Blueground Undergrass

Faces

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AllMusic Review by

The psychedelic flowers that light up the cover of Faces suggest the band's tongue-twisting name is purposeful: Blueground Undergrass easily converts into Bluegrass Underground. The name, in turn, suggests that the dozen songs and instrumentals that fill Faces aren't traditional bluegrass. If the name itself doesn't convince the skeptic, a quick listen to the title track and "Dublin Blues" will. The title track really doesn't venture too far from bluegrass, though Matt Cowley's percussion lets the listener know that this isn't Bill Monroe. "Dublin Blues," on the other hand, qualifies as alternative country, with slashing slide guitar, fiddle, banjo, and drums creating a bigger sound. "Our Feet" abandons any pretense of roots altogether, alternating between funky guitar on the choruses and smooth trumpet on the mellower verses. This pastiche of styles could either be described as eclectic or scattered, though the sheer variety of styles precludes overall unity. Blueground Undergrass nonetheless fits comfortably in the String Cheese Incident school of bluegrass-jazz-folk, allowing each of the band's members to bring something different to the overall mix. For anyone who likes his or her bluegrass commingled with an adventurous spirit, Blueground Undergrass' Faces should fit the bill.

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