Singer/songwriter Kim Beggs is one of the most respected artists on the Canadian roots scene. Three earlier albums notched unanimous raves, and this will surely be no different. She recorded it with ace producer/guitarist David Baxter and a star-studded guest list. Accompanying players and harmony singers include Bob Wiseman, Justin Rutledge, Oh Susanna, John Showman, Brian Kobayakawa, Kim Barlow, Treasa Levasseur, and Paul Reddick. They never once overshadow Beggs’ eloquent songs or her strong, supple voice that occasionally suggests Lucinda Williams.
The 5-String Flamethrower is McCoury’s first solo album, he’s hardly a newcomer. Indeed, there are only a few banjo players today who have been heard by as many audiences. As a member of the award-winning Del McCoury Band and its second-generation alter ego, the Travelin’ McCourys, he’s a gold-plated member of bluegrass music’s royalty. But while he cheerfully confesses that he’d been thinking about it for years—and laughingly adds that it took almost two years from start to finish—Rob was in no hurry to get the job done. And when he did, he made an album that seems likely to put an end to his status as the most under-appreciated yet highly visible banjo players around—and to do it, characteristically, by paying tribute to his banjo heroes, including his own father.
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