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Casey Driessen - 3D
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Welcome to the world of Casey Driessen, fiddle visionary. Driessen grew up playing fiddle and violin since a youngster, going to Berklee College Of Music mainly to study engineering and production. He graduated with honors. He's played with Steve Earle's bluegrass band, Tim O'Brien used him a lot for gigs and sessions, and he's toured with folks like Chris Jones and Darrell Scott. One great gig that he had was being part of a trio last year (05') with Bela Fleck and guitar genius Bryan Sutton. 

So Driessen quickly became familiar with the dignitary of the bluegrass and alt/country world.

This CD is no normal bluegrass record, reminds me a bit of Jerry Douglas's The Best Kept Secret, it has overtones of jazz, alt/country and jam band music, not traditional bluegrass.

For the band here, it is a superstar affair, Jamey Haddad on drums, Victor Krauss on bass, Jerry Douglas on Dobro and lap steel, Bela Fleck on banjo, Tim O'Brien on bouzouki, and Darrell Scott on electric guitar/harmony vocals.

The resulting album, 3D, was produced by Jason Lehning. Recorded in Nashville's great Sound Emporium and mastered by the ever popular Jim Demain of Yes Master. The sound quality here is sterling, lots of effects, but great tonality and not a trace of distortion. Driessen plays a five string fiddle. He is a very clean and creative player, but letting the other musicians take the spotlight as much as himself.

"Lady Bowmore" is a slow burner. Darrell Scott playing some fuzz drenched electric lead, while the song starts out clean with just Driessen playing some soft fiddle. Douglas adds some hot lap steel, this is plain out electric blues. The drums are great, Krauss sounds great on bass.

"Country Blues" starts out with Driessens fiddle, then Scott's guitar. Driessen has a gruff voice sung thru some type of effect. The bass is ominous. The guitar is just great. Some odd harmony parts (Driessen reminds me of Zappa), great jam with Scott taking off on his Les Paul. Great percussion. 

"Sugarfoot Rag" - Great electric jam song, these guys are in a real groove. Slows down to a whisper, with Driessen and Scott trading licks.

"2 AM" - This is a real laid back mellow track that is an instrumental with Driessen's fiddle doubled in an odd way and Douglas tweaking away on the Dobro, then takes a sweet lead with a multi string backing, very impressionistic.

Driessen has taken a big risk debuting with such an odd selection of songs, but the guy is loaded with talent.

Street date: 5/9/06 

Imprint: Sugar Hill

www.caseydriessen.com  
www.sugarhillrecords.com  

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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