I don’t get to review as much bluegrass as I once did. Over the last ten years, record companies seem to have fewer resources to ‘service’ freelance writers, and it appears select labels have simply chosen to ‘drop’ some writers from their contacts. Also, bands are less willing and able to send out review copies. It isn’t unusual then, when googlating in search of bluegrass reviews to locate only a small handful of opinions. I believe that weakens the industry. I appreciate those of you who do take the time to read reviews at Fervor Coulee, and I hope I don’t guide you wrong too often.
In anticipation of writing my review of Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey, I took the time to dive into his expansive catalogue of classic bluegrass recordings. I never had the chance to see Duffey ‘on stage’, and in fact he had passed by the time I started to explore the world of bluegrass with sustained focus. But since at least 1998 I have deeply appreciated his contributions to developing and guiding the music I love. My regard for John Duffey remains strong.
This month I was pleased to receive the assignment from Country Standard Time to review this incredibly enjoyable collection of music. I believe this is an album which should receive IBMA Album of the Year consideration.
Here is Duffey singing his signature song with Charlie Waller’s Country Gentlemen years after he left the group. The pants, oh good gosh, the pants!