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Hold on We're Strummin

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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You won’t have to be a mandolin aficionado to get delightfully caught up in the complex rhythms, exotic melodies, and entrancing syncopations of this mandolin super-duo’s first album-length collaboration. Yet only students of the instrument are apt to appreciate the extraordinary level of musicianship contained in this eminently listenable, all-instrumental collection. David Grisman is a former member of Earth Opera, founder of The David Grisman Quintet, and the late Jerry Garcia’s occasional sidekick in the erstwhile bluegrass band, Old & In The Way. Sam Bush is a founding member of The New Grass Revival and has played mandolin on the records of everyone from Allison Krauss to Garth Brooks. Each, in his own right, is a master of the contemporary newgrass/new age mandolin. And on tracks like the droning, bluesy "Swamp Thing," the soaring "Intimo," and the doleful "Weeping Mandolin Waltz," they inspire each other to reach even deeper into their grab bags of hot mandolin licks. --Bob Allen

1. Harford's Real
2. Swamp Thing
3. Intimo
4. Jamgrass 741
5. Sea Breeze
6. Old Time Medley
7. Weeping Mandolin Waltz
8. Arachnid Stomp
9. Crusher and Hoss
10. The Old South
11. Mando Space
12. Ralph's Banjo Special
13. 'Cept Old Bill
14. Rhythm Twins
15. Dan'l Boone
16. Hold On, I'm Commin'

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B0000CA0SX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,543 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on October 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 70:22 -- David Grisman's music has been described as bluegrass-jazz-Gypsy-rock-Middle Eastern-Hebraic- folk-classical-Grisman." Sam Bush also has very eclectic tastes, and Grisman once said about Bush, "He's got everything: incredibly powerful rhythm, great solos, and he can play in any style. Everything he plays is just there - not just headed there, but fully realized." Then, there was the time that Sam called David one of his "musical heroes." Sure seems kind of surprising that these two outstanding all-purpose pickers and friends since 1965 haven't collaborated on a recording project sooner.

Of the sixteen tracks comprising over 70 musical minutes, there are eleven new joint Grisman/Bush originals that range from slide mandolin ("Swamp Thing") to a John Hartford tribute ("Hartford's Real"), straight-ahead Dawg ("Intimo" and "Sea Breeze") to graceful gospel ("The Old South"). Less easily categorized are the more improvisational and jazzy collaborations "Jamgrass 741," "Arachnid Stomp," and "Mando Space." A melodic "Weeping Mandolin Waltz" is a showpiece for the mandoduo to feature their simultaneous tremolos in harmony. A strange little half-minute "Rhythm Twins" seems like it could've been further developed to a full length piece. "Crusher and Hoss" was named for their legendary Gibson mandolins. I believe that David's is a 1927 Gibson F-5, while Sam's is a 1930s F-5 that he acquired from Tut Taylor about 1973. Jethro Burns' "'Cept Old Bill" is a tongue-in-cheek piece with vocals (and even a few grunts and groans) that pays respect to each other as well as the Father of Bluegrass.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on February 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
From my perceptive friend, Bill Jolliff:
So what's left to say about HOLD ON, WE'RE STRUMMIN'? When two of the mandolin virtuosi of generation get together to do a mandolin CD-featuring mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, and a plethora of other vintage woodwork-where do we begin? The musicianship is superb, but we knew it would be. The production-arrangements, selections of instruments, the mix, the feel--is understated and precisely appropriate to the project, but we knew it would be. Even the physical package itself is colorful and entertaining and attractive, but then, we knew that, too-and Grisman does run Acoustic Disc.
About the only question is the material. When players at the level of Grisman and Bush decide to make art together, the material chosen, it seems to me, becomes one of the few real variables. I've picked up more than one CD with equal promise, listened to it once or twice, then put it on the shelf-just because the material doesn't cut it for me. I'm glad to say that's not the case here.
I always listen once before I read the notes, and as I did so, what struck me was the fact that I was not recognizing the tunes-or precious few of them. Of course I recognized the tunes in the old-time medley, and I had heard Grisman play "Daniel Boone" with Jake Henry last fall in Portland, but the others were new to me. Fact is, they were new to everybody: Twelve of the tunes on this 70-plus-minute CD are brand new, and 11 of those were co-authored by Bush and Grisman. It boggles the imagination to think of how the two must have got together and explored on another's creativity for-days, weeks, longer?-to develop this superb set.
And, in spite of the fact that the album was a "sure thing," I was still surprised by the quality.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on September 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I originally wrote and sent this review on the official day-of-release because the Acoustic Disc label released it on 9/9/03, even though it wasn't mainstreamly released until 9/23/03. My review was up for a day or two and then it disappeared. I'll try again.
I really like this disc! Of the two most recent Acoustic Disc releases, this and Life Of Sorrow, this one is vastly superior. There are a couple tunes on this disc that I don't like very much... Hartfords Real, Sea Breeze, etc... but for the most part this is a great album. I was hoping (and expecting) it would be great but it's even better than I thought it would be.
The Latin track, Intimo, put me so much in the mood for more music by Enrique Coria that Guitar Artistry Of Enrique Coria and Intimo (the cd) hoppped right onto my cd's-to-buy list after hearing this track. In the big picture I'm not even much of a fan of Latin music but in these past couple years Enrique's style and tone have really sucked me in. He is a beautiful player.
I usually mention this when it comes to new Acoustic Disc releases of the past few years, but I will do it again. The sonic quality of the recording. YES! We've all heard Sam and David a thousand times over the years, in all sorts of configurations, but we've never before been able to hear them together in this sort of quality. To have these two masters side-by-side with the pristine Acoustic Disc recording quality revealing every nuance of the depth of their tones... it's just a beautiful thing.
Sam has some fantastic mandola playing here, and David has some almost equally fantastic mandocello moments. Both men are of course fantastic mandolinists, but we also get to hear them on banjo, fiddle, National mandolin, etc... at various points throughout this disc.
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