It sounds like a good idea. Get some accomplished bluegrass players together and record a CD's worth of SRV's most loved tunes in jammin' bluegrass fashion. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work out that way. I knew it was trouble when I opened the CD and out popped a card listing about 20 other "Pickin' on Insert name of well-loved artist
" discs for sale.
It seems I was a bit misled by the back cover, which reads "... A respectful tribute to a true master of the blues tradition, this collection fuses Vaughan's southwestern flavored rock with traditional musical styles of the southeastern mountain ranges...". Seems this same group has also done "respectful" tributes of Clapton, The Eagles, Grateful Dead, Springsteen... the list goes on. If by "respectful", they meant "bilk diehard fans out of a few bucks", then it's respectful.
Okay, enough ranting. The music here is solid, although some of it strays a good distance from bluegrass. The basic formula is: Play a verse, play another verse while banjo solos around the melody line, play another verse while guitar solos around the melody line, play another verse while violin solos around the original melody line. It gets old quickly. It's obvious these guys churned out a bunch of these "tribute" CDs in a short time. To make it even worse, I'm quite sure they used a drum machine- It sounds like a machine, and no drummer is credited in the liner notes- argh!!!
Among the insipid sameness of all this is a cool solo acoustic version of "Rude Mood", performed by Mark Thornton. It blazes, but most of the rest of this disc fizzles, and I'm out 16 bucks.
Look for (and I'm not making this up
) "Pickin' on Creed" at a record store near you.