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ROOTS

Bluegrass is just the beginning

August 19, 2008
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Jerry Douglas

Glide (Koch)

ESSENTIAL "Sway"

This is the second solo project this summer from a member of Alison Krauss's Union Station. In contrast to bandmate Dan Tyminski's offering of straight-up, traditional bluegrass, dobro master Jerry Douglas, as is his wont (this is his 12th solo release), is all over the map. Old-school bluegrass shows up with one of Douglas's guests, banjo legend Earl Scruggs, on "Home Sweet Home," and when Douglas gets together with fellow Strength in Numbers alums Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer for the sprightly "Bounce," there's a newgrassy strain. The stately instrumental "Glide" adds a Celtic tinge, and "Trouble on Alum," a Douglas mash-up of two ancient Scottish tunes that segues from mournful air to spirited jig and back again, adds more than a tinge. Voices make an appearance (those of Travis Tritt and Rodney Crowell on a couple of acoustic country numbers), as does pedal steel, and even a horn and woodwind front line (on "Sway," an intriguing attempt by Douglas to approximate a New Orleans funeral march that moves from dirge to Dixieland). All in all, a typical display of Douglas's trademark virtuosity and eclecticism. [Stuart Munro]

Stereolab strikes the right 'Chords'

Bluegrass is just the beginning

He's no angel

Back on track and blazing its own trail

A tip of the hat to the masters

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