Best Kept Secret

The Best Kept Secret

by Jerry Douglas
     
 
As if further proof were needed of Jerry Douglas’s mastery of dobro, lap steel, and guitar, witness the resonant performances and abiding intelligence marking his new solo effort, The Best Kept Secret. Backed by his redoubtable band, the Brickbats, Douglas shows that when an instrument is made to sing, when breathtaking technical mastery is mated with pure,

Overview

As if further proof were needed of Jerry Douglas’s mastery of dobro, lap steel, and guitar, witness the resonant performances and abiding intelligence marking his new solo effort, The Best Kept Secret. Backed by his redoubtable band, the Brickbats, Douglas shows that when an instrument is made to sing, when breathtaking technical mastery is mated with pure, unadulterated soul, something remarkable and memorable happens. On a spare, somewhat impressionistic rendering of Joe Zawinul’s “A Remark You Made,” Douglas’s yearning, piercing notes are things of beauty: rich in feeling, wistfully articulated, intelligently conceived in the way the pungent single notes melt into robust chordal cries over a lovely sweep of fiddle-drum-guitar ensemble work. At the other extreme, he can flat bring the fire when necessary, as he does on the lap steel in kicking off the album with “She Makes Me Want to Sing,” an a driving, Allmans-flavored dialogue with slide guitarist Derek Trucks that also features a spirited solo workout from Brickbats violinist Gabe Witcher, more than holding his own against these hotshots. When human voices are needed, two of the most formidable show up: Alison Krauss, who may surprise some with the sauciness of her slinky rendering of L.T.D.’s 1977 disco hit, “Back In Love Again”; and John Fogerty, who goes deep into the Mississippi Delta to find his howling rendition of Bob Wills’s “Swing Blues No. 1” and gains a propulsive second voice in Douglas’s angular, wailing Resophonic guitar solos. Fellow progressives Sam Bush and Bela Fleck get some barn-burning action going on “Who’s Your Uncle,” and jazz guitar visionary Bill Frisell joins the fray with a deft, skittering solo that dances around the soundscape on “Lil’ Roro” -- but it always come back to Douglas, a master raconteur fluent in string language. Listen up.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
"She Makes Me Want to Sing," the opening track on Jerry Douglass's Best Kept Secret is nothing short of a shock to the system. For starters, Douglass's trademark dobro sound isn't present until nearly a minute in. Second there are twin dirty slide guitars by Keith Sewell and Derek Trucks' (Allman Brothers Band) wailing atop of a fat, fat ugly, nasty bass. It's a hard nasty boogie jam that could be on a Canned Heat album. Whoa. Some sanity returns as Sam Bush and Bela Fleck trade fours with Douglas on "Whose Your Uncle, where progressive stomping bluegrass breakdown takes back the order of the day. But the surprises just continue to mount as Allison Krauss takes the vocal chair on the electric funk jam "Back In Love Again." But it goes off the rails when Douglas and band cover Joe Zawinul's (Weather Report) beautiful ballad "A Remark You made. With Jerry playing the saxophone line on his dobro. It's gorgeous and off-kilter, added to with great depth and sensitivity by Derek Jones' bassline. Other guests on this wild set include Bill Frisell on "Lil Roro" and John Fogerty playing and singing on "Swing Blues No. 1." But it's more than just guests, Douglass's tunes' are in stunning form here, particularly the title track and "U R My Flower." In sum, this will surely piss some people off, but should turn the heads of many others in his direction. Adventure and reckless abandon are the order of the day here and best Kept Secret doesn't disappoint.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0684038984725
catalogNumber:
9847
Rank:
116089

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jerry Douglas   Primary Artist
Alison Krauss   Vocals
Sam Bush   Mandolin
John Fogerty   Guitar,Vocals
Jeff Coffin   Saxophone
Bill Frisell   Guitar
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Shannon Forrest   Percussion,Drums
Derek Jones   Acoustic Bass
Viktor Krauss   Bass,Bass Guitar
Derek Trucks   Slide Guitar
Gabe Witcher   Violin,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Keith Sewell   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
John Deaderick   Wurlitzer
Jim White   Drums

Technical Credits

Jerry Douglas   Composer,Producer
Joe Zawinul   Composer
Len Ron Hanks   Composer
Derek Jones   Composer
Avi Kipper   Engineer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Jason Lehning   Engineer
Zane Grey   Composer
Gabe Witcher   Composer
Michelle Lukianovich   Art Direction

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