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£14.49

Country - Released January 1, 2002 | Concord Records

This welcome reissue brings together the first two solo albums by Seldom Scene dobro player Mike Auldridge, each of which was groundbreaking in a different way. While "progressive bluegrass" was already a fully established musical convention by 1972, when Dobro was originally issued, instrumental bluegrass arrangements of material like "Greensleeves" and "House of the Rising Sun" were a bit unusual even in the progressive context, and, to be honest, were not quite as successful as his brilliantly flashy rendition of Lester Flatt's "Pickaway" or the weepy country standard "Silver Threads." The second album presented on this reissue, Blues & Bluegrass, is a bit more consistently rewarding. Most of the tracks are Seldom Scene performances in all but name, with the occasional addition of such stellar guests as Vassar Clements, Ricky Skaggs, and David Bromberg. This album veers happily between barnburning bluegrass ("New Camptown Races," "8 More Miles to Louisville") and soulful blues numbers ("Summertime," "Struttin' the Blues"), with occasional detours into sappy pop ("Killing Me Softly") and, believe it or not, surf-bluegrass fusion ("Walk Don't Run"). All of it manages to be lots and lots of fun. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson