Darol Anger is one of the most skilled fiddlers working today. He is interested in taking the instrument into new places, though he's not interested in developing an entirely new vocabulary for the instrument, and I think that's an important distinction.
The Infamous Stringdusters came on the scene in 2007 and, right out of the gate, commanded a lot of attention, a lot of accolades, and some very impressive awards.
Mr. Sun is comprised of Darol Anger -- easily one of the most skilled and most interesting fiddlers working today-and three like-minded and equally talented players, Joe Walsh on mandolin, Grant Gordy on guitar and Karl Doty on bass.
I wanted to love this album, and I'm having a hard time with it even now, because saying something negative about a new album from Tony Trischka is akin to sacrilege.
"Are you trying to get a master's degree in musicology," the Freight Hoppers' David Bass was asked during an interview, "or are you out there really raising hell and having fun with the music?"
This has felt like the official year of "Well, it's about time!" recordings. There seemed to be so many albums from top-flight players who haven't released anything in, literally, years. In all cases, it was worth the wait.
The thing about Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott is that each project comes with the feeling that you're joining a show already in progress. That's true of their latest studio release, "Memories and Moments," which comes a full decade after their first.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: I love everything about this album. The only way to make it any better would be to have it autographed.
Some bands approach bluegrass for the tradition that it represents. And then there are bands like Greensky Bluegrass.