Sam Bush - Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride

Ice Caps:
Peaks of Telluride

Sam Bush

SHCD 3917

Sugar Hill Records
PO Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price

Those of us who have the pleasure of seeing Sam Bush perform live at a festival need only know that this album is a collection of Bush performances live at Telluride. Without question, Sam Bush can be appreciated in his studio work. His albums Glamour And Grits and Howling At The Moon are two of the most-played CDs in my collection. But when I saw the Sam Bush Band live at Wintergrass a couple of years ago, I was in awe. Bush's energy and creativity on the mandolin, along with the diversity of music he dared to play at a bluegrass festival left me riveted to my seat for almost three hours. I even missed a midnight bluegrass jam session to catch the walk on of Peter Rowan, Sammy Shelor and other joining Bush for an impromptu jam of bluegrass standards.

What has that to do with album? Everything. Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride takes me right back to that night, feeling the same excitement I felt then. Music is, after all and said and done, interactive in nature. And Bush understands that when he plays. He is unafraid to deviate from the song list, even in the middle of the song, taking us all on a spontaneous unscheduled journey. He communicates intuitively with his mandolin, and the others playing with him share the journey. This all comes through on Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride, especially so on the final four cuts. A mini-New Grass Revival reunion takes place on some of the cuts, with former NGR members John Cowan and Bela Fleck. And it is magic, sharing with us the first time Cowan and Bush had sung together since the New Grass Revival had disbanded. Kool & The Gang can't hold a candle to Bush's newgrass version of Celebrate. In the closing number, Stingray, Bush and Fleck got into a zone and take the song into a nine minute jam that is not to be missed.

If you have seen Sam Bush perform before, Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride will take you back in the blink of an eye. If you haven't seen him before, this CD will have you searching Ticketmaster before the fourth cut. For on Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride, you not only hear Sam Bush's music-you feel his soul.

Edited by David N. Pyles

Copyright 2001, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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