The newest release from David Grisman’s Acoustic Disc label is a duo project featuring he and John Sebastian. Entitled Satisfied, it features these two on acoustic guitar, mandolin family instruments and harmonica on a mixed set of songs and tunes. The 14 selections are taken from the repertoire of blues, folk and traditional music, plus a couple of Dawg tunes and a few from the great American songbook of show music.
This is by no means a bluegrass recording (obligatory disclaimer), but fans of the music of these two genre-defining acoustic artists are sure to be satisfied with the result. My own bias towards this project comes from the twin facts that I was a huge Lovin’ Spoonful fan as a young boy in the 60’s, and the impact that Grisman’s first Quintet album had on me as a young student of bluegrass and acoustic music in 1977.
The Spoonful was a pop sensation at the time, with Sebastian front and center, the group’s name having come from a Mississippi John Hurt song, Coffee Blues, which is included here. Grisman, of course, charted new territory with his Dawg music, but has always betrayed the heart and soul of bluegrass in everything he has done.
One of the great treats upon opening the CD case was finding photos of both Sebastian and Grisman from their “early days” not long after they met as students at New York University in the early 1960s. Grisman was deep into a study of bluegrass at the time while Sebastian was immersed in Delta blues, but the two became friends and even performed together as members of The Even Dozen Jug Band.
Though their careers went in different directions after college, they found themselves performing an impromptu duo set at a concert in 2005, an event that led directly to this new collaboration.
The tracks were cut a la Grisman’s Acoustic Disc formula – meaning everything was recorded live in the studio, sans overdubs. There is a very raw, and ultimately satisfying appeal to this CD, and this may be a big part of it.
Look for Satisfied to be released on November 6, though it does seem to be available for download sale (MP3 and FLAC) at livedownloads.com.