What do the outtakes to one of the great old-time country albums sound like? Pretty darn good. One would have to strain to find fault with this set of old-time instrumental and vocal numbers that is passed around among the three participants in various combinations. The McGee Brothers and Arthur Smith are acknowledged master instrumentalists in this genre, between the three of them covering a lot more than just three different instruments or instrumental styles. Two distinct banjo styles alone are demonstrated by brothers Kirk and Sam McGee, whilst Arthur Smith proves he didn't earn the nickname of "Fiddlin'" tinkering with broken lawnmowers. When the three of them get together on a fiddle tune and head for the high register, there almost seems a possibility of having one's sideburns trimmed by the collective edge. These tracks were recorded in Kirk's home by Mike Seeger and have a clear sound, rich in the tone of the acoustic instruments. Numbers tend to be short, but definitely to the point, and with a generous total of more than two dozen tracks, the listener gets a nice dose of this old-time tonic. The range of moods and styles may be surprising to those expecting simply old-time country, only to find bluesy fingerpicking around the next corner.
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AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne
feat: Kirk McGee