Stately. That's the word I was looking for.
Not a drummer in sight and yet this disc has a rhythm all its own; taking you through the day, the years of bluegrass past and present.
As a strange aside, I recently saw footage of a fire-breathing Patti Smith Group, circa 1976. Who would think, 31 years later, Patti's eloquent Trespasses could be rendered here as an ageless, mountain rumination on the loss and triumph that balances all our lives. Who ever would have thought a Patti Smith song would be the most transcendent song on a bluegrass collection?
And such is the magic of 'Quartet'. As Rowan and Rice, masterly emphatic mandolinist/vocalist Sharon Gilchrist and virtuoso bassist/vocalist Bryn Davies dig deep into the nuances of such chestnuts as The Sunny Side of The Mountain and Shady Grove. Townes Van Zandt's resounding To Live Is To Fly is rendered with an emotional clarity rarely achieved in any of its previous incarnations. A thrilling, singular, recasting of Moonlight Midnight creates an entirely new song, with a fluid, improvisational dexterity by all four players. Add vivid retellings of Rowan's own The Walls of Time, Let The Harvest Go To Seed, Dust Bowl Children and a Rowan re-arrangement of the oft heard Cold Rain and Snow and Quartet becomes the bluegrass standard that all others must follow.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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