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J.D. Crowe

Lefty's Old Guitar – 2006 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

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CDs by J.D. Crowe

This is classic Crowe. Instead of resting on laurels, J.D. Crowe continues to front a band with drive and precision.

While unquestionably bluegrass, New South also dabbles in a country sound on several tracks featuring Ricky Wasson's smoky baritone, reminding the listener of 1950s country singers. The addition of subtle touches of pedal steel achieves the desired country effect on both the title cut, "Lefty's Old Guitar," and the closing "She Knows When You Are On My Mind Again."

The group is equally effective on modern bluegrass, though, proving the point with Dwight McCall's high tenor on "Just Loving You," the track that immediately follows "Lefty's Old Guitar."

The instrumentation is flawless, be it Crowe's reliable five string or the fiddling of multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart. The vocals are equally impressive - Crowe's baritone is always right on, and any band that features two lead singers as divergent in approach as Wasson and McCall is certain not to bore the listener.

As always, you can't go wrong with J.D. Crowe. It has been a while since his last release, and this one was worth the wait.