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BCH (Berline, Crary & Hickman): Chambergrass: A decade of tunes from the edges of Bluegrass

Glenn Astarita By

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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!

Sugar Hill Records

Track Listing: 1.Forked Deer 2.Big Dog 3.Fall Creek 4.Bonaparte

Personnel: Byron Berline: fiddle, mandolin, viola

Title: Chambergrass: A decade of tunes from the edges of Bluegrass | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Sugar Hill Records


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