David Grier – Evocative – Dreadnought

by | Feb 9, 2010 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

David Grier – Evocative – Dreadnought 0901, 42:41 *****:

Though David Grier is primarily known as one of the very best bluegrass flatpickers playing today, he’s not afraid to explore other genres of music. The last CD of his that I reviewed was 2007’s “Live at the Linda,” a solo concert of his played on his 1946 Martin D-28. I know his choice of guitars is probably not of interest to most folks, but guitar geeks are drawn to Grier the way bees are drawn to flowers and they are always interested in matters of gear. This time around, Grier diversifies his instrument selection. He plays four guitars, two vintage and two contemporary—a 1951 acoustic-electric Gibson ES-175, a 1952 electric Fender Esquire, a 1998 Darren Webb acoustic, and a 2006 Oliver Sprecht acoustic baritone.

Grier uses these instruments as an artist uses paint, creating tonal colors and textures to match the evoked mood of each tune. The songs tend towards moody and melancholy, or perhaps contemplative, depending on your own state of mind. The first tune, “Meditate,” sounds as if Grier is channeling The Doors’ “Riders in the Sky.” Several of them have a pronounced country flavor, like “As it Rolls to the Sea” and “Four Dogs Jogging,” but “As Easy as Falling Off a Log” carries a bluesy bounce to it that’s quite engaging. He does rock out a bit on “What a Way to Go.”

This recording is more refined than fiery; more polished than pyrotechnic. This is the work of a master musician confident in his ability to communicate through his instruments and not afraid to take his time. Though you don’t necessarily expect David Grier to play electric guitars, but he’s a natural at this, too. He’s as relaxed and accomplished as he’s ever been and the songs he’s written for this CD are fully an extension of his musical tastes and sensibilities. If you love guitar and lovingly crafted and performed music, you won’t find anything better. Highly recommended.

TrackList:

1. Meditate
2. As it Rolls to the Sea
3. Road to Hope
4. Two Turns Home
5. As Easy as Falling Off a Log
6. Four Dogs Jogging
7. Teela
8. What a Way to Go
9. High Atop Princess Cove
10. The End of a Good Day

– Hermon Joyner

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