The String Cheese Incident's unusual name, dedicated fans, and songs with long improvisational passages guarantee them jam band status. It was only a matter of time, then, before the guys and gals at CMH dedicated a title to them. Pickin' on the String Cheese Incident offers nearly 55 minutes of acoustic music spun out of nine of the band's songs and one original. The arrangements are mostly acoustic, with mandolins, banjos, and guitar governing the overall sound. There's a nice version of "Texas" with some fine guitar/mandolin interaction between Rich Meijer and John Jakubek, and a good take of "Close Your Eyes" with some tasty dobro from Barry Waldrep. There's also a nice adaptation of "Round the Wheel," complete with Gabe Witcher's fiddle. The players vary little from the script, meaning that they produce competent instrumental versions of these songs but few fireworks. Call it Muzak for a new millennium. With cuts like "Close Your Eyes," the band has also made sure to capture cuts from the String Cheese Incident's 2002 release, Outside Inside. For fans of the cheesiest jam band on the scene, these instrumental versions may seem a bit tepid. For those looking for entertaining background music, Pickin' on the String Cheese Incident should fit the bill.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.