This is Morris’ follow-up to his Banjology CD from 2011. We are treated to well-done versions of bluegrass classics along with a few old-time fiddle tunes and “Little Sadie,” largely associated with the late Doc Watson. Kicking off the project with Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Chimes,” featuring Ferrell Stowe on resonator guitar, we are then treated to a reading of “Ground Hog” straight from The Dillards catalog. The emphasis here is on the tradition side of our music and the able assistance of Craig Fletcher (basically his band) on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, upright bass, and resonator guitar. Jimmy Bowen sings lead on two cuts and harmony on two more on which Ron Keith sings lead.
This is pretty much a DIY project, but with topnotch production values. As a result, we are treated to some mighty fine music. “Cluck Old Hen” is not the old-time standard, but sure sounds like an old-timer’s. They do play the old-time tune “Cold Frosty Morning” and swing it up with “Kansas City Kitty.” The balance of material is drawn from Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Monroe. Two exceptions are when Morris pays tribute to Allen Shelton on “Shelton Special” and Bill Emerson on “Sweet Dixie.” His picking is fluid and his tone is smooth and sweet with just enough punch to bring it all home.
Everyone’s contributions are spot-on and the result is a very satisfying listen. This is a fine example of some mighty good picking that should please folks who like it a bit traditional and right on the money for time, tune, and taste. (Craig Morris, 2820 Candlewick Dr., Spring Hill, TN 37174.)RCB