Usually the expression “about what I expected” is tossed around as a somewhat salty comment. However, when it comes to the new offering from aptly named The All Stars of Bluegrass, it’s a good thing.
After all, what do you expect from top notch pickers such as Phil Leadbetter (resonator guitar), the late Steve Gulley (bass), Alan Bibey (mandolin), Jason Burleson (banjo), Robert Hale (guitar) and Stuart Duncan and Tim Crouch on fiddle?
If your answer was a genuinely good bluegrass album, you are correct, as that’s what the group’s new album, Swing for the Fences, offers. The picking and singing are as solid as it gets in the genre, but again what would you expect when artists from Blue Highway, Wildfire, Grasstowne and other top groups get together?
It’s hard not to tap feet to “Ready and Waiting” and the Bibey/Burleson instrumental composition “Avery Stokes” is a lot of fun. Bibey also co-wrote “Swing for the Fences.”
“The Hurting’ When You Go” will surely get lots of airplay and “One Way Rider” offers that unusual jam-out of a last track that will make you reach for the repeat button.
Swing for the Fences is just right for the traditional bluegrass listener and the all-star group shows no signs of slowing down, with a follow up already in the works.