Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock
When Béla Fleck produced this little-known gem in 1988, the New Grass Revival was winding down and the Flecktones had yet to be formed. Fleck's previous solo outings had strayed from his bluegrass roots to varying degrees,... more »
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When Béla Fleck produced this little-known gem in 1988, the New Grass Revival was winding down and the Flecktones had yet to be formed. Fleck's previous solo outings had strayed from his bluegrass roots to varying degrees, but what makes Drive so special is how closely it hews to traditional bluegrass in sound and instrumentation while still allowing for exciting new ideas, crisp ensemble passages, and brilliant improvisation. The musicians who help out are all tops in their field: Dobro player Jerry Douglas, flat-picker Tony Rice, mandolinist Sam Bush, fiddlers Stuart Duncan and Mark O'Connor (who team up for a twin-fiddle sound on two down-home cuts), and bassist Mark Schatz. There's not a missed note (or superfluous one for that matter) anywhere, from the steamrolling opener "Whitewater" to the minor-keyed, jazz-based "Natchez Trace" to the warm ballad "Lights of Home" to the powerful "Crucial County Breakdown." The much heralded, classical-influenced Strength in Numbers record came less than a year later and included Fleck, Bush, O'Connor, and Douglas, but Drive certainly deserves a spot next to it in your newgrass collection. --Marc Greilsamer
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Listen at Your Own Risk
Wayfaring Stranger | Portland, OR | 02/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My brother and I popped this CD into the deck of a rented truck as we headed from Jackson, WY, out toward the Wind River Range. About three tracks into it, we realized we were going nearly 90 miles an hour. Our recognition of this fact perfectly coincided with a state trooper's recognition of us. All we could tell the guy was that we were blasting some incredible bluegrass and that its hypnotic power sort of caught us off guard. Sorry, officer. The cop looked at us for a minute, smiled, and gave us a firm warning to slow it down, and strolled back to his cruiser. We exhaled in relief. Then, the cop spun around just as he was about to get into his car and yelled, "I suggest you boys try some Perry Como!"
"Drive" is the tightest, most frenetic, river-water-rolling, sleekest, greatest frikkin' 'grass disc out there. Please listen responsibly."
What a GREAT album!!!!
W. Lang | CHATHAM, IL United States | 04/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I stumbled on Bela through a friend and this album by luck. If you can wear out a CD you better buy two and, yes, it deserves more than 5 stars. This is a kind of 'modern' bluegrass style, totally instrumental (no singing, thank you so very much), which is a total joy to listen to. If Bela would produce more albums of this type, I'd purchase everyone of them. It's not often that you can purchase a CD and say that you like every song on it but you will this one. If you like bluegrass, buy it. If you like 'some' bluegrass, buy it. If you're on the fence and not sure, like I was, BUY IT."
bstolkin | Santa Rosa, CA United States | 03/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bluegrass and Bluegrass-related music has take some fascinating turns over the last two decades, guided by some of the truly creative and accomplished musicians on the planet during this time. Bela Fleck is right near (or at) the top of this list of distinguished players/composers (also, see Jerry Douglas, Mark O'Conner, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, David Grisman). "Drive", and Strength in Numbers' "The Telluride Sessions" are, in my opinion, the two most important and amazing instrumental "newgrass" releases of all time."