Running Wild
Rice, Rice, Hillman, & Pederson

By Bob Mitchell

Like a well-known energetic bunny, this group just keeps going and going and going. And, they get better and better and better. R2Hp's third release is their finest effort and it's no wonder, consider the following: Their collective musical background includes, but is not limited to, JD Crowe and The New South, The Bluegrass Album Band, The Laurel Canyon Band, The David Grisman Quartet, and The Desert Rose Band.

Additional musical support is provided By Fred Travers (Seldom Scene) on dobro, Robbie Magruder (drums) and Jon Carroll (keyboard), both of whom play in Mary Chapin-Carpenters' band.

The title cut, "You're Running Wild," and "It's A Long Long Way" were penned By Jim and Jessie McReynolds. Other covers consist of "Take Me Back Again" (Buck Owens), "Things We Said Today" (Lennon-McCartney), and "4+20" (Stephen Stills). In addition, Hillman contributes three new songs: an up tempo, grassy sounding "Just Passin' Though," and two romping Country Western tracks, "San Antone," and "Maybe She'll Get Lucky." Larry Rice strengthens the project with two originals, "About Love," and "The Mystery That Won't Go Away."

"Mystery," is the most powerful and poignant cut. It is about the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey and it will break your heart. From start to finish Rickie (fiddle) and Ronnie (bass) Simpkins contribute compelling musical support. And what has not been said about Tony Rice? His sense of timing and understanding of the melody line is spellbinding. Throughout this recording, arrangements are thoughtful and phrasing is exemplary. The release is not exactly bluegrass and it is not exactly country ... but it is exactly right. (For more, check out www.rounder.com.)