Fair Weather

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Editorial Reviews

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Alison Brown is known for mixing jazz and tropical flavors into her bluegrass, but on FAIR WEATHER, the banjo star reflects on the music of her youth. Not to worry -- this is no staid return to tradition. FAIR WEATHER's 12 tracks offer too many surprises and innovations. Inspired covers of Elvis Costello and Harry Nilsson, as well as several choice Brown originals, keep the repertoire fresh and the players loose. The picker does pay tribute to the father of bluegrass banjo, Earl Scruggs, with her original "Girl's Breakdown." Flashing impressive Scruggs-style licks, Brown is joined by bluegrass luminaries Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. Country superstar Vince Gill, who ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Alison Brown is known for mixing jazz and tropical flavors into her bluegrass, but on FAIR WEATHER, the banjo star reflects on the music of her youth. Not to worry -- this is no staid return to tradition. FAIR WEATHER's 12 tracks offer too many surprises and innovations. Inspired covers of Elvis Costello and Harry Nilsson, as well as several choice Brown originals, keep the repertoire fresh and the players loose. The picker does pay tribute to the father of bluegrass banjo, Earl Scruggs, with her original "Girl's Breakdown." Flashing impressive Scruggs-style licks, Brown is joined by bluegrass luminaries Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. Country superstar Vince Gill, who kicked off his career in the same West Coast bluegrass scene as Brown and Duncan, guests on "Fair Weather," a lifting piece of music written by another California 'grasser, the late Steve Libbea. Brown recruited other bluegrass standouts for this pickin' party: Claire Lynch adds a moving vocal to "Hummingbird," and David Grier, Matt Flinner, and Todd Phillips rip through the Appalachian tribute "Deep Gap." The disc's climax comes with "Leaving Cottondale," a speedy banjo duel between Alison and New Grass pioneer Bela Fleck. Together, the cuts make for a fun and sunny session with Brown's banjo providing a shining stream of notes throughout. --Kerry Dexter
All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Banjo virtuoso Alison Brown, whose primary group is a jazz quartet, returns to her bluegrass roots on this beautiful and exhilarating album. Well, sort of. The instrumental format is certainly bluegrass, given guest artists like Stuart Duncan and Darol Anger on fiddles, guitarists Mike Marshall and Tony Rice, and mandolinist Sam Bush, and with Brown's fiery five-string picking front and center. But much of this is bluegrass music of a type that Bill Monroe might not recognize; while "Late on Arrival" is a good old-fashioned Scruggs-style banjo showcase and "Fair Weather" a modern bluegrass song with all the standard accouterments, the twin mandolins and easy-swinging rhythm of "Poe's Pickin' Party" sound kind of like an old-time string band playing turn-of-the-century salon music. And then there are the cover tunes, which include a gently winning rendition of the old Elvis Costello hit "Everyday I Write the Book." The album's most thrilling moments come on the complex and exhilarating "Leaving Cottondale," which is both one of the prettiest and one of the most technically impressive of Brown's compositions. Here she's joined by fellow banjo maverick Bela Fleck for one of the most jaw-dropping passages of twin-banjo counterpoint ever put on tape. Call it bluegrass, call it newgrass, call it jazzgrass, whatever. This is one of the best albums of 2000 in any genre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/2000
  • Label: Compass Records
  • UPC: 766397429229
  • Catalog Number: 974292
  • Sales rank: 157,589

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alison Brown Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Banjo
David Grier Guitar
Tony Rice Guitar
Sam Bush Mandolin
Todd Phillips Bass
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Garth Fundis Vocals
Vince Gill Guitar, Vocals
Gene Libbea Bass, Vocals
Mike Marshall Guitar, Mandolin
Tim O'Brien Vocals
Missy Raines Bass
Technical Credits
Leon Russell Composer
Kenny Dorham Composer
Benny Golson Composer
Randy LeRoy Mastering
Dave Sinko Engineer
Garry West Producer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fair Weather is excellent not just 'fair'....

    If you like Blue Grass with a little something extra, I think you will love this CD. I am enjoying playing it time and again, because it is just plain "fun" to listen to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews