Joe Craven


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Versatility is the dominating word to describe this disc. Multi-instrumentalist hardly begins to describe Joe Craven. Perhaps he is best known for his performances with Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and his band Psychograss. On this CD he steps dramatically to the forefront. He plays upwards of 30 instruments; predominately known for his mandolin and fiddle playing, he strides to the center on a number of other stringed instruments such as the banjolin and ukulele, while providing most of the percussion on a astounding variety of instruments. The number of instruments played well is complemented by the plethora of styles he plays in. This is music that encircles the world; all aboard for Australia, India, Japan, Ireland and South Africa to name five of the stops on this journey of 14 songs in as many musical styles. All are done with an exhilarating love for the music which shines through. Why did I give it eight and not nine stars if I love it this much? It sometimes shifts styles just a bit too abruptly for my mind. I would prefer to make the journey in two or three discs. But that is personal. This is a journey not to be missed on any account.

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