The long-awaited collaboration of acoustic music innovators David Grisman and Sam Bush is at hand with the Acoustic Disc release of Hold On, We're Strummin' (ACD-54).
Close friends since 1965 when Grisman put his Lloyd Loar mandolin in a teenaged Bush's hands, this most dynamic string duo has created an acoustic tour de force. This historic release features eleven new Sam & David originals, showcasing the psychic interplay and stylistic fluidity that have permeated their stellar careers.
Kicking off this meeting of the mandolin minds is "Hartford's Real," an impassioned tip of the hat and heart to music legend John Hartford. Samís signature slide mandolin playing leads the way on "Swamp Thing," while David's Dawg music influence is felt in the grooves of "Sea Breeze" and "Intimo." The spirit of their longtime musical friendship is clearly evident as their styles merge on "Jamgrass 741," "Weeping Mandolin Waltz" and "Crusher & Hoss" (the nicknames of their legendary mandolins).
Bluegrass aficionados will revel in the Sam and David treatment of "Ralph's Banjo Special" and "Dan'l Boone," while "The Old Time Medley" takes you back to bygone days with Sam on fiddle and David on 5-string banjo. "The Old South" has a distinct gospel tinge filled with mournful grace.
Rounding out the project are Jethro Burns' "'Cept Old Bill," a tasty bit of wry bluegrass humor that letís everyone know who's the boss, and the deliciously funky cover of (the other) Sam and Dave's soul classic "Hold On, I'm Comin'." Guest artists appearing include Doc Watson accompanist Jack Lawrence, Enrique Coria and Jim Kerwin of the David Grisman Quintet and the legendary Hal Blaine making a cameo appearance on drums.
Hold On, We're Strummin' is destined to become a classic in the world of contemporary acoustic string music.
ReviewsIncludes a brilliant reconfiguration of the Isaac Hayes-David Porter tune that was a hit for Sam & Dave (Hold On, I'm Comin') and partially lends the collection (from an entirely different Sam & Dave) its title. The album's mix of breezy jazz and earthy bluegrass is pleasingly beautiful and wholly inspired. Two-thirds of the tracks are performed by Grisman and Bush with, at most, one additional performer, yet the duo frequently sounds like a much larger ensemble. Just listen to Jamgrass 741 ” a song that features just Bush and Grisman, yet carries an air that feels like there is far more going on inside it. “ John Metzger