Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
A broad sampling of bluegrass for all tastes
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 01/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The high octane of bluegrass music in a live show has been captured in the "All Star Bluegrass Celebration" produced by legendary Austin City Limits architect Terry Lickona. Available on CD or DVD, the intensity of this genre is seized in this documentation of a show featuring some of the greatest performers in the business. The many moods of bluegrass range from the hard-core traditional to quick-paced contemporary, enchanting gospel to powerful mountain sounds.
Recorded on January 16, 2002 at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium for a PBS broadcast, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration was a very popular fund-raising special. There is one primary tradeoff to the energy of a live show, and that is the audience applause which can be downright noisy and annoying, especially when it's rendered over a hot break or vocals.
The DVD version contains three bonus tracks. The show was hosted by Ricky Skaggs, and the CD begins with Kentucky Thunder's fiery rendition of the traditional "Shady Grove." A project like this always offers some interesting pairings that bring illustrious guests onto the bluegrass stage. More often associated with country music but clearly having strong bluegrass foundations, stars like Vince Gill , Travis Tritt, Patty Loveless,
and Bruce Hornsby also make appearances. Unfortunately, the set's flow has some problems. For example, following the Del McCoury Band's "Get Down on Your Knees and Pray" with a drum-heavy rendition of Earl Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" is like jumping from a warm bed into a freezing cold lake. While the crowd appreciates the sheer energy of the breakdown with electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, it seems rather odd to transition right back to Patty Loveless' more acoustic rendition of "Daniel Prayed." Later in the set, after Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs play straight-ahead bluegrass, Bruce Hornsby builds his compelling case for bluegrass piano on "Darlin' Corey." Of course, Nickel Creek's "Seven Wonders" pushes the bluegrass envelope even further. The all star finale jam it up on Earl Scruggs' "Lonesome Reuben" and a fitting tribute to the father of bluegrass with Bill Monroe's "Rawhide."
There are no liner notes that try to define bluegrass. It's obvious that producer Terry Likona has chosen to let the music do that for us, and the sideboards are large. With its strongly mainstream commercial sound, the All-Star Bluegrass Celebration raised a great amount of funding for PBS. Projects like this also give us a broad sampling of bluegrass for all tastes. From the sounds of the noisy audience, they clearly loved it. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)
Lively disc of bluegrass legends and stars
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 12/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally taped live at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, this celebration of Bluegrass' legends and current stars has been a staple of PBS fundraising nights all across the country. Now available on both CD and DVD, the program captures highlights from bluegrass founders Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley, legendary players Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Alison Krauss, and country stars like Patty.
The program provides a good introduction to the riches of Bluegrass, including the hot-picking of Kentucky Thunder and Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley's bone-chilling a capella "O Death," and the generational interconnection of standards like Bill Monroe's "Uncle Pen." The DVD edition adds three tracks to the CD: Earl Scruggs' "Passin' Through," Ralph Stanley's "Rocky Island," and a group finale of "Little Maggie.""
5-stars "All Star"
Blue Grass | Olympic Peninsula | 08/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful, eclectic collection of old and new "bluegrass" favorites is, in my view, a "must" -- both on CD and DVD (note there are some small discrepancies in the selections between these two).
The program, first aired as a PBS fundraiser but now vailable to the general public, brought together some of the very great, even "historic" greats, such as Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley, along with some of our finest contemporary stars -- Ricky Scaggs, Allison Krauss, and Patty Loveless. And then, of course, there's Del McCoury and that girl in "red hair and black leather."
The arrangements are superb. There's audience response on the recording -- which to my mind makes the experience all the better! You'll walk away smiling and humming. What could be better?"