Various Artists

Cool Blue Outlaws: Songs of Rogues Rascals and Rapscallions

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If most labels threw together a compilation of their bluegrass artists, assigned it some loose theme, and released it, it'd be a pretty easy call to point a fat finger at them and scream that they were cashing in on the success of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. And it still might be possible to do that. But most labels aren't Sugar Hill Records, and -- as such -- most compilations wouldn't contain the boundary-defining likes of Peter Rowan, Bad Livers, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Doc Watson, the Seldom Scene, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and others. Sure, Cool, Blue Outlaws: Songs of Rogues, Rascales & Rapscallions is little more than a sampler, the concept a bit flimsy, but the wares it presents are fine and pure. In a genre where individual songs usually speak louder than albums, there's certainly nothing wrong with checking out compilations. The song selection isn't too surprising, but the performances are stellar. Cool, Blue Outlaws is worth checking out for bluegrass newbies or veterans who just happen to be in the mood for this particular collection of artists.

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