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John Starling

Slidin' Home – 2007 (Rebel)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by John Starling

A new John Starling recording is a real event. Starling helped to set the standard for modern bluegrass singers during his years with the supergroup, The Seldom Scene in the 1970s. Despite a couple of solo albums, a duet album with Carl Jackson and Scene album after he briefly rejoined the band in the '90s, this is his first project in quite some time.

Flanked by Dobro legend, Mike Auldridge and bassman, Tom Gray, also both founding members of the Scene, Starling still sounds terrific. Though his voice is a little more gravely than in his Scene days, it is well suited for the material chosen, including the Lowell George classic, "Willin'" and Jimmy Rodger's "Waitin' For A Train." "In My Hour Of Darkness" is a stand out cut, featuring duet vocals from Emmylou Harris.

It's all good here, a nice mix of familiar and lesser-know tunes. But the real treat is just to hear Starling singing again and working again with Auldridge and Gray.