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Various Artists

Bluegrass 2001 – 2001 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Mark "Brink" Brinkman

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CDs by Various Artists

Another year and another "Bluegrass 'XX" recording hits the shelves. The quality of these albums have always been excellent and this release is no exception.

Project mainstays such as Scott Vestal on banjo, Jeff Autry on guitar, Wayne Benson on mandolin and Randy Kohrs on dobro are joined this time by a great young fiddler, Jim VanCleve, and newgrass veteran John Cowan on bass. Cowan even performs a "first" for this series of albums, a non-instrumental. He renders the Bill Monroe standard "It's Might Dark To Travel." The songs vary from very traditional tunes such as "Pretty Little Indian" and "Stoney Point," to the very progressive with tunes such as "X-Grass" and a bluegrass version of "2001 A Space Odyssey." The performers also wrote 7 of the 13 cuts, showing their versatility.

While unsure whether this "tops" the other releases in the series, it definitely holds its own. If you have enjoyed the previous "Bluegrass 'XX" albums, this one should not disappoint.