Pickin' on Brad Paisley is yet another installment in CMH Records' Pickin' On series, a procession of instrumental "tributes" aimed at the most ardent fans of major artists. Serious bluegrass enthusiasts are dismissive or even scornful of the Pickin' On albums, but CMH's seemingly endless flow of titles suggests that someone is buying. The Pickin' On albums encompass a range of instrumental styles mostly within the realm of country music, even though they are billed as bluegrass albums. Pickin' on Brad Paisley has ten cuts played by a group of studio musicians also heard on other volumes in the series. The music is mostly acoustic and quite pleasant, even though the near-constant use of a harmonica is something many listeners will not associate with bluegrass (although it is not unprecedented). The tunes are drawn from Paisley's first three Arista albums except for "Sittin' on Top of the World," a traditional song with a moaning vocal bit that is inexplicably tacked on at the end. There is no reason to give the Pickin' On albums undue consideration -- they are every bit as cranked-out and inconsequential as the anonymous instrumental albums from 40 years previously that fill flea markets and thrift shops today.
Pickin' on Brad Paisley Review
by Greg Adams