Grass Roots: The Best of New Grass Revival

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Without the New Grass Revival, there would be no Alison Krauss + Union Station or Nickel Creek. From their founding in 1971 to their disbanding in 1989, New Grass Revival were always ahead of the game, building on the progressive sensibilities of veteran bluegrass popularizers such as Earl Scruggs and Jim & Jessie and taking the genre into relatively uncharted territory. Melding the ancient tones to rock, jazz, country, reggae, and gospel, they forged a link between the past and present as they hurtled toward the future. The journey began with founder and mandolinist/fiddler extraordinaire Sam Bush abetted by Courtney Johnson (banjo), Curtis Burch (guitar), and Harry...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Without the New Grass Revival, there would be no Alison Krauss + Union Station or Nickel Creek. From their founding in 1971 to their disbanding in 1989, New Grass Revival were always ahead of the game, building on the progressive sensibilities of veteran bluegrass popularizers such as Earl Scruggs and Jim & Jessie and taking the genre into relatively uncharted territory. Melding the ancient tones to rock, jazz, country, reggae, and gospel, they forged a link between the past and present as they hurtled toward the future. The journey began with founder and mandolinist/fiddler extraordinaire Sam Bush abetted by Courtney Johnson (banjo), Curtis Burch (guitar), and Harry Shelor (a.k.a. Ebo Walker, on bass); when Walker bowed out, he was eventually replaced by the formidable bassist/vocalist John Cowan; in its latter years, when Johnson and Burch hung it up, the lineup was bolstered by guitarist Pat Flynn and banjo visionary Béla Fleck. In all configurations, the New Grassers were fearless and eminently entertaining; this double-disc, 35-song career retrospective shows how and features seven previously unavailable live cuts (including three from the band's final show, on New Year's Eve, 1989) and three newly unearthed studio cuts. For an idea of this band's advanced sensibility, check out the shifting textures and instrumental dialogue of the dazzling toe-tapper "Spring Peepers." Or the banjo-fired, red-hot workout of the Beatles' "I'm Down." For a change of pace, consider the cool harmonies and the relaxed, stripped-down arrangement fueling Bob Marley's "One Love." And John Cowan's blue-eyed soul wailing on a propulsive treatment of "Ain't That Peculiar" would surely get Marvin Gaye's nod of approval. Truth be told, the time is still right for New Grass Revival. Come on back, fellas.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Unlike the single-disc sets New Grass Anthology 1990 and The Best of New Grass Revival 1994, the double-CD Grass Roots: The Best of New Grass Revival does not restrict itself to the group's major-label catalog of EMI/Capitol recordings, circa 1986-1989, but instead also licenses tracks dating back to the band's first recordings in 1972. There are selections from the debut album, The Arrival of the New Grass Revival, originally released on Starday Records; from the Flying Fish LPs Fly Through the Country, Barren County, and Commonwealth; and from the Sugar Hill collections Live and On the Boulevard; in addition to material drawn from the EMI/Capitol albums New Grass Revival, Hold to a Dream, and Friday Night in America. There are also eight previously unreleased tracks, five of them live performances ten of the set's 35 tracks are live. That all adds up to nearly two and a half hours of New Grass Revival spread across 17 years, drawn from the group's entire recorded output. Although they were praised and criticized for their unorthodox approach to bluegrass, much of this music is in a traditional style, that is, when the band isn't covering the Beatles, Marvin Gaye, the Impressions, Jerry Lee Lewis, or Bob Marley & the Wailers or adding a reggae rhythm to some other tune. But even at their most eclectic, the bandmembers remain an amazing bunch of pickers, whether in the early lineup of Sam Bush, John Cowan, Courtney Johnson, and Curtis Burch, or the later one, in which Pat Flynn and Béla Fleck replaced Johnson and Burch. Grass Roots: The Best of New Grass Revival makes an excellent summation of their career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/2005
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724386342522
  • Catalog Number: 63425
  • Sales rank: 86,348

Album Credits

Performance Credits
New Grass Revival Primary Artist
Sam Bush Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals, Violectra
Wendy Waldman Vocal Harmony
Butch Robins Banjo, Bass
Eddie Bayers Drums
Curtis Burch Dobro, Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Bob Carpenter Accordion, Vocals
John Cowan Bass, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Garth Fundis Vocal Harmony
Jimmie Fadden Drums
Béla Fleck Banjo, Vocal Harmony
Pat Flynn Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Jeff Hanna Guitar, Vocals
Roy M. "Junior" Husky Upright Bass
Jimmy Ibbotson Vocals
Courtney Johnson Banjo, Vocal Harmony
Kenny Malone Percussion, Drums
Bob Mater Drums
Tom Roady Percussion
Randy Scruggs Guitar
Ebo Walker Bass, Vocal Harmony
Bill Kenner Mandolin
Michael Clemm Drums
Technical Credits
Sam Bush Arranger, Producer
Tom Russell Engineer
Edgar Meyer String Arrangements
Bob Marley Composer
John Lennon Composer
Curtis Mayfield Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Wendy Waldman Producer
Otis Blackwell Composer
Richard Adler Engineer
Curtis Burch Arranger
Chuck Cochran Producer
John Cutler Engineer
Garth Fundis Producer, Engineer
Bob Fisher Mastering
Jack Hammer Composer
Chris Hammond Engineer
Jeff Hanna Arranger
Jimmy Ibbotson Arranger
Courtney Johnson Arranger
Ron Reynolds Engineer
Dennis Ritchie Engineer
Randy Scruggs Arranger, Producer
Bil VornDick Engineer
Robert K. Oermann Liner Notes
Diana Barnes Art Direction
Guillaume Godet Engineer
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Godfathers of Newgrass

    I was disappointed in the single disc best-of Capitol put out in the 90s. This 2CD set makes up for that collection's lapses. What surprised me was how well the pre-Fleck material matched up with the "classic" years. The band played all sorts of genres but still filtered them through a bluegrass sensibility. They sometimes added percussion but had so much energy that drums were not needed.Sam Bush's original vision was never lost. Although groups like County Cooking were also pioneers of the progressive sound, they were the Allman Brothers or Grateful Dead of bluegrass.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews