Scott Anderson – Tales From The Swamp

Scott Anderson - Tales From The SwampSCOTT ANDERSON
No Label
MATO 1315

There are 13 tracks on Scott Anderson’s second solo release. Four are original songs by either Scott or his daughter, Amanda, and the other nine are covers.
Only “Can’t You Hear Me Calling” and the instrumental “Temperance Reel” are bluegrass standards, though “Folsom Prison Blues” might be included in there as well.

Supporting Scott on this project is a host of famed and lesser-known pickers, 23 in all. To name them would probably take most of the space for this review, so better it is to mention them as their performances dictate, as in, for example, Anderson’s cover of “Minor Swing,” a jazz standard that appears on quite a few bluegrass recordings and rarely fails to please. It certainly does not fail here. Anderson notes that this was a late “off-the-cuff” addition, and you can hear that. It’s a bit loose, but it is obvious that Anderson, Sam Bush, Barry Bales, Aubrey Haynie, and Jim Hurst have played this many times, and that “off-the-cuff”quality gives it verve, particularly in the “trading fours” section.

“Minor Swing” is followed by a fine cover of Bob Dylan’s “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power),” taken at a modest lope. Anderson lays out an expressive vocal interpretation, and Stuart Duncan and Sierra Hull provide some effective support. Also worth noting is the whirling rendition of the aforementioned “Temperance Reel” and the solid quality of two of the band originals: Scott’s minor-tinged “Sorry Song Number Forty-Seven” and Amanda’s “Drivin’, Singin’, Cryin’,” which succeeds on its drive and its bright, catchy chorus. Amanda sings them both and does so with polish and energy. Scott, for his part, gives an equally polished and energetic lead vocal to his cover of Dave Evans’ “Be Proud Of The Gray In Your Hair.” Once you get past the faux, old recording intro, it is among the most enjoyable tracks on this well-played, well-sung album. (Scott Anderson, 3609 NW 136th St., Gainesville FL 32606, BW

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