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Chris Brashear

Wanderlust – 2000 (Copper Creek)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Chris Brashear

Chris Brashear is a multi-talented singer, instrumentalist and songwriter from Tucson, Az. Backed by some of the finest acoustic players, including Jody Stecher, Laurie Lewis, Peter McLaughlin, Bob Black and Ed Neff, Brashear turns in one of the finest bluegrass albums so far this year.

Influenced by the Bill Monroe and the Ralph Stanley schools, this CD is a traditional bluegrass effort with a contemporary feel. The album is a nice mix of covers, including Reno and Smiley's classic, "Unwanted Love," Loretta Lynn's "The Darkest Day of the Year," A.P. Carter's "Home in Tennessee," spirited instrumentals like "Catch The Baker," and "Kansas City Rag" and originals like "Love's Lost Soldier." Favorites include Brashear's own, "Mason's Lament" sounding like it came from Monroe himself, and "Wanderlust," featuring lovely duet singing with Stecher. The vocals thoughout are soulful and clean, while the picking is top-notch.

West Coast bluegrass fans have been familiar with Brashear for some time from his work with the band Kentucky Rose. This delightful CD should introduce him to a broader audience appreciating his reverence for tradition and desire to put his own stamp on his music.