Joe Carr

Windy Days and Dusty Skies

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With Windy Days and Dusty Skies, Joe Carr and Alan Munde have pulled off a tight and traditionally reverent bluegrass album. This is to be expected, however, for the two men aren't only great players -- both are renowned musicians whose collective resumé boasts stints with the Country Gazette, Jimmy Martin, Sam Bush, and Roanoke -- they are also scholars of the form. Both are professors of bluegrass music at South Plains College in Texas. And besides recording ventures, they have co-authored the book Prairie Nights to Neon Lights: The Story of Country Music in West Texas. For Windy Days and Dusty Skies, the two have brought along pickers such as Beppe Gambetta, David Grier, and Gerald Jones, as well as Ed Marsh, Roland White, and Randy Howard. Besides tracks by Carr and fiddler Marsh, the album boasts traditional numbers and a fine run through "Texas Blues," which is well known as a standard for Texas swing pioneer Bob Wills. This album is an excellent showcase for Munde's vaunted banjo skills and the formidable flat-picking of Carr. Don't expect any front-porch looseness, however; this is tight and technical playing.

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