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Aaron McDaris

First Time Around – 2005 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Aaron McDaris

Bluegrass fans appreciate the efforts of the sidemen and women - the pickers who share the stage and provide the musical support for the stars. In many bluegrass bands, those lines are blurred.

Pinecastle has showcased the talents of Aaron McDaris (Larry Stephenson) here.

McDaris gives an excellent rendition of traditional bluegrass. With the help of top bluegrass musicians like Darrell Webb and Jimmy VanCleve plus guest appearances by Larry Stephenson and others, picture Bill Monroe giving his nod of approval.

This features hot instrumentals like "Scottsburg" and "Cottonmouth in the Canoe," old standards such as "John Henry" and "Philadelphia Lawyer" and gospel ("What a Friend We Have In Jesus"). Stephenson's beautiful high tenor graces "Be Good To My Little Baby Girl" with David Parmley singing lead, and Webb continues to grow as a lead singer, featured on songs like "Over Yonder In The Graveyard" and "Draggin' My Heart Around."

You won't find a better bluegrass album than this to put in your CD player.