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Adam Steffey

One More for the Road – 2009 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

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CDs by Adam Steffey

Adam Steffey has honed his mandolin chops for years with top level bands like Alison Krauss, Mountain Heart and Dan Tyminski. His notes ring crystal clear with a tone few can rival on his second solo CD. Steffey chose first rate side men (and ladies) too. With supporting crew Krauss, Tyminski, Ron Block, Stewart Duncan, Ron Stewart and Randy Kohrs, the project has an all star cast.

While the CD has a modern sound, it also nods to the traditional, as in Red Allen's Don't Lie to Me. Hard driving Let Me Fall is straight bluegrass, and even features a 'call and response' from background singers. It seems mandolinists often are tenor singers, but Steffey delivers in a burnished baritone especially effective on numbers of intrigue and mystery. Several cuts are Tyminski's trademark vocals, and Warm Kentucky Sunshine is pure Alison Krauss.

For a mandolinist, the public domain Durang's Hornpipe is a study of the application of modern mandolin style. It is an old tune, but Steffey makes it sound brand new. A fine CD and especially recommended to anyone interested in excellent mandolin work.