Bluegrass Guitarby Bryan Sutton
Bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton isn't one of Nashville's most in-demand session players for nothing, as is evident on his second solo outing, the appropriately titled Bluegrass Guitar. Straightforward and clean, Sutton's fingers fly over top of these 12 tunes, accompanied by simple banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and bass. The warmth and intent of the music is clear and honest, and the musicianship of Dennis Crouch, Tim Crouch, Tim O'Brien, and David Talbot locks in nicely with Sutton's fingerpicked leads. The majority of the songs are traditional folk and bluegrass numbers, with a handful of recent compositions by Béla Fleck, mandolinist O'Brien, and one by Sutton himself, all of which contain the same thread of authenticity, making Bluegrass Guitar a sunny continuation of the evolution of American acoustic music.
- Release Date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Only about thirty years old, North Carolina guitarist Bryan Sutton has put new meaning into the term "bluegrass guitar" and has even taken home the coveted IBMA "Guitar Player of the Year" Award in 2000. Versed in many genres of music and with considerable experience under his belt, Sutton's desire to do more session work eventually took him to Nashville where he joined a gospel group called "Mid South." In 1995, Sutton joined Ricky Skaggs' band, Kentucky Thunder, and his flashy playing caught the attention of the bluegrass community on Skaggs' "Bluegrass Rules" album. The group evolved into a large bluegrass band, and Sutton's sizzling guitar and powerful rhythms helped define the band's sound. Within a few years, he was sharing a Grammy award and playing on projects from such artists as Aubrey Haynie, Jerry Douglas, Don Rigsby, Bobby Hicks, Rhonda Vincent, Tina Adair, Dixie Chicks, and Dolly Parton. Filling in for the injured Tony Rice with the Bluegrass Sessions gave Bryan continued acclaim as he continually amazed audiences with his distinctive precision guitar leads. His solo "Ready To Go" project with many stellar guests matched musicians to material across a broad range of styles. From well-crafted instrumentals, including five penned by Sutton himself, to covers of artists as diverse as U2 and Django Reinhardt, it's an album that truly reflects the creativity and talent of one of the most exciting young musicians on the scene today. Somewhere along the road, Bryan Sutton picked up a nickname of "Bionic Bryan". This new recording displays his incredible talent as he impressively glides around on slow numbers like "Margaret's Waltz" and sets his strings ablaze on the fast tunes. I don't think I've ever heard Bill Monroe's "Roanoake" performed with such precision at such a breakneck speed. That surely gave Tim O'Brien a good workout. Actually, the picking gets so frenetic on this album, that I'm glad he chose to close with something a little slower, melodic and reflective, A.P. Carter's "The Storms are on the Ocean." Flatpicking guitar at its finest, Sutton is right up there alongside legends like Doc Watson and Tony Rice. "Hangman's Reel," Nelia's Dance," and "The Storms are on the Ocean" are clear standouts. Sutton provides a few personal liner notes about each of his song selections. He also lined up some fantastic musicians to help out: Dennis Crouch (bass), Tim Crouch (fiddle), Tim O'Brien (mandolin), and David Talbot (banjo and rhythm guitar). This album is a killer. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)
I've enjoyed every song on this CD - usually a rare thing these days. It has become one of my favorite CDs because of the interesting song selections and the superb musicianship of each of the contributors. Bryan's guitar work is driving and crisp and I love the mandolin work by Tim. I play the guitar and mandolin so I listen to those two instruments very critically. But the banjo, fiddle, and bass are also incredibly solid. If you love bluegrass, you won't regret this purchase.