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Sam Bush & David Grisman

HOLD ON, WE'RE STRUMMIN' (Acoustic Disc)
Sam Bush & David Grisman

A mandomental event, and no less! From Mindo to Mendo, wherever the mando is mondo (por todo el mundo) these two are certainly to blame. Bravo!

Sam and Dave (love the title) bring such an outrageous spirit and love to their music, every cut is a gas, uplifting. Also, their fraternity and respect for the lineage of great pickers resonates on every solo, every head, and the compositions themselves, which provide a huge variegated palette for the players. Pop, jazz, and gypsy groove are no less featured than fiddle tunes or bluegrass, and it's all cooked into the same tasty dish that's so light you just keep going back for a little more.

Daddy G plays some smokin clawhammer banjo, Sambu's a notorious fiddler (and plays banjo on the title cut himself), and the pair break out the mandocellos, octave mandolas, and the National mandolin to get all the registers ringin, so to speak. Their playing is so hot, it's almost comical, and brings a smile to your face on every cut.

Can't say enough about the tunes, because they're composed, chosen, and sequenced impeccably, making the disc the grooviest short scale ride imaginable. Come on, sixteen tunes of mandolin for the average listener might be a little daunting, but not "Hold On, We're Strummin," uh-uh. It's a superb combination of groovy and blistering, lyrical and locomotive.

A handful of acoustic ringers appear to keep things lively, including bassist Jim Kerwin and guitarist Enrique Coria from Grisman's band. Three other great six stringers cameo: Doc Watson's partner Jack Lawrence, Dimitri Vandellos, and Jim Nunally squeals the tires on the lone Ralph Stanley tune. The legendary Hal Blaine! drums on the last and title track, always a pleasure. And young Sam Grisman plays bass on "Dan'l Boone."

So, come on, brothers and sisters. 70 minutes of the two greatest living mandomasters in a CD that's a blast from start to finish. And God Bless David Grisman, because his Acoustic Disc label has been putting out incredible music for decades. Buy this record, and by all means, go check out their impressive catalog of worldwide titles. • FG 

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