Monday, July 18, 2005

A great band's best album

by the New Grass Revival
Flying Fish Records #254

Commonwealth is probably the best studio album released by the New Grass Revival (although Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn fans may argue for Hold to a Dream). This was the last recording with founding members Curtis Burch and Courtney Johnson; by this time the line-up had been playing together for 7 years (Burch, Johnson, and Sam Bush for more than a decade) and this familiarity comes through in the tight sound of this record. This album also has by far the best production qualities of the earlier recordings. This album veers back and forth between more traditional bluegrass songs like Monroe's "Wicked Path of Sin" and newgrass tunes like "Sapporo," one of the jammingest tunes NGR ever played.

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