Panhandle Country from David Grier Band

Longtime fans of David Grier have learned never to expect anything in particular from his new projects, other than quality music, creatively played. The Nashville guitar wizard has graced us over the years with both instrumental and vocal bluegrass, with his trademark quirky touch expressed as only he can deliver it.

His latest, Another Nashville Night, coming soon from Engelhardt Music Group, combines all of Grier’s musical stylings, captured in the studio with a wicked band. And the record has a particularly grassy feel, including both classics from the genre along with new compositions from David.

A first single is available now, a straight ahead cut of the Bill Monroe gem, Panhandle Country. This was originally recorded in 1958 by Bill and his Blue Grass Boys, and released that year as a single backed with another instrumental, Scotland. Both tunes were also included in the album Bluegrass Instrumentals in 1965, considered one of the must have recordings for students of Monroe’s music.

The David Grier Band – Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Cory Walker on banjo, Casey Campbell on mandolin, and Dennis Crouch on bass, with David on guitar – deliver a blistering version. Monroe had done Panhandle Country as a twin fiddle piece, but Duncan goes it alone here.

Other tracks on Another Nashville Night include flatpicking standards Salt Creek and Goodbye Liza Jane, Foggy Mountain Special from the Lester & Earl catalog, fiddle tunes Katy Hill, Chinquapin Hunting, and Golden Slippers, plus the title track – a Grier original – and his take on familiar bluegrass numbers Used To Be and Dark Hollow, along with another Monroe staple, Jerusalem Ridge. All are given a solid, unpretentious reading, and all are performed with verve and vitality.

And if guitar playing can be humorous as well as virtuosic, that is how Mr. Grier deals it out. Everyone who admires David’s guitar playing will want this project when it is available.

You can content yourself now with Panhandle Country, which can be found at popular streaming and download sites. Radio programmers can get it at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.