Pinecastle Records

Thirty years ago, the center for bluegrass moved to Nashville. It had been more egalitarian before then. Since then, an industry has been constructed, and here we have ordained Nashville bluegrass. This is a fine tribute to Gena Britt’s talents, as more than twenty friends gather to make music with her. Among some real winners on this project is her own “Soldier’s Lament” which stands out for its moody searching sound. The angelic trio of female voices singing “On And On” is a moment of great bluegrass. Britt sings lead on six cuts and harmony on three more. “Over And Over” shows her to be a solid singer, and “Daddy’s Shoes” finds her at her vulnerable and soulful best. Her reading of Tim O’Brien’s “Untold Stories” cuts to the core of the lyrics.

They could have used a bit more banjo as on “Big Country” where Britt unleashes her chops and rips into the tune. A host of hot pickers frame her strong banjo playing with exciting breaks. Interesting that the tune is listed as Public Domain, when it’s actually a Vernon Derrick and Jimmy Martin composition.

This is modern bluegrass that will appeal to a wide range of bluegrass fans. A little over-produced and somewhat generic in sound. It is not unlike listening to bluegrass one is apt to hear on satellite radio with each song spotlighting various talents. The emphasis is too much on the friends. Perhaps next time Britt will shine through a little more and the guests a little less.(

Share this Article