I love it when I get to hear new newgrass music from overseas, as many musicians from around the world play various versions of this music and inevitably wonder what the Yanks think about it. Jason Titley grew up in a musical family whose father was part of the rock-and-roll scene of 1960s London, England. He played in various musical formations with his father, Bill, from an early age, mostly playing percussion. As Titley grew older, he continued playing the drums and keyboards and attended various music schools.
Then, Titley moved to Totnes, an artist-filled town in southern England whose history goes back 2,000 years. It was there, along the tidal river called Dart that Titley discovered bluegrass music. Eventually, he moved west to another river town, Tewkesbury, where he woodshedded with a Martin D-28 guitar for a year and emerged with a new bluegrass band called Natural Hazard. That led to the groups The Daily Planet and Rabbi John.
Still Rollin’ is Titley’s latest solo album and, on it, he’s backed by British and American musicians alike. To his credit, he wrote all of the songs here and produced the cuts. There are 26 guest musicians, including Casey Driessen, Tony Furtado, Billy Cardine, Matt Flinner, Mike Witcher, Gabe Witcher, Jim VanCleve, Rob Ickes, Tim O’Brien, Ben Winship, his father Bill, and many more. The music is open-minded with a World Music flare. Titley puts this long list of guest artists to excellent use with challenging arrangements, letting them do their thing. For those who like to see the envelope pushed with excellent musicianship leading the way, seek out this diverse album and enjoy. (www.jasontitley.com)DH