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Jim Mills, Bound to Ride Sugar HUl, 1998 SHCD 3883, $15 Nashville Bluegrass Band, American Beauty Sugar HiU, 1998 SHCD3882, $15 These two Sugar HiU releases cover an expanse of bluegrass territory and show off the genre's breaddi and vitality. "Strong and a Utile raw," is how Jim MUIs describes his music. The Raleigh, North CaroHna, native has produced an avowedly traditional album, in sympathy with the Flatt and Scruggs music of his ch├╝dhood. Fans of Doyle Lawson and QuicksUver, and Ricky Skaggs's Kentucky ThunderwiU recognize MUls's talent on the banjo, and Boundto Ride wiU not disappoint them. In this his first solo effort, MUIs declares that "there's not one song on this record that I think the most 'dyed in the wool' bluegrass fan would not consider traditional bluegrass." From first cut to last, MUIs stays true to his word. On the spectrum's other end, the Grammy Award-winning NashviUe Bluegrass Band has consistendy sought to expand boundaries. American Beauty continues this trend, ranging from Ralph Stanley to Bob Dylan. The band's instrumentais and justifiably famous harmonies shine and keep their music recognizably bluegrass. Yet they're not afraid to meld their sound with blues, black gospel, and folk revival either. As a result, each song is an adventure. Both these cds provide ample evidence that bluegrass is aHve and weU. Mississippi String Bands: Traditional Fiddle Music of Mississippi Volume 1 and Volume 2 County, 1998 cd 3513, $13.00 each Mississippi's rich blues heritage has often overshadowed die state's other musical traditions. Even 1 04 Reviews ...


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