Say It Ain't So, New Grass!

By Jean Metcalfe

Seems every day or so I hear the rumor that New Grass Revival is breaking up.

It is true that Bela Fleck and Sam Bush have been doing appearances as part of a wonderful group called Strength In Numbers (the other members are Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor). And those five talented musicians have recorded and released a great album called The Telluride Sessions.

It's also true that Fleck has a quartet that he calls Bela Fleck and the Flecktones who will be making a second appearance in the Bomhard Theater, Kentucky Center for the Arts, on November 17. (The group's world premiere took place there in 1988.)

Furthermore, it is true that Sam Bush seems to turn up just about everywhere good music is happening.

That's an awful lot of talent, and I'm sure there are many tempting offers that come to members of New Grass.

But I also remember something that happened at the close of Strength In Numbers' performance on the Lonesome Pine Specials stage in August of this year. After a fantastic all-instrumental performance by those talented musicians, they mentioned that they are often asked to "sing one." With that introduction, they gathered around one vocal mike and sang "Salty Dog Blues," and the audience loved it.

And, furthermore, I would hate to think that the day might soon come that I (and countless others) wouldn't be able to hear "You Don't Knock" by Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, John Cowan and Pat Flynn in a live performance.

Say it ain't so, New Grass Revival!