Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Concert

Let’s clear up one thing right from the start; this is not a bluegrass record. As the title indicates, it’s a 40th anniversary celebration, culled from four different concert events, mostly recorded at the Grand Ole Opry House in 2009. Nevertheless, it’s a highly listenable album, with several strong bluegrass tracks. Bluegrass fans will enjoy the performances by Alison Krauss, both with Robert Plant (“Rich Woman”) and Union Station, with Jerry Douglas (“Restless” and “Gravity”).  In case you missed Steve Martin’s impressive bluegrass CD, The Crow, he does two numbers, “Pikin Country Turnaround” and “Saga of the Old West,” each of which should convince doubters that he’s for real.  Bela Fleck has two cuts, “Keys To The Kingdom” and “Another Morning,” and he is awesome, as you might expect.

Interview with Leigh Gibson of the Gibson Brothers

Note: Read the interview with Eric Gibson and Mike Barber.

I notice your schedule is pretty broad. After Tennessee, there is Georgia, California then Germany before coming back to the HVBA concert on April 17th.

L:  We’ll be moving around quite a bit. Some years we might have a string of dates together in a region but in bluegrass you take the dates as they come.

D:  Guitar is your favorite instrument?

L:  Yeah. It’s the only one I play well (chuckle) so it would have to be my favorite!  I’ve been playing guitar since I was 11 or 12.  My dad and mom got me my first Martin guitar when I was 13 and that hooked me, an old D-28.

D:  Did you try to play other instruments?

L:  I played fiddle when I was 14 or 15 for a while. I can’t play the banjo at all. I play a little bit of bass.  A little tiny bit of mandolin but not enough to say I’m proficient at all.

Review: Dailey and Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers

The first two times I listened to this CD, I didn't like it. It struck me as derivative, precious and not particularly interesting. Perhaps that's because the opening track, "Flowers on the Wall," hews very close to the original, and I wasn't sure what Dailey and Vincent were adding to the performance. Then, on about the 3rd or 4th listen, I realized what D & V were up to: not exactly reinterpreting these songs, but allowing the bluegrass format of acoustic music, with its lighter, less enveloping orchestration, to liberate the songs from their heavily produced, Nashville-syrupy originals.

Grey Fox Give-Away: Tickets for the Gibson Brothers Concert

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, a Patron of the April 17th concert, and the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association (HVBA) are teaming up to give away two pairs of front row reserved seats to the Gibson Brothers in concert on Saturday, April 17 in Poughkeepsie, NY. To enter this contest, sign up on the GREY FOX MAILING LIST now through April 9, 2010.

Review: Country Music - Willie Nelson

Pay close attention boys and girls because there will be a quiz at the end of this article.

When the HVBA webmeister asked me if I’d like to review a newly received CD from Rounder Records by Willie Nelson, like Annie Oakley, I said, "I’ll give it a shot." But I first must address some anticipated criticism from my detractors who may say, "Hey, is this really bluegrass?"

Is this bluegrass? Not to hit King Wilke with a blunt object, but this, in my inflated opinion, is the real stuff. Willie's CD is named Country Music. This album is on the Rounder Record label, so it has to be bluegrass, right? It will also be available at Starbucks, so you yuppie bluegrass fans can get your caffeine and scones with your music.

Bluegrass Festival Poll

It's almost that time - bluegrass festival season! But, which festivals to attend? Help fellow members decide which ones to put on their lists this year. Complete the form below to write a review of your favorite festival(s) - indoor or out.

Write more than one review, if you like!

We'll publish as many as possible. Thanks!

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