Longview is the ultimate bluegrass pick-up band, featuring six of the best musicians on the scene today. This is the group's fourth recording over more than a decade and the first in more than five years. Founding members Don Rigsby (mandolin), James King and Marshall Wilborn (bass) are joined here by new Longviewers J.D. Crowe (banjo), Ron Stewart (fiddle) and Lou Reid (guitar). The material is a good mix of the familiar and more under-the radar bluegrass tunes. There's also a nice treatment of Johnny Russell's country tune, "The Baptism of Jesse Taylor."
All previous Longview efforts have been good, but this one is superb. There's an energy that the new trio brings makes this one of the best recordings of the year so far. Crowe shows why he's one of the best-ever banjo pickers on tunes like "Cotton-Eyed Joe" and "Old Log Cabin." Stewart is equally adept on fiddle throughout, especially playing alongside Crowe on "Cotton-Eyed Joe." Rigsby is in good voice and really shines on "Old Log Cabin" and "Room At the Top Of The Stairs." Reid joins Rigsby and Crowe on nice version of Jim & Jesse's "I'll Love Nobody But You."
Longview rarely gets to perform together as all are key members of working bands. So, enjoy this recording, bluegrass fans because it is a real musical treasure.