There are lots of good bluegrass albums, and there are a few great ones. There are also some that stand out even above those ones, and this new release from Dailey & Vincent is going to prove to be one of those.
"The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver"
There are lots of tribute albums around, though they are a curious bird. The assumption we make as consumers is that the people who contribute do so because they were inspired by the person whose work they are celebrating.
We often like to pigeonhole artists, despite all we know about the diversity of musical influences.
At times, Peter Rowan seems like the Zelig of roots music, that is, like the person in Woody Allen's film of the same name who becomes whoever he is standing next to. In the course of his long career, Rowan has been a bluegrass boy, a new-age Buddhist mystic and truly everything in between.
The Foghorn Stringband is an example of a growing interest in the music of the '20s and '30s, music created at a time when roots music was less formal and formalized.
Here's how every review of Heidi Talbot opens: Talbot is from County Kildare, Ireland, and famously was a member of the Irish-American all-female supergroup Cherish the Ladies.
Ever wonder if popular music is better today than it was, say, 40 years ago? Frankly, it isn't. Even with Gangnam style, it's hard to imagine this year producing so many recordings as important as the best of 1972.
Jerry Garcia once said that the Grateful Dead are like licorice -- some people don’t like licorice, but those who like it like it a lot. I think that’s a category that the Hillbenders might be in as well.
Lots of people might look at this list and say, “Who are all these people?” In roots and Americana music, and at my house, they're stars. And these albums explain why.