The Moon Is Rising was started in 1987 and finally finished at Mad Dog Studios in 1996. Between the time Rose Maddox and John Jorgenson began the bluegrass project and the time they finished it, their lives had taken drastic twists and turns. Still, California country & western legend Maddox is without a doubt one of the consummate performers to come out of the central valley and make a contribution to the Bakersfield sound. Known for her solo work as well as her time as a member of the Modesto-based Maddox Brothers & Sister Rose, her joining with the younger Jorgenson provides an interesting look at how two generations can come together for the sake of the music. Both are outstanding and Rose has a feel for Western bluegrass that has inspired Laurie Lewis and her band, Front Range. Their cover of Buck Owens' "Down to the River" is most entertaining. Another California legend, Bill Bryson, who also adds his skills as a bluegrass bass man and background vocalist to the mix with good results, contributes his song "Love Me or Leave Me Alone," an outstanding composition made better because of the talent involved. Making their presence known on this recording are expert L.A. players Jay Dee Maness on pedal steel and dobro and percussion master and background vocalist Steve Duncan. Overall, Jorgenson's production works nicely with Rose's vast experience. The material is steeped in tradition as are the players, making for a pleasant and uplifting experience.
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AllMusic Review by Jana Pendragon