Mike Auldridge

This Old Town

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Resonator guitarist Mike Auldridge and mandolin player Jimmy Gaudreau are noteworthy bluegrass musicians who are active members of the bluegrass outfit Chesapeake, and guitarist Richard Bennett is a well-respected artist who has served with a number of bands, including J.D. Crowe & the New South. This threesome, with the added services of bassist Joe Sharp, have pooled their considerable resources to create This Old Town. The featured numbers are mostly performed in the traditional bluegrass vein, though Charles Roehrig's "Come Sit by the River" and Kate Wolf's "Across the Great Divide" offer a contemporary lyrical style. Their most effective covers are a stirring version of Josh Dray's Civil War story "Southern Son" and a very sharp rendition of Norman Blake's "Billy Gray." Among the instrumental breakdowns on the CD, the best are Gaudreau's catchy "Old Columbus Blues," Bennett's classic guitar piece "Sally on the Treadmill," and a fine version of the hymn "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," dignified by Auldridge's evocative resonator guitar.

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