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Jason Barie

The Past Is Present – 2007 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by C. Eric Banister

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CDs by Jason Barie

A solo album often allows a sideman spread their musical wings, and this fine CD is no exception. Still in his mid-20s, Jason Barie has acquired a reputation of playing with many bluegrass greats such as Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Chubby Wise, James King and Vassar Clements. In early 2007 he joined the Larry Stephenson Band as the first fiddler in the group's 18-year history.

Playing fiddle, mandolin and guitar, Barie is joined by Zachary Lamb and Steve Dilling of iiird Tyme Out, on bass and banjo, respectively, as they run through a total of nine instrumentals that range from straight ahead bluegrass to old time fiddle tunes.

Jaime Crain, David Guthrie and Timmy Massey take turns providing lead and harmony vocals on the few songs that require them. All possess great classic sounding bluegrass voices that help make this a great album.

While the album contains many great chances to showcase his fantastic fiddle playing, the final two songs end the album on an unfortunately weak note. "Our Story" written for his wife, is a little too sappy and cliched while the instrumental "Easter Morning" features only a solo guitar that might work as a meditation in a church service, but doesn't fit into the rest of the album.