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Best of the Bluegrass Mandolin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Falls short in presenting the best of bluegrass mandolin

    What a challenge that CMH Records has taken on to present the best of the bluegrass mandolin in only 15 tracks! Their picks include traditional and contemporary offerings picked by Bobby Osborne, David West, Jesse McReynolds, Kenny Blackwell, Marty Stuart, Joe Smith, Brent Truitt, and Bill Monroe. Two of the same cuts (The Prisoner's Song, and Going Across the Sea) are also among the offerings on CMH's "The Pioneers of Bluegrass" reviewed above. This album offers a very eclectic mix of mandolin. Forked Deer, Kentucky Waltz, and Roanoke are tunes one might hear at a traditional bluegrass festival. On the other end of the spectrum, you can also hear mandolin interpretations of Lennon and McCartney's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," of Carlos Santana's "Samba Pa Ti," P. Green's "Black Magic Woman," Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville," and Chet Atkins' "You're the Nearest Thing to Heaven." A number of the tracks also have percussion. Not just an instrumental album, about a third of the offerings include vocals. This album has an interesting set of music with some solid mandolin playing, but it falls short in presenting the best of bluegrass mandolin. To best present that instrument, CMH would've been better off with two fully instrumental releases: one featuring traditional stylings and one featuring contemporary offerings. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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