John Reischman
& the Jaybirds,
Field Guide
(Copper Creek, 2004)

Field Guide is Canadian mandolin virtuoso John Reischman's second outing with the Jaybirds. Six of the 16 tracks are traditional bluegrass pieces, and seven were newly written by band members. Good solid performances on bass (Trisha Gagnon), banjo (Nick Hornbuckle), fiddle (Greg Spatz) and guitar (Jim Nunally) accompany Reischman's clever mandolin, providing an interesting mix that will get bluegrass-lovers' toes a-tapping.

Part instrumental, part vocal, the album was nominated for a 2003 Juno Award. The level of musicianship on offer here is very high, and Trisha, Jim and John put out some tight harmonies on "She Could Have Loved Him," "Over the Levee" and "I'm Troubled," which are as solid as their finger-picking contributions.

This is not the kind of music I normally listen to, and I have a lot to learn about the genre, but even to my hesitant ear it's clear this is a class act well worth further investigation.

- Rambles
written by Jean Lewis
published 23 July 2005

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