Rounder will be reissuing Tony Trischka’s terrific 1985 banjo album, Hill Country as a remastered CD on October 21.
Tony is viewed as a mainstream guy these days, thanks in no small part to his blockbuster Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular project which hit in early 2007. In the mid-1980s, however, he was noted mostly for his daring, adventurous original banjo music – which was highly experimental and often eschewed by bluegrass purists.
When Hill Country was initially released as an LP, both sides of that argument were left scratching their heads as the music was decidedly bluegrass, both in composition and instrumentation. Tony had chosen both The Johnson Mountain Boys and The Del McCoury Band as his primary rhythm sections, with guest performances from Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor and B?©la Fleck.
The tunes still showcased Trischka’s quirky compositional sense, and he seemed energized by the musicians with him in the studio. He had expressed to me at the time how much he had enjoyed the sessions, and the time he spent writing and arranging the material.
This is lively and exciting music, showcasing a number of today’s most notable bluegrass artists before they reached such lofty status as they enjoy now. By all means, make a point to pick this up when it hits in October.
A bonus track is also included, with extensive new liner notes.