Pickin' On

Pickin' on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Vol. 2

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For anyone who felt that a favorite CSN&Y song was not included on the first volume of Pickin' on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the second volume offers nine more, mostly classic, tunes. The disc opens with strong instrumental versions of "Love the One You're With" and "Our House," two of the more mainstream CSN&Y songs. The latter, in particular, has a great fiddle part by Gabe Witcher, which captures the emotional depth of this delicate love song. In many ways, the CSN&Y volumes are stronger than many other items in the series. While the series sells itself as a purveyor of bluegrass versions of rock or country songs, it often lacks the bite one might expect of rural acoustic music. Here, the arrangements are consistent and enjoyable. The best tracks, "Déjà Vu" and "Guinnevere," add the percussion of Lorenzo Martinez to spice things up. Still, the overall idea seems designed to offer a recording that is a step above Muzak. David West, who plays every instrument on "Long Time Gone" and "Wind on the Water," is a fine guitar player, but he keeps things safe and predictable. Pickin' on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Vol. 2 offers 40 minutes of pleasant background music, sure to please old fans who've mellowed a bit.

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