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Mark Cosgrove

Sweet Reason – 2005 (FGM)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Mark Cosgrove

Mark Cosgrove's latest is an excellent sampling of flatpicking. It doesn't fit neatly in any usual genre, but bluegrass fans will hear a definite relationship.

Cosgrove, one-time U.S. National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas and also the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in Wilkesboro, N.C., unites with friends from earlier albums including Larry Cohen on bass and Tony Trischka, and you'll also hear B+la Fleck and Sam Bush on "Good Medicine" (from an earlier album). The musicians are topnotch and there's an interesting mix of tunes, from traditional numbers like "The New Camptown Races" and "The Snowflake Reel" to the interesting wordplay of "Paint the Town Beige." The compositions are fresh approaches to some songs that have been around for years, and Trischka's melodic banjo work lends itself well to this setting.

While three songs feature vocals, this is essentially an instrumental album - the vocals take a backseat to the instruments except on "Paint the Town Beige."If you like great acoustical music then this is one of the best CDs you can find.