Byron Berline

Live at McCabes

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This long-unavailable record features Byron Berline and Sundance in a delightful live set recorded at McCabe's Guitar Shop in the late '70s. The veteran fiddler is in terrific form, buoyed by a strong supporting cast that includes banjo player John Hickman, guitarists Dan Crary and Alan Wald, dobro player Skip Conover (who was a guest on the previous album), along with a young Vince Gill on mandolin, who was also a new addition to the group following their self-titled debut LP released the previous year. The sound of the band is considerably different from the previous year's disc, with a full drum kit being replaced by a snare drum, the omission of the pedal steel, and a concentration on a heavier mix of traditional bluegrass favorites, such as Rex Allen's "Tear Drops in My Eyes," Bill Monroe's "Can't You Hear Me Callin'" and "Molly and Tenbrooks," as well as Reno & Smiley's "Used to Be You" and their well-known "Dixie Breakdown" instead of the originals that dominated their first record. Sadly, this fine outing ended up being the band's swan song, as its members went their separate ways in 1979.

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