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Commonwealth
New Grass Revival
Commonwealth
Genres: Country, Folk
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

New Grass Revival's 1981 album, Commonwwealth, features Sam Bush, lead vocals, mandolin, fiddle, violectra, acoustic guitar, electric guitar; John Cowan, lead vocals, electric bass, acoustic bass, percussion; Curtis Burch,...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: New Grass Revival
Title: Commonwealth
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Flying Fish
Original Release Date: 1/1/1981
Re-Release Date: 9/3/2009
Genres: Country, Folk
Styles: Bluegrass, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 018964025427, 018964025410, 018964025441

Synopsis

Album Description
New Grass Revival's 1981 album, Commonwwealth, features Sam Bush, lead vocals, mandolin, fiddle, violectra, acoustic guitar, electric guitar; John Cowan, lead vocals, electric bass, acoustic bass, percussion; Curtis Burch, acoustic guitar, 6-string Dobro, 10-string Dobro, steel guitar, vocals, and Courtney Johnson, 5-string banjo, 5-string Dobro, vocals. Guest Artists include: Kenny Malone, drums, percussion; Leon Russell, piano, percussion, and Sharon White, vocals on "One Day I'll Walk."

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CD Reviews

A music city native whos heard em all, and NGR is the best!
Chad Hargis (chadh@home.com) | Nashville, TN | 06/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Growing up listening to my brother, Rick Hargis, one of the premier banjo players in the country, sparked my interest in bluegrass music. At age 4 I sat in a studio on Music Row in Nashville and listened to my brother cut his first album. Following him throughout his music career, I wound up at the Bluegrass Music Awards at the Opryland Hotel. There in a stack of a vendors records was NGR's "Commonwealth" album. My brother assured me that it was a great one, so I took it home. I played the record and was taken in by the tunes pouring from it. Contempory "new grass" tunes like "Deeper and Deeper", and "Sapporo" thrilled me with the uses of such instruaments as Sam Bush's electric fiddle, and traditional tunes like "Steam Powered Aereoplane", "Reach", and Bill Monroe's "Wicked Path of Sin" further deepened my love for the purest form of music on Earth.NGR's departure from squeeky tinny banjos and nasal sounding vocals and their use of electric instruments shows what happens when you take the music past where you found it. NGR doesn't just mimic the genre, they re-invent it. It's not bluegrass, it's "New Grass"! Take for instance a song like "Nothing Without You". It isn't often you hear talents like Leon Russell playing piano on a "bluegrass" album. NGR decided to throw out the rule book and make just plain old good music."
The end of an era in bluegrass? Ah...it gets even better.
Chad Hargis (chadh@home.com) | 06/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From the group's defining statement, "Reach", to the elaborate "Sapporo", "Commonwealth" is New Grass Revival through and through. Once again, the group succeeds through their innovation, choice of material, arrangement, and artistic interpretation. This is the perfect follow-up to "Barren County", demonstrating how effectively the band has progressed as they delve deeper into the various musical artforms where bluegrass traditionalists have not dared to go. The bad news is...this is the last recording of the Bush-Cowan-Johnson-Birch era; the good news...the band was firmly entrenched and would realize even greater success with the additions of the creative and instrumentally adept Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn."
A great band's best album
Carter Adler | Ypsilanti, MI USA | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Commonwealth" is probably the best studio album released by the New Grass Revival (although Bela Fleck fans may argue for "Hold to a Dream"). This was the last recording with founding members Curtis Burch and Courtney Johnson; by this time the line-up had been playing together for 7 years (Burch, Johnson, and Sam Bush for more than a decade) and this familiarity comes through in the tight sound of this record. This album also has by far the best production qualities of the earlier recordings. This album veers back and forth between more traditional bluegrass songs like Monroe's "Wicked Path of Sin" and newgrass tunes like "Sapporo," one of the jammingest tunes NGR ever played."