Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas

Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas

by Tony Trischka
     
 

It is funny to listen to Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas and look back on the reviews that ran in conservative publications such as Old Time Music at the time the album came out. From the comments at the time, one would think this was a recording of the bombing of Dresden or instruments being smashed along the I-40. And 30 years later, the solo banjo pieceSee more details below

Overview

It is funny to listen to Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas and look back on the reviews that ran in conservative publications such as Old Time Music at the time the album came out. From the comments at the time, one would think this was a recording of the bombing of Dresden or instruments being smashed along the I-40. And 30 years later, the solo banjo piece "Avondale," short as it is, would no doubt start a fistfight were it to be played backstage at a banjo-picking contest. This is one of the most famous albums of what came to be known as progressive bluegrass, and while it is in the nature of many musicians to be progressive in their thinking, they sometimes find themselves caught in styles of music that don't encourage such an attitude. This is the situation Trischka found himself in when he and his cohorts started stretching many of the ideas of what might be appropriate to play in a combo whose instrumentation had been handed down from traditional bluegrass bands (i.e., mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar, and so forth). Many of the sort of chord progressions and arrangements heard here have been copied shamelessly ad nauseum ever since, sometimes by second-rate hacks and sometimes by the participants themselves. There is an exciting dimension to hearing these ideas being presented for what is often nearly the first time, and anyone familiar with bluegrass and its conventions can feel twinges of panic at some of the choices of notes, similar to how a frightened camper reacts to each successive weird noise from the forest. And many later recordings of this type of music don't quite strike such a perfect balance of the best aspects of the related musics of bebop and bluegrass. One thing is for sure: This is one of the finest recordings of acoustic instruments ever made, and the consistency is amazing considering that the tracks originate from several different sessions on both the East and West Coasts. Pickers heard here at their absolute best include Andy Statman, Matt Glaser, Darol Anger, David Grisman, Tony Rice, and Barry Mitterhoff.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/1994
Label:
Rounder Select
UPC:
0011661017122
catalogNumber:
171

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Trischka   Primary Artist,Banjo
Russ Barenberg   Guitar
Tony Rice   Guitar
Darol Anger   Fiddle
Todd Phillips   Bass
Barry Mitterhoff   Mandolin
Matt Glaser   Fiddle
Andy Statman   Mandolin
Larry Cohen   Electric Bass
David Grisman   Mandolin
Mike Marshall   Mandolin
Abby Newton   Cello
Evan Stover   Fiddle,Violin,Viola
Danny Weiss   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Dede Wyland   Rhythm Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Tony Trischka   Arranger,Producer
Danny Kopelson   Engineer
Bill McElroy   Engineer
David Stone   Engineer
Gregory Heisler   Artwork
William G. Teodecki   Artwork

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