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David Grier

Panorama – 1997 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by David Grier

Following in the footsteps of legends Doc Watson, Clarence White and Tony Rice, guitarist David Grier may well be the top flatpicker on the scene today.

This is a very fine mix of technical wizardry and smoothness of style. He's joined here by many other giants of new acoustic music, Sam Bush and Mike Compton on mandolin, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Todd Phillips on bass and Craig Smith and Bob Carlin on banjo. Each is given a chance to strut his stuff, but this is clearly Grier's project. Six of the 10 cuts are originals.

Surprisingly, there's only one bluegrass standard, "Forked Deer." He salutes two of his guitar idols, Watson with "Peartree/Double File," and Georgia's Norman Blake with "Jeff Davis." Through it all, one Grier makes it all sound so easy.

This is a gotta have for fans of guitar music.