Eddie Adcock

Renaissance Man

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Eddie Adcock is rightly celebrated for his instrumental mastery in the world of bluegrass, but he's always been a cutting-edge player, too -- as he showed in 1978 by inventing the Gitbo, a double-necked instrument that combined electric guitar and acoustic banjo. Not surprisingly, then, he rewrites the rule book yet again on this relaxed, mostly instrumental outing that features a bevy of notable contributors -- starting with Ricky Skaggs, who lends deft fiddle and guitar to a high-spirited cover of Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose." Another obvious high point is the wistful "Lost at Sea," where vocalist Alan O'Day swears to find himself first before buying anymore things he doesn't need, with Bobby Hicks' fiddle weaving a perfect counterpoint. Guest vocalists Mac Wiseman and Buck White turn up to sing a few strategic lines on "Poopsie Blue" and "Crazy Blues," which flips the instrumental-vocal conundrum on its head. Eddie's wife, Martha, also does a sparkling vocal on "Sing Banjo Sing" -- one of five originals by her husband -- and the traditional "Wild Swanee Home." Other surprises include a spiffy remake of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" with banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and string bass. Adcock's knack for reinterpretation also extends to "Pallet on Your Floor" (a traditional number that late jazzman Rahsaan Roland Kirk also recorded). His original instrumentals ("Mandango," "Dream Concerto") also make fine showcases for Martha's rhythm guitar, fiddling ace Glen Duncan, and upright bassist Missy Raines. All in all, there's some treats for everybody, whether they're avid bluegrass listeners or not.

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