It seems like a terrible idea. Normally, tribute records are
a half-baked idea anyway, but to do a bluegrass tribute to a seminal
70's rock and roll band? Seems like a real not good idea. So,
imagine my surprise when I popped the cd in and found myself grooving
along. It was fun to try to pick out a few of the less popular
Moody Blues songs, as well as just enjoying the amazing
musicality of the record. And look at this list of people taking
part in this project! Everyone from Alison Krauss and
Stuart Duncan, to The Harvey clan, Sam Bush,
Tim O'Brien, and the list goes on. So, obviously, I changed
my tune to something more like this. How can you take some of
the finest pop-rock songs ever written and have an amazing cast
of talent interpreting those songs and NOT have a killer record?
Well, you can't. This album is full-on scorching bluegrass from
the first to last notes. The songs are familiar to even the most
un-pop listener, and so seams to easily fit into any musical diet.
Highlights of the album include the bright tones of "Lovely
To See You" - featuring some great Stuart Duncan fiddle work
- and the rocking, down-home hootenanny of "Ride My See Saw".
Barry Crabtree lays down some excellent banjo licks which
perfectly complement the speedy tempo and astonishing harmony
vocals of Harley Allen, John Cowan, and David
Harvey. "Your Wildest Dreams" is full of the same
pure pop flavor that the Moody Blues wrote into the track, but
is even further enhanced by the lilting mandolins and tremendous
dobro work. "Nights In White Satin" is as epic as it
should be, with great Alison Krauss harmony vocals perfectly complementing
the leads of John Cowan. The string section is amazingly vibrant,
and the mandolin playing phenomenal.
The tribute ends fittingly with possibly the finest of Moody
Blues tracks, "Never Comes The Day". This version
is somewhat upbeat, and full of gospel overtones. It is amazing
how well these songs translate into rootsy Americana, giving
new life to some truly incredibly well written songs.
1. Lovely To See You
2. Land Of Make Believe
3. The Voice
4. The Other Side Of Life
5. It's Up To You
6. Ride My See Saw
7. I'm Just A Singer In A Rock And Roll Band
8. Legend Of A Mind
9. Your Wildest Dreams
10. Nights In White Satin
11. Late Lament
12. Never Comes The Day
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