Mike Auldridge

Blue Lonesome Wind

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Many progressive bluegrass musicians perform in a number of settings with a variety of players. Like jazz players, their commitment has more to do with making quality music than preserving one band. Dobroist Mike Auldridge, guitarist Richard Bennett, and mandolinist Jimmy Gaudreau are no exception. When they joined forces for This Old Town in 2000, no one could be sure they would record together again. In 2001 they returned with the lovely Blue Lonesome Wind. Bennett lends his expressive voice to the title track and to the self-penned "Satisfied to Stay," an upbeat piece featuring some superb group harmony. Bennett also continues to be one of the best guitar players in the Tony Rice mold. His picking on "New Sweet Home" and "Dog Pause" will, as the saying goes, knock your hat in the creek. Other instrumentals like "Welcome to New York" give everyone lots of room to show off their instrumental prowess. Auldridge captures the romantic flavor of the piece, laying down the quality work that always gave the Seldom Scene such a distinctive sound. Gaudreau's mandolin likewise captures all the right nuances. He's always present with the right lick, whether kicking off a piece like "Too Many Tears" or playing rhythm behind his comrades. Complaints? None really. It may confuse some that this band can vacillate between jazz-grass and bluegrass as opposed to sticking to one style, but it shouldn't. This contemporary bluegrass band succeeds where so many fail; they never allow smooth arrangements or stale material to straightjacket their music. Blue Lonesome Wind is a nice piece of work, guaranteed to create expectations for another album.

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