Bluegrass Mandolin Ensemble: Sam Bush, David Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Bonny Osbourne, Ricky Skaggs, Frank Wakefield, Buck White (mandolin).
Additional personnel: Del McCoury (acoustic guitar).
Recorded at Cowboy Arms Hotel & Recording Spa, Nashville, Tennessee from January 19-22, 1998. Includes liner notes by Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, Tony Williamson and Neil V. Rosenberg.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN EXTRAVAGANZA was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.
Recording information: Cowboy Arms Hotel & Recording Spa, Nashville, TN; Dawg Studios, Mill Valley, CA.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Frank Wakefield; Jesse McReynolds; Ricky Skaggs; Sam Bush; Bobby Osborne; Buck White.
This ambitious undertaking is the project of Ronnie McCoury, son of bluegrass great Del McCoury, and mandolinist in his dad's band. On this historic two-disc set, he's arranged a summit meeting of some of bluegrass's greatest living mandolin players. The eight mandolinists perform in various combinations, and on a few cuts they even gather together in one giant mandolin orchestra for some heavenly sounding picking en masse.
A wide spectrum of styles is represented here, from the old-school approach of Jesse McReynolds (of famed duo Jim & Jesse) to the "newgrass" style of pioneer David Grisman. Despite the presence of Grisman and relative young buck Sam Bush, the focus here is on traditional tunes rendered in the classic style, with concise solos and humbly perfect ensemble work. Listening to this once-in-a-lifetime event captured for posterity, one has to wonder why nobody ever thought of it before. Let's just be glad someone did. MANDOLIN EXTRAVAGANZA is recommended not only to mandolin enthusiasts, but to anyone with even the slightest inclination toward traditional bluegrass.