Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute
to the Moody Blues
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2004, Volume 11, #11
Written by John Metzger
It would be a simple matter to dismiss Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues as little more than a cheap ploy that is designed to take advantage of both its subjectís classic rock stature as well as the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Yet, a quick glance through the artists who participated in the project ó which include Alison Krauss, Tim OíBrien, Sam Bush, Alison Brown, Stuart Duncan, Larry Cordle, Lionel Cartwright, John Cowan, Aubrey Haynie, and countless others ó offers a hint that the collection is far more than just a novelty recording. Indeed, the gap between the Moody Bluesí art-rock and bluegrass music isnít quite as vast as it at first appears, and folk tunes like Land of Make Believe and Itís Up to You fit quite comfortably within their new country-tinged framework with very few modifications. Even more intriguing, however, are the revamped renditions of Your Wildest Dreams, which is transformed into a stunning slice of bucolic beauty, and The Other Side of This Life, which, when stripped of its pop-ornamentation, reveals the songís gospel-blues architecture. In fact, both of these versions immensely improve upon the original arrangements concocted by the Moody Blues, and the only track on the set that fails completely is the sturdy concert staple Iím Just a Singer (In a Rock ínĎ Roll Band), which just sounds awkward and clumsy in its new environment. Otherwise, Moody Bluegrass is a lovingly tackled tribute that achieves its purpose of not only introducing two disparate audiences to something new, but also having a whole lot of fun with it in the process.
Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues is
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box