Adventurous bluegrass fans who fell in love with the New Acoustic sound of Tony Rice and David Grisman back in the '70s and '80s will thrill to this album by the Matt Flinner Trio, which features mandolinist Flinner, guitarist Ross Martin, and bassist Eric Thorin playing original compositions in a style similar to that favored by the David Grisman Quintet and the Tony Rice Unit back in the day: complex, meandering chord progressions combined with fiery bluegrass tempos and rhythms. Sometimes, as on the rather vague "In the Golden Zone" and "Atomic City," those progressions meander just a bit too aimlessly and leave you with the impression that the musicians were maybe more concerned with mental exercise than with creating something pleasing for their listeners. But elsewhere, their blend of jaw-dropping virtuosity and adventurous writing is thrilling: the fugue-like structure of Thorin's "Stomp Hat," the nearly harmolodic Celt-grass sprawl of "Inferno Reel," and the immediately accessible but subtly complex "Blossom" are all examples of this group at its best, and all take the New Acoustic tradition off into uncharted territory with very exciting results.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson