Craig Morris – Banjology

Bluegrass Unlimited - Craig Morris - BanjologyCRAIG MORRIS

Bluegrass is an egalitarian music. It is grassroots music. There are folks who go to festivals who never even get to the stage, they are so wrapped up in playing the music.
Some folks can’t help but share their music with others. Craig Morris is a fine banjo picker and he gathered a couple of long-time friends together in one of his friend’s studio and recorded 12 of his favorite tunes. This CD is the result.

Too often projects like this end up being the rote reiteration of well-worn evergreens. Morris and his picking buddies have put together an interesting set of tunes that reveal the depth of experience they have garnered playing bluegrass. There are two originals, “Lickety Split” by Morris and “Stobro’s Blues” by Ferrell Stowe, who plays resonator guitar on this track and Bill Emerson’s “Welcome To New York.” Craig Fletcher not only engineered the recording, he plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and bass, as well as resonator guitar on Doyle Lawson’s “Run Around.” He adds harmony to Del McCoury’s “Beauty Of My Dreams.” There are three vocals on this otherwise instrumental project by Stephen Helton who is an expressive singer who knows how to put the song across.

Morris is an accomplished banjo player with a great touch. He has a sense of tradition and innovation and the good sense to keep them in balance lifts his playing to a higher level. His take on the old fiddle tune “Stony Point” starts with a hauntingly modal banjo. It develops very nicely with Fletcher’s able fiddling. The picking and tasteful arrangements on a consistently well-chosen set of tunes make this project a listening joy. This recording is highly recommended to fans of banjo and well-played bluegrass. (Craig Morris, 2820 Candlewicke Dr., Spring Hill, TN 37174.) RCB

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