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Leftover Salmon

The Nashville Sessions – 1999 (Hollywood)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

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CDs by Leftover Salmon

Acoustic music cuts a wide, border-crossing swath that encompasses jazz, rock, blues and country - among other genres.

Leave it to producer Randy Scruggs to assemble such a gathering to accompany jam band Leftover Salmon on its fine fourth album. In keeping with acoustic's applicability, the baker's dozen selections range from Del and Ronnie McCoury's bluegrass on "Midnight Blues" to Taj Mahal's and Sally Van Meter's blues with "Lovin' In My Baby's Eyes."

And it's not that much of a stretch really. That is until "Dance on Your Head" with B+la Fleck, Jeff Coffins and Reese Wynans comes down the pike. Latin-tinged - and not entirely acoustic, the tune doesn't really fit well with Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" or Earl and Randy Scruggs' hoppin' "Five Alive."

But then neither Waylon or Earl fit well together either. The album's fine picking, courtesy of such support players as Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas, stands above notions of whether one artist fits well with another or not. It's all about the music, and with superb tunes like Lucinda Williams and Jo-El Sonnier's Cajun-fried "Lines Around Your Eyes" to feast on, that's all that matters.