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Bryan Sutton - Bluegrass Guitar
CD Review by Jim Moulton

Bryan Sutton? Who? Well, if you don't know him, if you are a country music or Bluegrass fan, you probably listen to him all of the time without knowing it. Bryan has become Nashville's top hired gun acoustic guitarist playing on anything from the Chick's "Home" to Mindy Smith's "One Moment More" and Rhonda Vincent's "One Step Ahead".

Bryan's first big gig was with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, which he left when he went to Nashville in 1994. Bryan plays about every acoustic style there is, captured more on his first Sugar Hill CD Ready To Go. On this recording he goes back to bluegrass and produces a flawless piece of work, pickin' his guitar smooth as butter. The album is recorded in analog without any pitch correction device used. He plays a custom Bourgeois Dreadnought and what's left of a 1942 Martin D-18.

His supporting cast on this totally instrumental CD are Dennis Crouch; bass, Tim Crouch; fiddle, Tim Obrien; mandolin and David Talbut on banjo. This record was recorded in '03, but it is new to me and after many, many listens, I find it well worth sharing, plus I do think that he has something new coming up. Bryan's guitar playing is nothing short of masterful, being influenced by Tony Rice, Doc Watson and others. I'm a huge bluegrass fan and I find this thirteen track disc breathtaking and a sample of Bryan's quiet greatness. 

Whether he is flying around the fretboard or doing a slower song, every note counts. He does a hot version of the traditional "High Heel Shoe", with some breathtaking runs, great banjo and mandolin. Bryan does not dominate any track, he puts himself in his rightful place, letting the other pickers shine. 

"Nelia's Dance" is a Sutton song written about an experience Bryan had in a weekly jam session which was in Nelia Hyatt's garage, she would start to dance when the music got real good. Real nice melody with everybody pickin' great with some tempo switchups.
Some other great songs are Bill Monroe's "Roanoke", traditional "Beaumont Rag" and "The Storms Are On The Ocean" by AP Carter.

On "Roanoke", Bryan probably takes his skills to the limits, sounding so effortless as he speeds around the neck, interspersing single string and arpeggio riffs. 

Bryan endorses Bourgeios Guitars and D'addario strings. Go visit him at www.bryansutton.com

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