BCH (Berline, Crary & Hickman): Chambergrass: A decade of tunes from the edges of Bluegrass (2002)
As a teen back in the 70’s, it seemed that fiddler Byron Berline appeared on every other C&W tinged rock album I owned. Performances with James Taylor, “The Flying Burrito Brothers,” Stephen Stills and many others represent just a few of Berline’s crossover type endeavors. The artist is also recognized for his brilliant Bluegrass-based work with the 70’s/80’s trio known as BCH. Hence, guitarist Dan Crary, banjoist John Hickman and the violinist are featured on this sprightly retro compilation of a then innovative band. Along with other guest artists lending their wares, this compilation signifies a glowing portraiture of a unit that elevated Bluegrass to loftier heights. Eloquent, shrewdly arranged and technically astounding, we get a chance to hear the band reworking a potpourri of mainly traditional songs into a series of gleaming instrumentals. The musicians do quite a bit more than merely rummage through a bunch of routinely predictable tunes. They incorporate polytonal voicings, and complex progressions into their agenda amid all of the familiar rhythmical elements synonymous with Bluegrass. Fervently recommended!
Track Listing: 1.Forked Deer 2.Big Dog 3.Fall Creek 4.Bonaparte
Personnel: Byron Berline: fiddle, mandolin, viola