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Jack Tottle

The Bluegrass Sound And Other Stories – 1999 (Copper Creek)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by Jack Tottle

Jack Tottle is a bluegrass player we ought to hear more from, but don't. Tottle's main thrust is his pioneering four-year bluegrass and country music program at East Tennessee State University. This aura of learning about bluegrass runs throughout the CD to include CD-Rom technology incorporating bluegrass history and a variety of related information.

The music on the CD is wonderful. The cover boasts of "winners of 87 IBMA Awards and 14 Grammys." Featured alongside Tottle's smooth vocals and hot mandolin licks are legends Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bela Fleck and Del and Ronnie McCoury among others.

Tottle composed all 16 songs, reading into the history of Bill Monroe, Scotty Stoneman and even the Carter Family. As pleasing as this song collection is, it is best summed up in the words of yet another musician and educator, Dan Crary - "If you're new to bluegrass music, this CD may be the best introduction ever recorded, or, if you're a veteran fan, it's about to be the next great bluegrass album."