Laps in Seven

Laps in Seven

by Sam Bush
     
 
The surprising title song tells you all you need to know about this stellar outing from newgrass pioneer/mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush. No, it doesn't refer to running a seven-minute mile but rather to the syncopated 7/4 tempo at which Bush observed his dog lapping up water one day. From that came a tune that evolves from a laconic, summery pace into a high-stepping,

Overview

The surprising title song tells you all you need to know about this stellar outing from newgrass pioneer/mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush. No, it doesn't refer to running a seven-minute mile but rather to the syncopated 7/4 tempo at which Bush observed his dog lapping up water one day. From that came a tune that evolves from a laconic, summery pace into a high-stepping, hard-charging, prog-rock rhythmic juggernaut sparked by an exciting textural exchange between electric (banjo, banjo synth, mandolin) and acoustic instruments. Stimulating cross-genre pollination and surprising musical choices are the order of the day for Bush and his incomparable band (Chris Brown, drums; Scott Vestal, banjo; Keith Sewell, electric and acoustic guitars; Byron House, bass). Ranging far and wide for material, the artist blends his original numbers with interesting covers of songs by Julie Miller, John Hartford, David and Linda LaFlamme (of It's a Beautiful Day), Leon Russell, Jean-Luc Ponty, and others. Dueting with Emmylou Harris on Miller's "The River's Gonna Run" (which also features Miller's husband, Buddy, contributing atmospheric fills on acoustic and electric guitars), Bush's sturdy, unadorned singing conjures an appropriately doom-laden mood on the country-inflected ballad. A barnburning bluegrass breakdown on Charlie Monroe's "Bringing In the Georgia Mail" and a frolicsome mandolin-banjo dialogue on Bush's original "The Dolphin Dance" link the traditional with the progressive in style and sensibility. Ponty's new age hoedown, "New Country," features bowmasters Ponty and Bush in a red-hot twin fiddle set-to that, like so much of Laps in Seven, sounds old and new all at once.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Sam Bush has been one of the most respected and loved bluegrass icons since his work with the New Grass Revival during the early '70s. Few folk today remember what a stir the New Grass Revival made at the time with their long hair and acoustic rock take on "Great Balls of Fire." On 2006's Laps in Seven, singer/mandolinist Bush covers the bluegrass continuum with ease, offering fairly traditional fare like "Bringing in the Georgia Mail" and progressive jazz like Jean-Luc Ponty's "New Country." It's an eclectic stew, and he has no problem shifting from acoustic to electric, from vocals to instrumentals. Even with this open approach, Bush's music often expresses a "settled" quality that feels rather safe and lacking in soul. A prime example is his take on John Hartford's "On the Road" (from Hartford's Morning Bugle LP). Obviously, Bush has a great appreciation for Hartford's music, and he's chosen -- structurally -- one of his most challenging songs. Bush's vocal and the band's plodding, however, change Hartford's edgy paean to living on the road into a song that wouldn't be too out of place on bluegrass radio. Sure, Bush's mandolin solo is breezy and, unlike Hartford's version, a listener can actually understand the lyrics. But something has been lost in the process. "I Wanna Do Right," filled with a buoyant groove and soulful backing vocals, works much better, though the song may remind old New Grass Revival fans of "Going to the Fair." Despite these criticisms, Bush can't be accused of sleeping on the job. He always turns out a professional product that pleases fans, and in this fashion, Laps in Seven is no different.
Hartford Courant - Thomas Kintner
Bush demonstrates the virtues of straightforward, hard-charging bluegrass as he barks with authority on the robust "Bringing in the Georgia Mail," but he does not shy from unconventional derring-do on the title track's chugging rock climax.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/13/2006
Label:
Sugarhill
UPC:
0015891401324
catalogNumber:
4013
Rank:
196050

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sam Bush   Primary Artist,Vocals,Various
Emmylou Harris   Vocals
Jean-Luc Ponty   Violin
Buddy Miller   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Shaun Murphy   Vocals
Andrea Zonn   Violin,Viola,Vocals

Technical Credits

Sam Bush   Composer,Audio Production
John Hartford   Composer
Leon Russell   Composer
Jean-Luc Ponty   Composer
David LaFlamme   Composer
Julie Miller   Composer
Byron House   Composer
Linda LaFlamme   Composer
John Pennell   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Darrell Scott   Composer
Scott Vestal   Composer
Jeff Black   Composer
Robbie Fulks   Composer

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