Shawn Lane

All for Today

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Like a number of contemporary bluegrass performers, Shawn Lane draws from the music of yesterday as he forges toward a more modern sound. While his smooth country vocals on "Don't Want You to Go" and "I Call Him Son" could never be mistaken with Ralph Stanley's, his approach on A.P. Carter's "Darlin' Nellie Across the Sea" verves much closer to tradition. Musically, Lane's approach features a similar split. His fiddle work on "Beach of Death" has a real old-time feel to it, while both Jerry Douglas' and Rob Ickes' dobro work on various cuts has a distinctly contemporary feel. As with any good bluegrass album, there's room on All for Today for gospel-tinged songs like "Christ, the Lord," though the traditionally minded listener will find it odd that this song follows "Love Me Darling Just Tonight." Garcia Lane, Shawn Lane's wife, sings lead on "When I See Your Face" and "Little Mountain Home," and compares favorably with Alison Krauss. There's also a guest vocal by Larry Sparks on "Sawmill Man," adding yet another nod toward tradition. Lane's mixture of approaches may bother purists, but for anyone who enjoys contemporary bluegrass radio, All for Today hits all the right notes.

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