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Anybody else have this cd yet? It hasn't been out of my player since I got it. It's good to hear Mike Compton back in the group. I really like all the bluesy stuff on this recording. Not to mention Mike's instrumental, "Pretty Red Lips." Already learning that one.
I agree, just a great cd. They are all in very fine form and the song selection is great. They have to be the most undervalued great bluegrass band out there. They are the equal of the McCoury's in every way, but you see one thread praising the NBB to ten praising Del and the Boys. One of the two or three best bands in bluegrass over the past twenty years, and a great, great cd.
To Be His Child is still my favorite, but this is second.
Yep, got it. Really love their slow bluesy rendition of Sitting On Top Of The World, and that gospel vocal number is a doozy.
I aired a few tunes from this recording on my show last week and the first thing that struck me was how "bluesy" this recording is. There seems to be more than a hint of the old OBWAT theme running into is as well, I don't know, just my first take on it. Need to listen to it more.
I picked it up last week. I second that it's great to hear Mike Compton back with them. His playing is incredible. He won't win the "he who plays the most notes wins" contest anytime soon but what he does play is tasteful and stylish.
He won't win the "he who plays the most notes wins" contest anytime soon but what he does play is tasteful and stylish.
I agree that Mike tends to play more musical and tasteful than fast, but make no mistake, if there were a "most notes wins" contest, I wouldn't bet against him versus anyone. I have seen him in concert twice and taken a day long workshop with him. What I saw and heard is that when he wants to go into "warp drive," he can. Just one reference: The "Little Grasscals" CD.
That is true. He was really tearing it up on tour with David Long.
I looked for the Little Grasscals CD recently and could not find it. Any idea where I can find a copy?
The Little Grasscals CD is widely availabale online- try searching. IMHO, Mike on it is quite fine, but the vocals do not float my boat. Haven't heard the new NBB CD yet but Pretty Red Lips and his Sittin' version were both getting played regularly live these last few years...I do love To Be His Child but it's clearly a vocal album. Idle Time is my fav for Mike's pickin...
Thanks,I'll look again - probably mispelled it! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
The good news for me is that NBB will be appearing live in Charlottesville, VA on September 9 at Starr Hill, followed by an appearance at The Lyric Theater in Blacksburg, VA on September 10.
Charlottesville is only 40 miles away -- already got my tickets!
Let me know how the concert is--I'm going Oct. 30 to see NBB with the Lynn Morris band, in Woodstock Il--can't wait! Third row, center . . .
I did get the new NBB 20 Year Blues and really like it, I do miss Roland White's subtle phrasing and melodic playing, not to take away from Mike Compton, both are excellent musicians, somewhat different styles though.
I'm glad to see this post about 20 Year Blues, because I think it is the best NBB release in a long time. I became a fan of NBB in the early/mid 80's witht he original Compton line-up and so glad to have him back. This album is probably my favorite, replacing the self-titled album (the one with Monroebillia and Doghouse Blues). Gosh, the harmonies, Compton's lead singing, the blues-oriented material (I've already started to incorporate That's All Right into my material), Compton's mandolin playing. The only sad thing is what appears to be the deterioration of O'Bryant's voice--he was one of my favorite bluegrass singers in the day. All around, a fine album.
This is definitely my favorite NBB recording. #It is still in my cd player. #I can't seem to get enough of Compton's playing on those songs. #Now if I can just figure some of them out. #Finally got "Pretty Red Lips" learned and it's a fun little tune and not too hard to play. #Sittin' On Top of the World is going to take a while longer to learn. #
I noticed a that Pat Enright's voice isn't what it used to be. #But it's still a fine, fine bluegrass recording. #I'm definitely looking forward to their next one and getting to see them live at some point.
I saw NBB last night at Starr Hill in Charlottesville, VA. The lads played from 9 pm to 11:30 pm with a 20-minute break in the middle. The venue is an upstairs bar/dancehall with wooden floors and a corner stage -- nothing special.
Most of their selections were from "American Beauty" and "20 Year Blues", their last two CD's, with a smattering of their earlier gems, like "Tear My Stillhouse Down" and "Red Clay Halo" (both Gillian Welch tunes). Mike Compton was playing his Gilchrist.
Bias statement: I own a copy of every NBB album and even have their VHS instructional singing tape.
Left to right:
Stuart Duncan - I'm no fiddler, but I went to the show with one. Stuart is my favorite player at this position. Tasteful, excellent tone, effortless style. Did a burning version of "Wheel Hoss". A good harmony singer, as well. These guys do some deceptively complex singing parts. Look for him in the background on CMT when an artist needs a fiddle player.
Alan O'Bryant - often overlooked when the list of "hot" banjo players is discussed, I was very impressed by his technique and taste, as were the three banjo players at my table. I think he plays more like a jazz guitarist in his approach to chord voicing and voice leading with the melody. The banjo players were very appreciative of his ability to play back-up "up the neck". As usual, superb vocals.
Dennis Crouch - this was my first look at Dennis in a live situation. He got a couple of good solo spots and has a percussive solo style. Very competent without the jazz phrasings and slides that I see in a lot of the more melodic bassists out there.
Mike Compton - I felt that "20 Year Blues" was really "Mike's Album"...sort of a "welcome back to the band". His playing is a perfect fit for the rest of the band because it is so understated. His standard solo spot (unaccompanied) is "Evening Prayer Blues" played in the style of harmonica player Deford Bailey, then Bill Monroe. "Pretty Red Lips" is a crowd-pleaser, especially with the other band members' request for the "other verses" (apparently more intimate).
Pat Enright - as guitarist, Pat is not a featured solo player. I paid more attention to his style this time and he has an interesting way of playing capo'd with a preference of D-chord voicings. His voice is his instrument and his characteristic tenor was clear and loud. I especially liked his rendition of "Luckiest Man Alive". That's the kind of moving song that NBB seems to find for every album/CD and Pat gave it a great reading.
The band was very accessible and posed for pictures, autographed CD's and chatted with anyone who approached them. I talked with Mike and he would have let me try his Gilchrist but he broke a string near the end of the concert. "Makes the tremelo sound a little thin", he joked.
Alan ran the record table and the selection was not extensive, considering their long history. Plenty of the new CD's, but not many of the older ones. If your collection of NBB is full and you like Peter Rowan, I recommend the "Blue Moon Rising" CD he made with NBB as his band.
For my taste, these guys were the ultimate in professionalism, taste and great songs. You won't find the energy of a Del McCoury concert (gotta like Del and the Boys, too), but this concert was like having NBB in your living room for two hours.
..Ok boys..help me out here..the wife and the I went to a concert and NBB was there..I didnt get to hear the whole set...she said that she heard a very nice song that they did which she thought she heard them say it was coming out on their new Cd...Twenty Year Blues.....the song has the words..."when death comes knockin"..etc....I looked at the titles of the new Cd and none of them lend a hint to this...any clues...?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif...thanks
You can play all the cuts from the CD at CMT.com. Search Nashville Bluegrass Band
The song is "Hush (Someone's Callin' Out My Name) In the left hand column click on Listening Party