Old & in the Gray

Old & in the Gray

Old & in the Gray

Acoustic Disc

When Old & in the Way was released in 1975, it caused some rock fans to peer over the wall and investigate “old timey” music. This was largely due to the presence of Jerry Garcia on banjo. Deadheads discovered bluegrass in a big way, and have been supporting various incarnations of this combo ever since. Now it’s 27 years later, Garcia is gone, but the spirit continues. Old & in the Gray reunites the basis of the original group — Peter Rowan on guitar, David “Dawg” Grisman on mandolin and Vassar Clements on fiddle. Herb Pedersen takes the spot on banjo that Jerry filled, and Bryn Bright replaces the late John Kahn on bass. The result is a fully enjoyable follow-up to a legendary bluegrass unit. If anything their playing sounds smoother, the voices fuller than all those years ago. Bluegrass is uniquely timeless music, so there is no fear of sounding dated, no matter when a record was recorded. Bill Monroe’s “On the Old Kentucky Shore,” John Hartford’s “Good Old Boys” and The Stanley Brothers’ “The Flood” all get loving workouts, and the group tosses a few surprises in the mix, one being a nifty version of The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” and even better, a haunting version of the Townes Van Zandt standard, “Pancho & Lefty.” They might be older and grayer, but these guys still bring it home.

Acoustic Disc: http://www.acousticdisc.com

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