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Allison Brown plans 10th release

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 – Banjo ace Alison Brown will release her 10th disc, "The Company You Keep" on her own Compass Records label in March 2009.

"'The Company You Keep' isn't solely a statement about me or my band, or about Compass Records. It's about independent music as a whole. The fact that we are all still here when you see closures, mergers and percentages down every day is a testament to real music, good music, music that matters. We're into our 15th year with this business model at Compass, and we're not struggling, we're thriving."

The title was originally inspired by the words of Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote): "Tell me the company you keep, and I'll tell you what you are."

Brown realized the title actually held two meanings for her and for her music. "I've been writing, recording and performing my own tunes for nearly 20 years now," Brown said. "And as I thought about the progression of my sound - our band sound - I began to think about what a collaborative effort this musical journey has been. After 15 years of recording, performing and philosophizing about music with (pianist) John R Burr and (bassist) Garry West, I really wanted to draw that collaborative spirit to the forefront on this album."

The CD features Burr, West David Grisman Quintet alum Joe Craven (fiddle/mandolin/percussion) and Larry Atamanuik (drums) alongside guests John Doyle (guitar), Stuart Duncan (fiddle) and Kenny Malone (drums).

Brown is a Harvard alum, received her MBA from UCLA and worked as an investment banker before joining Alison Krauss and Union Station for a three year stint in 1989.

CD reviews for Alison Brown

Song of the Banjo CD review - Song of the Banjo
The banjo probably wins the award for most unappreciated musical instrument. When used in mainstream country today, it's generally within the first 20 seconds of a song before it's quickly drowned out by electric guitar and drums. Really though, it's a beautiful instrument with a long and noble history. In the hands of a master musician like Alison Brown, it shines as a lead instrument in any number of musical styles. Brown's "Song of the Banjo" features a fair »»»
Live at Blair (CD/DVD) CD review - Live at Blair (CD/DVD)
Recorded live at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, the Alison Brown Quartet offers up a delightful mix of jazz and Irish-based folk music. Beginning with a nationwide tour of contests and festivals at age 16 with fiddler Stuart Duncan, Brown moved on to play with Alison Krauss and Michelle Shocked before forming her own group that includes husband and bassist Garry West. The two of them founded Compass Records. They are joined here (and often at shows) by Joe Craven, a multi-instrument virtuoso. »»»
The Company You Keep CD review - The Company You Keep
Alison Brown is a well-known banjoist, who has played with some great names in bluegrass including Alison Krauss and Stuart Duncan, but this album best fits the jazz genre. She had a hand in writing or arranging eight of the numbers and shows her talent both as a composer and player. Stuart Duncan's fiddle on Rocket Summer and Drawing Down the Moon show why he is one of the best while Joe Craven (David Grisman Quintet) also fiddles. Long-time collaborators John R. Burr (piano) and husband »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: LSD tour provides a lot of highs – This was not your grandkids' country, that's for sure. Even the name of the tour - the LSD Tour - was a throwback (albeit far before the principals were making music). But make no mistake about it. With the ever cool country traditionalist Dwight Yoakam, the country with some rock and blues and rabble rousing of Steve Earle thrown in and the... »»»
Concert Review: Alvin, Gilmore fortunately get together – Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore had known each other for decades, but it wasn't until last year that they toured together in a guitar pull setting. What started as a small Texas tour mushroomed into points east and west and eventually the release earlier this month of their blues-based disc, "Downey to Lubbock." And now we have the... »»»
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