A Multi-Faceted Winner

Bluegrass: An American Tradition (Pinecastle)
Multiple Artists

By Bob Mitchell

I am a fan who never tires of traditional bluegrass. If you are too, Pinecastle has the perfect recording for you. An American Tradition showcases 13 songs culled from nine previously issued, highly rated projects. And, the list of featured artists is enough to make you mouth water.

To top it all off, Greg Cahill and Nancy Cardwell provide a brief, yet wonderfully informative, history of bluegrass music. This will be especially interesting for the new fan. Long time fans will be familiar with the artists and the selections but the CD is such a pleasant compilation it will rest comfortably in anyone's collection.

A short list of highlights includes the deep rich voice of Charlie Waller on "Dark as a Dungeon;" The Osborne Brothers and their classic "Ruby;" Chubby Wise's toe-tapping "Cotton Eyed Joe;" Eddie Adcock's innovative banjo backing for Jim and Jessie on "Pallet on Your Floor;" Bill Emerson and Red Allen's straight ahead "I Don't Know Why," and a plaintive "Over The Mountain" from John Hartford and Larry Perkins.

This recording contains not only historically significant tracks but also some of the industry's most respected names such as Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Mac Wiseman and Jimmy Martin. There is not a weak cut on this outstanding disc. The only weak point is a lack of complete track information. I am certain many other musicians deserve to have their name associated with this release.

In short, it's a winner. On a five-point scale of excellence this release merits a five.

For more information go to www.pinecastle.com