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Béla Fleck|My Bluegrass Heart

My Bluegrass Heart

BELA FLECK

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Given his instrument's strong associations with bluegrass, banjo hero Béla Fleck has spent much of his career moving away from the music that inspired him back in the 1970s. His unbridled virtuosity, prolific output, and hunger for innovation have made him the instrument's foremost ambassador, and he has the eclectic catalog to prove it. The past two decades have seen Fleck exploring jazz fusion, classical, African music, and everything in between, but on My Bluegrass Heart, he makes a grand return to the kind of progressive power picking that characterized his mid-'80s work as part of the pioneering New Grass Revival. Of course, a Béla Fleck bluegrass album isn't a traditional bluegrass album, and this one, his first since 1999's The Bluegrass Sessions, is full of the distinctive twists and turns that are his hallmark. Among those joining him on these sessions are similarly innovative players of the new school (mandolinist Sierra Hull, guitarist Billy Strings), modern masters (mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Billy Contreras), and fellow legends (dobro player Jerry Douglas, banjoist Tony Trischka). At 19 original tracks spread over two discs, My Bluegrass Heart is a feast of instrumental wizardry that runs the gamut from more traditionally minded cuts like "Our Little Secret" and the "Hug Point" medley to wonkier fare like the avant farmyard vamp "Us Chickens" and the speedy "Charm School." The album's clean production and technical precision are nicely offset by the players' charming pre- and post-roll banter that clearly reveals just how much fun they are having. As a rule, the bluegrass playground is not a modest place, and with this much capital-T talent on board, songs have a tendency to spiral into bludgeoning shred-fests like the almost-maniacal "Slippery Eel," which, impressive as it is, has more notes than should be safely consumed by the human ear. Despite its strutting, My Bluegrass Heart has plenty of tasteful moments, especially on the harmonic-laden closer "Psalm 136," a still dazzling though more subtle show of craft that leaves listeners on a high note.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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My Bluegrass Heart

Béla Fleck

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1
Vertigo (feat. Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Bryan Sutton)
00:05:18

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Edgar Meyer, Bass, FeaturedArtist - Bryan Sutton, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Sam Bush, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

2
The Old North Woods
00:04:56

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - Michael Cleveland, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Andy Leftwich, Fiddle - Paul Kowert, Bass - Dominick Leslie, Mandolin - Cody Kilby, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

3
Slippery Eel (feat. Billy Strings & Chris Thile)
00:04:23

Chris Thile, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Billy Contreras, Fiddle - Billy Strings, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Royal Masat, Bass

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

4
Hug Point (feat. Sierra Hull & Molly Tuttle)
00:05:18

BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Andy Leftwich, Fiddle - Mark Schatz, Bass - Sierra Hull, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - Molly Tuttle, Guitar, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

5
Boulderdash (feat. Tony Trischka & Noam Pikelny)
00:07:01

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - David Grisman, Mandolin - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Mark Schatz, Bass - TONY TRISCHKA, Banjo, FeaturedArtist - Noam Pikelny, Banjo, FeaturedArtist - Billy Strings, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

6
Our Little Secret
00:06:26

BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Edgar Meyer, Bass - Bryan Sutton, Guitar - Sam Bush, Mandolin - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Billy Contreras, Fiddle

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

7
Round Rock (feat. Michael Cleveland & Jerry Douglas)
00:06:09

Michael Cleveland, Fiddle, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Jerry Douglas, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Paul Kowert, Bass - Dominick Leslie, Mandolin - Cody Kilby, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

8
Baptist Pumpkin Farm
00:06:11

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - Michael Cleveland, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Paul Kowert, Bass - Dominick Leslie, Mandolin - Cody Kilby, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

9
Charm School (feat. Billy Strings & Chris Thile)
00:08:03

Chris Thile, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Billy Contreras, Fiddle - Billy Strings, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Royal Masat, Bass

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

10
Strider (feat. Sierra Hull & Molly Tuttle)
00:07:26

BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Andy Leftwich, Fiddle - Mark Schatz, Bass - Sierra Hull, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - Molly Tuttle, Guitar, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

11
This Old Road (feat. David Grisman & Billy Strings)
00:04:55

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - David Grisman, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Mark Schatz, Bass - Billy Strings, Guitar, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

12
Us Chickens
00:03:58

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Edgar Meyer, Bass - Sam Bush, Mandolin - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Billy Strings, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

13
Sour Grapes
00:04:04

Michael Cleveland, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Sierra Hull, Mandolin - Paul Kowert, Bass - Dominick Leslie, Mandolin - Cody Kilby, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

14
Hunky Dory
00:05:47

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - David Grisman, Mandolin - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Edgar Meyer, Bass - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Mark Schatz, Bass - TONY TRISCHKA, Banjo

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

15
Tentacle Dragon (Revenge of the) [feat. Billy Strings]
00:05:53

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Sam Bush, Mandolin - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Mark Schatz, Bass - Billy Strings, Guitar, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

16
Bum's Rush (feat. Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Billy Contreras, Edgar Meyer & Bryan Sutton)
00:05:31

BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Edgar Meyer, Bass, FeaturedArtist - Bryan Sutton, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Sam Bush, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - Jerry Douglas, Guitar, FeaturedArtist - Billy Contreras, Fiddle, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

17
Hunter's Moon
00:06:17

Stuart Duncan, Fiddle - Michael Cleveland, Fiddle - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Jerry Douglas, Guitar - Paul Kowert, Bass - Dominick Leslie, Mandolin - Cody Kilby, Guitar

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

18
Wheels Up (feat. Sierra Hull & Molly Tuttle)
00:04:15

BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer - Andy Leftwich, Fiddle - Mark Schatz, Bass - Sierra Hull, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - Molly Tuttle, Guitar, FeaturedArtist

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

19
Psalm 136 (feat. Chris Thile)
00:03:52

Chris Thile, Composer, Mandolin, FeaturedArtist - BELA FLECK, Composer, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, MainArtist - Ted Jensen, Engineer

© 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company ℗ 2021 Bela Fleck Productions, Inc under exclusive license to Renew Records a BMG Company

Album Description

Given his instrument's strong associations with bluegrass, banjo hero Béla Fleck has spent much of his career moving away from the music that inspired him back in the 1970s. His unbridled virtuosity, prolific output, and hunger for innovation have made him the instrument's foremost ambassador, and he has the eclectic catalog to prove it. The past two decades have seen Fleck exploring jazz fusion, classical, African music, and everything in between, but on My Bluegrass Heart, he makes a grand return to the kind of progressive power picking that characterized his mid-'80s work as part of the pioneering New Grass Revival. Of course, a Béla Fleck bluegrass album isn't a traditional bluegrass album, and this one, his first since 1999's The Bluegrass Sessions, is full of the distinctive twists and turns that are his hallmark. Among those joining him on these sessions are similarly innovative players of the new school (mandolinist Sierra Hull, guitarist Billy Strings), modern masters (mandolinist Chris Thile, fiddler Billy Contreras), and fellow legends (dobro player Jerry Douglas, banjoist Tony Trischka). At 19 original tracks spread over two discs, My Bluegrass Heart is a feast of instrumental wizardry that runs the gamut from more traditionally minded cuts like "Our Little Secret" and the "Hug Point" medley to wonkier fare like the avant farmyard vamp "Us Chickens" and the speedy "Charm School." The album's clean production and technical precision are nicely offset by the players' charming pre- and post-roll banter that clearly reveals just how much fun they are having. As a rule, the bluegrass playground is not a modest place, and with this much capital-T talent on board, songs have a tendency to spiral into bludgeoning shred-fests like the almost-maniacal "Slippery Eel," which, impressive as it is, has more notes than should be safely consumed by the human ear. Despite its strutting, My Bluegrass Heart has plenty of tasteful moments, especially on the harmonic-laden closer "Psalm 136," a still dazzling though more subtle show of craft that leaves listeners on a high note.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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