Pickin' On

Pickin' on Randy Travis

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Billed as a "wonderful and comprehensive bluegrass tribute" to country music star Randy Travis, this ten-track instrumental album covers a range of country music styles -- practically none of which are bluegrass -- performed on acoustic instruments. The packaging is deceptive in that the recordings prominently feature a harmonica and (on "Allergic to the Blues") a clarinet that are not listed anywhere in the credits, almost certainly because those instruments are not widely associated with bluegrass music. "Too Gone Too Long" is performed in a Western swing style and some of the other tracks are used as springboards for mellifluous acoustic guitar solos that would sound more appropriate on an Esteban album. "Forever and Ever, Amen" is the only cut that could be reasonably characterized as bluegrass. So what the listener is left with is a well-played and well-recorded cash-in album that is not at all what it claims to be.

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