This album is so straight to the point it reminds one of a roadside smokehouse that serves barbecued meat, and nothing but barbecued meat. And the back cover of the album actually looks like a menu from such a place. Fiddler Baker and his accomplices, including mandolinist Sam Bush when he was young enough to be called Sammy, whip through a dozen classic country fiddle tunes as if demonstrating that nothing else could possibly be as important. This is totally classic old-time music from the heart of the North Carolina Piedmont, but the musicologists can argue about whether Baker is going too far claiming authorship of some of these titles. The pickers constantly attempt to outdo each other, with some of the finest soloing coming from Butch Robbins on banjo and the Greek-American flatpicker John Kaparakis. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
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