Smiling All the While

David Peterson and 1946 (independent)
David Peterson and 1946

By Bob Mitchell

I can't help it. When I hear good bluegrass, I smile. As I listened to David Peterson and 1946, I smiled quite a lot! I was there in '46 so, I can speak with authority: this group is the real thing.

There is no fooling around, just straight-ahead bluegrass, first generation style ... the way Bill Monroe meant for it to be played. In today's expanding music market, a listener often wonders where to place a band or singer, but Peterson and his band 1946 leaves no doubt about the kind of music they play. This project is a forceful and authoritative 40 minutes of solid bluegrass.

Peterson handles guitar chores and most vocals on the disc. He assembled a fine group of musicians, but it is Steve Huber's banjo that shines the brightest on each track. Highlights include "In Foggy Old London," featuring high tight harmony; an excellent cover of Lester Flatt's "Bouquet in Heaven," with a great walking bass line from Andy Todd; the haunting "Butcher Boy," and a first rate cover of Bill Monroe's "I'm Travelin' On and On."

Last year, 1946 was nominated as the IBMA "Emerging Artist of the Year" and the October 2002 issue of Bluegrass Now published a feature article on the band. Make no mistake, 1946 is here to stay - and to play. (Find out more at