisman's 1960s-era mentors, jamming on "Mexican Stomp." The pickers also get an opportunity to introduce many of the cuts with a short monologue on the tune's genesis and intent. As if that all weren't enough, the set also comes slipcased with a generously colorful booklet that breaks down each tune and features mini-essays on each soloist and lovely photos of their preferred mandolin. Far more than a simple anthology of trad-grass mandolin music, this is a lengthy paean to the instrument and its great practitioners. --Andrew Bartlett

 Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Frank Wakefield, Buck White, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury

Disk 1:
1.    Ensemble / Blue Moon Of Kentucky    1:23
2.    Ensemble, Del McCoury / Old Joe Clark    5:14
3.    Jesse McReynolds, Del McCoury / The Cakewalk    2:46
4.    Sam Bush, David Grisman, Del McCoury / Wayfaring Stranger    6:18
5.    Sam Bush, Del McCoury / I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky    1:34
6.    Ronnie McCoury, Del McCoury / Mccoury Blues    2:22
7.    Bobby Osborne, Ronnie McCoury / Cherokee Lady    3:28
8.    Buck White, Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, Del McCoury / Down Home Waltz    3:26
9.    Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury / Blue Grass Special    3:26
10.    Frank Wakefield, Del McCoury / Miss Lizzie    2:17
11.    Frank Wakefield, Ronnie McCoury, Del McCoury / Catnip    2:32
12.    Ensemble, Del McCoury / Panhandle Country    4:42
13.    Buck White, Del McCoury / One-Legged Man    1:45
14.    Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Del McCoury / East Tennessee Blues    3:05
15.    Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, Del McCoury / B Natural    2:35
16.    David Grisman, Del McCoury / No You Stand Back    2:39
17.    Ensemble, Del McCoury / I Wonder Where You Are Tonight?    4:06
Disk 2:
1.    Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, Del McCoury / Roanoke    2:48
2.    Sam Bush, Sam McCoury / Cattle In The Cane    2:49
3.    Ensemble / Dixie Hoedown    5:44
4.    Bobby Osborne, Ronnie McCoury / Ashokan Farewell    4:28
5.    Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury / Cumberland Gap    2:40
6.    Buck White, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie McCoury / Sassyfrass    2:25
7.    Frank Wakefield, Ronnie McCoury / Golden Slippers    2:33
8.    Bobby Osborne, Ronnie McCoury / Say Old Man    3:11
9.    Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Del McCoury / Westphalia Waltz    1:38
10.    Frank Wakefield, Del McCoury / Play It Pretty, Me    3:16
11.    Frank Wakefield, David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury / Mexican Stomp    3:04
12.    Ensemble / Dusty Miller    4:37
13.    Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury / Cajun Mandolin    3:59
14.    Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury / Boston Boy    3:03
15.    Jesse McReynolds, Del McCoury / Who At My Door Is Standing?    3:12
16.    Ensemble / Blue Moon Of Kentucky    2:58
17.    Sam Bush / World's Shortest Rawhide    4:38


Skylamb said...

Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza
pw: folkyourself

Anonymous said...

Excellent pair of CDs. I'll buy them if they're available.

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