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Scottie Sparks

Scottie Sparks – 1999 (Doobie Shea)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Scottie Sparks

Scottie Sparks is one of the best of today's young bluegrass artists. A sideman since age 15, Sparks came to prominence with the 'Stanley Tradition' and the 'Stanley Gospel Tradition' tribute projects.

Currently a member of Unlimited Tradition, this is Sparks' solo debut and is well worth a listen. It's not a 'paint by numbers' bluegrass album. Sparks has a smooth vocal style all his own, even though well schooled in the Stanley (Ralph and Carter) tradition. Their influence is evident throughout. Sparks ably covers a pair of Stanley classics, "Highway of Regret" and 'Midnight Storm." The rest of the material, including "Old Railroad Track," "In My Arms Instead Of My Memory" and the gospel, "Get Behind Me Satan" are all gems.

Sparks is backed by some of the best young pickers in the business, including Aubrey Haynie, Craig Smith and Union Station's Dan Tyminski. Sparks has done himself and bluegrass fans proud with this album. It ranks right up there with the best of the recent releases.