Best of the Sugar Hill Years

Best of the Sugar Hill Years

by Jerry Douglas
     
 

Since leaving The Whites in the mid-'80s for a solo/sideman/session player career, dobro master Jerry Douglas has compiled a list of credits that would fill a couple of Nashville phone books. As a regular member of Alison Krauss's Union Station, he's showcased his artistry before millions of music fans, but even those who know him in thatSee more details below

Overview

Since leaving The Whites in the mid-'80s for a solo/sideman/session player career, dobro master Jerry Douglas has compiled a list of credits that would fill a couple of Nashville phone books. As a regular member of Alison Krauss's Union Station, he's showcased his artistry before millions of music fans, but even those who know him in that guise may not be familiar with his estimable body of work as a solo artist. This entry in Sugar Hill's Americana Master Series serves as an impressive overview of his dazzling musicianship, which is not only technically breathtaking but abundant in feeling, too. No mere technician, Douglas is a deeply soulful cat whose instrument "talks" with great authority. Check out the scintillating, angular dialogue between Douglas and Edgar Meyer's rumbling, protesting bass on the expansive, Leo Kottke-like instrumental "Takarasaka," for example. Elsewhere, his swaggering dobro lines establish a sublime, autumnal ambiance to accompany Peter Rowan's sly crooning on "Lullaby of the Leaves," a cut from Rowan's fine Yonder album. By contrast, his energetic, furious picking behind Tim O'Brien's urgent vocal and driving mandolin runs heightens the dark drama of a bluegrass-ified treatment of "Hey Joe." From the jazz-inflected "Birdland" (by Joe Zawinul) to the poignant Irish strains of Donal Lunny's "A Tribute to Peador O'Donnell" to the lighthearted pop swing of Errol Garner's "Like It Is," Douglas finds exhilarating voices in his dobro stylings. Rarely has a picker been able to make his or her instrument speak so eloquently, or beautifully.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
For bluegrass and progressive music fans, dobro player Jerry Douglas is something of a force of musical nature, familiar from both his solo recordings and his work with others including Alison Krauss. Best of the Sugar Hill Years covers an 11-year span of time, from Slide Rule in 1992 to Lookout for Hope in 2002. The tracking of the album is also interesting to note because it doesn't follow chronological order. This probably allows more latitude in mixing up the various tempos and moods, and since Douglas sticks with instrumentals -- songs featuring the similar sounding dobro or Weissenborn and Kona guitars -- the material from different periods has a familiar ring (Douglas does utilize both dobro and lap steel on "Senia's Lamet."). Still, the material has a great deal of variety, from the quiet, easy flowing "A New Day Medley" to the jazzy "Cave Bop." There are four selections from Restless on the Farm (1998), which will probably just whet the listener's appetite for the remainder of this excellent album. On the original "Takarasaka," Douglas is joined by bassist Edgar Meyer and guitarist Russ Barenberg for an expansive, and often intense, intermingling of instrumental voices. Other standout moments include a take on the old rock standard "Hey Joe" with a vocal by Tim O'Brien. Taken at a brisk pace, Douglas and mandolinist O'Brien cut loose with quick, pithy runs, turning this favorite, strangely enough, into a fine bluegrass song. For progressive bluegrass fans unfamiliar with Douglas (shame on you!) and anyone who would like to view the arc of a fine dobro player's career, Best of the Sugar Hill Years is the place to start.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2007
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891402628
catalogNumber:
4026
Rank:
89049

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jerry Douglas   Primary Artist,Dobro,Lap Steel Guitar,Kona Guitar,Weissenborn
Russ Barenberg   Guitar
Scott Nygaard   Guitar
Peter Rowan   Guitar,Vocals
Sam Bush   Mandolin
Edgar Meyer   Bass
Larry Atamanuik   Percussion,Conga,Drums
Jeff Coffin   Saxophone
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Béla Fleck   Banjo
John Gardner   Drums
Viktor Krauss   Bass
Tim O'Brien   Mandolin,Vocals
Mark Schatz   Bass
Adam Steffey   Mandolin
Bryan Sutton   Guitar
Craig Robert Smith   Banjo

Technical Credits

Jerry Douglas   Composer,Producer
Dónal Lunny   Composer
Darol Anger   Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
Tut Taylor   Producer
Dan Stover   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Bernice Petkere   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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