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J.D. Crowe

Come On Down To My World – 1999 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by J.D. Crowe

J. D. Crowe is one of the most heralded of all banjo pickers in bluegrass. Hisband has been the proving ground for many including guitarist Tony Rice and the late Keith Whitley. With this recording, Crowe has returned to an earlier sound incorporating harmony arrangements similar to the band's Whitley days of the late '70's. This quality is evident on the song "Come Back Sweetheart."

Instrumentally, Crowe, along with veteran dobro player Phil Leadbetter and guest fiddlers Buddy Spicher and Glen Duncan drive the sound of the CD. Varying song styles such as Merle Haggard's "Back To The Barrooms," and Townes Van Zandt's "White Freightliner" are a good contrast to the more sentimental and emotive "Grandpa's Shoes," and "I Don't Know."

This album shows that Crowe still has the touch that made him famous. Banjo instrumentals such as "J's Tune," and "Careless Love," are Crowe masterpieces. On other tracks he backs his bandmates, letting his banjo ring clearly like bells. This will become yet another classic J.D. Crowe album for the future of bluegrass.