Various Artists

Flatpicking Bluegrass

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In the hands of such practitioners as Doc Watson, the guitar has taken greater prominence as a lead instrument in bluegrass over the years, a trend Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and its recording arm, FGM Records, have an interest in promoting. On this album, 11 different singer/guitarists get to front the same bluegrass band -- Shad Cobb (fiddle), Charlie Chadwick (bass), Chris Joslin (Dobro and banjo), and Dave Harvey (mandolin) -- in songs from the traditional repertoire such as "East Virginia Blues," "Banks of the Ohio," and "In the Pines." Although the guitar may have a bit more solo time than in the oldest of bluegrass performances, these are still band efforts, with everybody getting space to perform. The singer/guitarists, augmented with lots of harmony singers, effectively present what constitutes a sort of bluegrass greatest-hits set list, so this collection should please traditionalists as well as those looking toward the future of bluegrass.

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