Thursday, July 14, 2005

Kentucky Peace of Mind, Dwight McCall

Kentucky Peace of Mind
By Dwight McCall
Featuring J.D. Crowe, Rickey Wasson, Ron Stewart, Harold Nixon, Randy Kohrs, Josh Williams, Brian Stephens, Randy Pollard, Kandace Jaymes
Lavenir CD 1091

This first solo album (from the now-defunct Lavenir Records; copies are available at from the artist) from veteran bluegrass mandolinist and vocalist Dwight McCall is, possibly, one of the most technically perfect bluegrass albums ever recorded. This is to be expected from an album including five bandmates (McCall, Crowe, Wasson, Nixon, and frequent guest Stewart) from the New South.

The liner notes are a bit understated when they say that "There are no fancy experiments here, no stretches for novel material, no explorations beyond the boundaries of straightahead bluegrass...a listener will find nothing extraneous...." In other words, the album is boring.

Only one song here, "Let's Go Back To The Love" is an original composition, and it does not sound terribly original. Other songs, while played well, have been done better many times before. The best songs of this album, in fact, are probably among the most-often performed and recorded; songs such as "Where You Gonna Hide," "There'll Be No Blind Ones There," and "Handsome Molly."

The simple, disappointing fact is, that for all of its technical quality, and as much as I wanted to like this album, it is so boring as to be nearly unlistenable. Better recordings exist for all of these songs.

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