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CD Review: MATTHEW DAVIS - New World

New World
Brandywine - Chesapeake - Smiley Rock - St. Luke - Bourgogne - New World - Odd Times - Mississippi Ground Squirrel - Imaginary Lines - Baskerville's Breed - Highland

Matthew Davis is a prodigy on the banjo, and when he adds the fiddle of Julian Pinelli to his original concept of how 'new' old-time banjo music should sound, becomes a very interesting and entertaining 'trip' evaluating, estimating, and certainly engulfing ones mind to a music not heard very often in America these days, especially the 'creative' sound that does not find itself among the money interests of music charts and owners thereof.  It's a sort of experimental 'trip' mind you, especially if you are a musician, which I am, that takes the mind on a 'new' road in what might be termed experimental banjo surrounded by typical bluegrass instruments like mandolin, acoustic guitar, bass, and even percussion.  The very first song begins in the old-style way, goes into a mind-burning experience traveling through the various arrangements and melodic experiment, then back to the 'old-time' style, and finally ending with an uproarious good strictly bluegrass picking experience.  Wow, what a neat way to do music.  Matthew is a very 'gifted' musician, and his fellow performers know exactly what he is about.  Mathematical musicians all, they really know how to make 'music' new again.  It is so much better than the over-popped so-called country music today that is really nothing more than 'pap' especially in light of the amazing ability of these young guys who know where each 'step' of music is going to take them.  They didn't record it in Nashville either, maybe so it might not be 'stained' by the absurdity of music coming from there labeled country, or at least be connected to it.  They did this incredible listening experience in Mufreesboro, Tennessee, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Nicholas Davis.  If you have ever thought of the instruments that make up bluegrass music as strictly down-home, or old-time, or hill-billy, you are like many of the 'snobs' in the music world, most of whom have 'bought' their way onto the music charts.  Not so with the incredible musical ability of 17-year old Matthew Davis, originally from near North Platte, Nebraska, born on a ranch no less.  Oh yes, first comes the exposure to what early country music sounded like, early bluegrass, even early folk.  Matthew Davis has had all that experience and mentored music to guide him.  Now he is establishing himself as a musician's musician, in other words, he's sort of the Beethoven of creative bluegrass music.  More power to you Matthew, even though the strict traditionalists will probably not 'understand' your grasp of music.  Neither do they, and I'm a traditional country artist saying this, even record for the Smithsonian Institution. We'll be looking forward to your next recording adventure, and I will forward this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission to see if they have a category that your music might fit into.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association.  www.music-savers.com  for Country Music News International

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