Sutton - Not Too Far From The Tree
This recording is all about the most sought after acoustic guitarist in Nashville, Bryan Sutton, his love for bluegrass music, vintage Martin guitars and him playing fiddle tunes on acoustic guitars with twelve of his favorite bluegrass pickers in their own homes or home studios.
So Bryan packed up an Alesis Adat eight track digital recorder, two Neumann KM-54 tube microphones to place in front of each guitarist and a Neuman U-87 to place above the guitarists to pick up the natural blend of the music. The results are nothing short of amazing. The Adat tracks were later transferred to Pro-tools for Brent Truit to mix and master. No overdubbing, several takes were done of each song and his favorite version was used.
I'm guessing he liked Tony Rice and David Grier best as he did two songs of each of their sessions as opposed to to one with Dan Crary, Norman Blake, George Shuffler, Jerry Sutton (his dad), Jack Lawrence, Russ Barenberg, Doc Watson, Jerry Douglas, Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs. The Vintage guitars included Sutton's 1940 Martin D-28 Herringbone, Barenberg's 1945 Maple Gibson J-45, Blake's 1939 Martin D-18, Grier's 1956 Martin D-18, Lawrence's 1940 Martin D-28 Herringbone, Rice's 1935 Martin D-28 Herringbone and Earl Scruggs played a 1964 Martin D-18. Other manufacturers included Taylor, Bourgeois, Huss and Dalton and Gallagher.
"Big Sciota" with Russ Barenberg was the first recording. Just real natural guitar sounds, mellow, each playing off each other, taking turns playing rhythm and lead. Nice dual leads.
"Bully Of the Town" with Norman Blake has a real traditional sound, fantastic interplay, incredible counterpoint. Blake adds a bluesy touch. Each of these songs don't have any wasted notes and there is a definite sense of purpose with each note and bend.
"Whiskey Before Breakfast" with Doc Watson, this is some real fast clean flat picking, Watson is incredible, Sutton feeds off the other player in each song. This song was recorded in a hotel room, incredible.
"Bonaparte's Retreat" Jerry Douglas, now this has a different vibe with Douglas on Dobro. These are two of the most sought after musicians on their respected instruments going to town on their instruments. Two great pickers having a musical conversation.
"Give Me The Roses" - Earl Scruggs, It is interesting to hear mainly a banjo picker play guitar. Recorded in Scruggs's living room. Lots of dual lead going on. It is easy to discern Scruggs as his D-18 has a brighter tone.
"Dusty Miller" Tony Rice, this is really warm and sweet, more chords and single note on top of each the chords here, more rhythm guitar. Rice is incredible on rhythm guitar, while Sutton flys along playing single or two string solos.
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