An Instrumental Anthology

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Once upon a time, hotshot instrumentalists like Wayne Benson were happy to sit on the sidelines, sprucing up vocal tracks by a known performer. Who wanted an instrumental album, anyway? But in 2002, some 25 years after the David Grisman Quintet and the Tony Rice Unit blazed the new acoustic trail, Sugar Hill, Pinecastle, and other labels have been more than willing to issue instrumental music. Unlike the pioneers listed above, mandolinist Benson and his partners in crime stick closer to tradition. Free-flowing tunes like "Tucker" and "Tillery Cove" soar high but never fly out of orbit thanks to strains of backwoods bluegrass and Celtic airs. Benson's joined by a long...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Once upon a time, hotshot instrumentalists like Wayne Benson were happy to sit on the sidelines, sprucing up vocal tracks by a known performer. Who wanted an instrumental album, anyway? But in 2002, some 25 years after the David Grisman Quintet and the Tony Rice Unit blazed the new acoustic trail, Sugar Hill, Pinecastle, and other labels have been more than willing to issue instrumental music. Unlike the pioneers listed above, mandolinist Benson and his partners in crime stick closer to tradition. Free-flowing tunes like "Tucker" and "Tillery Cove" soar high but never fly out of orbit thanks to strains of backwoods bluegrass and Celtic airs. Benson's joined by a long list of friends that include banjoist Scott Vestal, guitarist Jeff Autry, and fiddler Jim VanCleve for a dozen tastefully arranged and executed tracks. The fact that this album consists of nothing but instrumental tracks is a feat in itself; too often, it seems, a guest vocalist is used to help sell the album. Instead, Benson just does what he's good at, scorching a trail on "Carpenter John" and taking it slow and easy on the nearly seven-minute "Spagnum Peat." With its no-frills, straightforward picking, An Instrumental Anthology should inspire novices and satisfy any bluegrass fan who can't say no to beautifully played music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/25/2003
  • Label: Pinecastle
  • UPC: 755757650328
  • Catalog Number: 6503
  • Sales rank: 337,623

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tucker (3:27)
  2. 2 Tillery Cove (4:02)
  3. 3 Blountville (2:49)
  4. 4 Anxious Molly (3:33)
  5. 5 Carpenter John (2:37)
  6. 6 Walter Hill (2:32)
  7. 7 Ole Rowdy (2:54)
  8. 8 Red Tommy (2:26)
  9. 9 Buck and Chloe (2:53)
  10. 10 The Galt House Suite (3:09)
  11. 11 Chattanooga Breakdown (2:44)
  12. 12 Spagnum Peat (6:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Wayne Benson Primary Artist
John Cowan Bass
Rob Ickes Dobro
Mark Schatz Bass
Rickie Simpkins Fiddle
Scott Vestal Banjo
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle
Mike Anglin Bass
Jeff Autry Guitar
Jim VanCleve Fiddle
Ron Stewart Fiddle
Irl Hees Bass
Technical Credits
Tom Riggs Executive Producer
Brent Truitt Engineer
Scott Vestal Producer, Engineer
Wayne Benson Producer
Bob Murray Art Direction
Chicken Hawk Engineer
Ben Surratt Engineer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This album is boss, or as they say in French, tray bone! Mighty fine!

    Wayne Benson, from Charlotte, North Carolina, was born John Wayne Benson. Like the famous movie star, this young, stellar bluegrass musician definitely has true grit! He started playing mandolin at age 15, and he helped form the band "Livewire" in 1989 with Scott Vestal, Ernie Sykes and Robert Hale. Benson has been featured on the annual bluegrass CDs released by the Pinecastle label and has won numerous awards for his mandolin playing. He's picked with with the award-winning group IIIrd Tyme Out since late 1992. Now, Benson offers us an exceptional debut solo album with hot picking galore. Each of the twelve original tunes, written by Wayne, is a winner. They range from the bouncy (Tucker) to blazing (Chattanooga Breakdown), boisterous (Ole Rowdy) to blinding (Carpenter John). Tillery Cove starts with the feel of an Irish jig before going bluegrass ballistic. Blountville reminds me of an old-time fiddle tune with very contemporary sensibilities. Anxious Molly (inspired by his beagle), Red Tommy, and The Galt House Suite are three jazzy tunes that appear to exhibit a strong influence of David Grisman's dawg music. I especially enjoyed hearing Benson's mandola on the slower "Buck & Chloe." A nearly 7-minute ethereal tune, Spagnum Peat, ends the project on a contemplative note. All but four of the cuts on this album were previously released on Pinecastle's bluegrass instrumental series. Every piece includes inspired melodies, innovative instrumental work, and creative well-balanced arrangements. The tunes beautifully blend and overlay musical passages, accentuated with harmonies and counter-melodies. The resulting musical journey is like a patchwork quilt of interwoven multicolored hues. The sterling supporting artists are also responsible for a lot of the excitement on Benson's project. They include Scott Vestal (banjo), Rob Ickes (dobro), and Jeff Autry (guitar). Fiddle duties are very ably handled by Ron Stewart, Rickie Simpkins, Jim VanCleve, or Aubrey Haynie. Three different bass players (John Cowan,, Mike Anglin, and Irl Hees) are also featured on this fine project. This album is boss, or as they say in French, tray bone! Mighty fine! (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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