The Little Grasscals,
Nashville's Superpickers
(Naxos, 2002)

If you are a fan of traditional bluegrass, then you are sure to enjoy this CD, another excellent offering from Naxos World. Featuring authentic renditions of classics like "Cumberland Gap" and "Soldier's Joy" played by some of today's most critically acclaimed musicians, it is a nonstop bluegrass gala.

The musicianship is flawless, and the vocals (by Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson, Mike Armistead and father Lester Armistead) have the eerie, soulful range of yesterday's greats, reminiscent of classic Bill Monroe tunes. Interestingly, the group's banjo player Dave Talbot studied under Earl Scruggs, adding more authentic cachet to their sound.

According to the liner notes, "Several of these tunes were recorded in the traditional bluegrass performance style. That is to say they were recorded live with three microphones and with the musicians 'mixing' the music as it happened by stepping up to the microphone for their solos. It's a style of recording that has almost disappeared in country and pop, but one that remains at the heart of bluegrass's vital traditions."

Certainly, the authentic old-timey feel of this CD is undeniable. Recommended!

- Rambles
written by April Chase
published 14 June 2003

Buy it from