My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

21 October 2005

More Music

You've probably heard of Alison Kraus & Union Station, for some the definitive new bluegrass band. They are indeed great and if you dig really good, not-too-twangy bluegrass, you should check out their recent live album.

One of the things that makes Union Station so good is that Kraus is able to get, hands down, the best players in the business. Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, Barry Bales - these guys are at the top of their craft. But those three don't yet match the genius and mastery of AKUS' dobro player, Jerry Douglas. Douglas has won the Musician of the Year at the CMA awards and has singlehandedly transformed the dobro from a little-known, little-used instrument to the new lead instrument in many bluegrass bands.

Lookout for Hope is a recent solo debut. While it has some bluegrass tunes, it's a much broader album, diving into jazz, folk, and Appalachian tunes. He's got some really great guests (James Taylor, Bryan Sutton, Chris Thile from Nickel Creek), but what shines is his great playing. Because it's played with a slide, the dobro is an already expressive instrument, but the dynamics of Douglas' playing really squeeze amazing tones and emotion out of that wood box.

So, if you're looking for something a little bluegrassy, but not too much, and if you appreciate really good picking, this is the guy for you.

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