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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 early recording company talent scouts frequendy overlooked the state's white string bands in favor of those from Virginia, North CaroUna, and Georgia. As a result, not many examples of string band music from the MagnoHa State survive, and the reputation of these groups has languished. Mississippi String Bands, a twoCD set comprising forty remastered cuts from ten different bands, should help resuscitate interest. AU recorded between 1927 and 193 5, the music ranges from the borderHne-genteel to the raucous, and the bands extend from the relatively obscure Carter Brothers and Son to the better-known duo of WUHe Narmour and "SheU" Smidi. Noticeable in the rags, blues, breakdowns, and quicksteps is die relatively infrequent use ofthe banjo and die absence ofmuch singing. Each volume comes with a booklet, weU Ulustrated with contemporary photographs, that provides biographical information about band members. Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here: Strutting the Dozens Yazoo, 1998 CD 2034, $12.95 Shake Your Wicked Knees: Rent Parties and Good Times Yazoo, 1998 CD 2035, $12.95 This compUation of rare 78s brings together some outstanding piano rags and blues originaUy released for the "race" market between 1928 and 1943. The repertoire emerged from the black experience ofurbanization and northern migration, and was perfected in barrel houses and rent parties . Loud and Hvely, the music attracted partygoers and kept diem there till all hours. The remastered material on these two cds includes weU-known names, Hke "Georgia Tom" Dorsey and "Cow Cow" Davenport, as weU as more obscure players, Hke Judson Brown and Raymond Barrow. Fortunately, the Hner notes provide a good deal ofinformation not only about the performers, but about their music as weU. Their infectious enthusiasm radiates in such selections as "I'm So Glad I'm 2iYears Old Today," whUe die racier side comes through in "Tight Whoopee" and "The Dirty Dozen." These cds are not only an important historical document , they are stiU, more than a half-century later, terrific entertainment. Reviews 105 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 104-105
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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