The Massenburg Sessions

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
By calling this album The Massenburg Sessions, contemporary bluegrass singer/bassist John Cowan puts the spotlight on the audiophile recording and mastering engineer George Massenburg, known for his work with Linda Ronstadt and Randy Newman, among others. Cowan and Massenburg recorded the music live in the studio, with no overdubs, no editing, and even no headphones for the musicians. Of course, no mixing was required, either, with the sound achieved through placement of the instruments and microphones in the studio. The resulting sound is excellent, but no better than what can be achieved through the usual techniques. For listeners, this is all really inside baseball,...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
By calling this album The Massenburg Sessions, contemporary bluegrass singer/bassist John Cowan puts the spotlight on the audiophile recording and mastering engineer George Massenburg, known for his work with Linda Ronstadt and Randy Newman, among others. Cowan and Massenburg recorded the music live in the studio, with no overdubs, no editing, and even no headphones for the musicians. Of course, no mixing was required, either, with the sound achieved through placement of the instruments and microphones in the studio. The resulting sound is excellent, but no better than what can be achieved through the usual techniques. For listeners, this is all really inside baseball, but it seems to have allowed Cowan to achieve a spirit of performance he found conducive to his typically vibrant and eclectic approach. The former New Grass Revival member continues to look for novel ways to play bluegrass, and here he finds them by adapting the Louis Jordan jump blues classic "Caledonia"; forging a hybrid between Cajun and Celtic on the traditional "The Lakes of Ponchartrain" (while welcoming duet partner Maura O'Connell); going a cappella for the gospel tune "Jesus Gave Me Water"; and bringing out the bluegrass implications of Paul and Linda McCartney's "Heart of the Country." "Black Blizzard" features only Cowan's keening tenor and Shad Cobb's fiddle, and the album concludes with a string quartet arrangement of Cowan and Jon Randall Stewart's "Soiled Dove." Those are the major variations from the bluegrass format, which is given its purest expression in a version of Bill Monroe's "Can't You Hear Me Callin'" on which Cowan is accompanied by the Del McCoury Band, but also is found on other songs, reassuring listeners that, if Cowan wants to take bluegrass in new directions, he also is willing to play it straight.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/6/2010
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923230427
  • Catalog Number: 2304
  • Sales rank: 135,514

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Cowan Primary Artist
Del McCoury Vocals, Guest Appearance
Jack Jezzro String Bass
David Angell Violin
Mike Bub Upright Bass, Guest Appearance
Luke Bulla Fiddle, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
David Davidson Violin, Concert Master
Jim Grosjean Viola
Jim Hoke Accordion, Guest Appearance
Anthony LaMarchina Cello
Rob McCoury 5-string Banjo, Guest Appearance
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin, Guest Appearance
Maura O'Connell Vocals, Guest Appearance
Darrell Scott Guitar, Guest Appearance
Reese Wynans Piano, Guest Appearance
Wayne Benson Mandolin, Background Vocals
Jon Randall Stewart Vocals, Guest Appearance
Jeff Autry Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Shad Cobb Fiddle, Background Vocals
Noam Pikelny 5-string Banjo, Guest Appearance
Tony Wray 5-string Banjo
Technical Credits
Del McCoury Duet
Bill Monroe Composer
Dave Alvin Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Wendy Waldman Composer
John Cowan Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes
Don Hart String Arrangements
George Massenburg Engineer, Mastering
Linda McCartney Composer
Maura O'Connell Duet
Drew Emmitt Composer
Bob Lucas Composer
Jon Randall Stewart Composer, Duet
Greg Garing Composer
Brad Talbott Cover Design
Sally Barris Composer
Vance Powell Piano Engineer
Traditional Composer
Lucie E. Campbell Composer
Shad Cobb Composer
Noam Pikelny Duet
Kazuri Arai Engineer
Fleecy Moore Composer
Carol Cowan Composer
Anthony Wray Composer
Jesse Bulla Artwork
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Cowan at his best

    This CD showes the range of John Cowan his band and friends. It is great to have Black Bilzzard in a format that does justice to the live performance expecially with the fiddle playing of Shad Cobb. Jeff Autry with King of California is like seeing them live. Cowan showes his lighter side with Caldonia. This CD has his memorial to his step son with Carry On.If you have ever lost some one special in your life this song gives you hope to carry on. If you are a Cowan fan as I am you look forward to hearing his gospel side and Jesus Gave Me Water is one of his best. The reat of this CD is a bonus.You will enjoy it until you can get to see this great band in concert.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews