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Jerry Douglas

The Best Kept Secret – 2005 (Koch Nashville)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas is a pioneer in acoustic music. He tours extensively with Alison Krauss and Union station and is the studio ‘Dobro player of choice' these days in bluegrass and in country music. On his own, he has carved out a unique niche for the resophonic guitar, taking it from its traditional role as a supporting player to a lead instrument capable of sounds and music that no one had ever explored before.

A Jerry Douglas recording is a box of surprises. You don't know what to expect, other than the music will be top-notch. This album is no different. Though mostly instrumental, vocal tracks include "Back In Love Again," featuring Krauss, and "Swing Blues #1," a Bob Wills tune with John Fogerty.

Other selections feature guests Sam Bush and Béla Fleck on the grassy-sounding, "Who's Your Uncle" and guitarist Bill Frisell on ‘Lil Ro Ro." One of the best tracks, "She Makes Me Want To Sing," features Douglas on lap steel and rocker Derek Trucks on guitar.

This is no cookie cutter record. Though hard to categorize as bluegrass or jazz, it is an entirely enjoyable listen. Jerry Douglas continues to boldly take the resophonic guitar where no one has gone before.