Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pedersen - Rice, Rice, Hillman and Pedersen

Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen

Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen

Rounder Records #11611-0450-2

Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
(aprice@aa.net)

I guess I should have figured differently. Given the strong bluegrass roots of Larry Rice, Tony Rice, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, it was natural to assume that their collaboration would be a traditional bluegrass collection. After all, between the four of them, they are veterans of some of the best known of all bluegrass groups. JD Crowe & The New South, The Bluegrass Album Band, The Dillards, Here Today, and even (for a short time) Flatt & Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys included at least one of these fine players at one time or another.

Surprise number one: It wasn't a true bluegrass album. Each of these players has enjoyed success in areas other than bluegrass, and this album reflects that. About half the songs on this album are originals (four by Hillman, two by Larry Rice). Of these, Rice's The Year of El Nino stands out, with Rickie Simpkins playing a haunting fiddle break to open the piece, and Tony Rice's Latin-influenced guitar work. Flatt & Scruggs' classic, I'll Be On That Good Road Someday is there for the die-hard traditionalist. Other cover tunes come from sources as varied as the backgrounds of the players themselves.

Joining the quartet, in addition to Rickie Simpkins on fiddle, is Ronnie Simpkins on bass and The Seldom Scene's Fred Travers on Dobro. Hillman, Pedersen and Larry Rice share lead vocals, and each has an easy, seemingly effortless flow to his singing. Sadly, a throat condition still prevents Tony Rice from contributing vocally. His guitar work, however, provides a warm texture around which everything else revolves.

Which leads me to surprise number two: I really liked this album, despite it not being what I expected. I enjoy it more each time I play it.

Track Listing

  • Doesn't Mean That Much Anymore (Chris Hillman-Steve Hill)
  • Side Effects of Love (Larry Rice)
  • One Of These Days (Earl Montgomery)
  • Never Ending Song of Love (Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett)
  • Friend of the Devil (Hunter-Garcia-Dawson)
  • Out Among The Stars (Adam Mitchell)
  • Moonshine (Jimmie D. Buchanan)
  • The Year of El Nino (Larry Rice)
  • Hearts Overflowing (Mike Brewer)
  • I Will (Chris Hillman)
  • The Walkin' Blues (Chris Hillman-Steve Hill)
  • I'll Be On That Good Road Someday (Bruce Phillips)

Edited by Jonathan Colcord
(absconc@grolen.com)

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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