Also due from Rounder in January is a new release from Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, which Brance mentioned earlier this month. Entitled Quartet, it features the group that has been performing on tour: Rice and Rowan on guitars (with Peter doing lead vocals), Bryn Davies on bass, and Sharon Gilchrist on mandolin. Both ladies share singing chores with Rowan.
The material includes some familiar songs which Rowan has recorded previously, like Dust Bowl Children, Walls Of Time, Cold Rain And Snow and Midnight Moonlight, as well as songs by such unexpected writers as Townes Van Zandt and Patti Smith, and a cut of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Side Of The Mountain.
Rice and Rowan are surely familiar to most fans of bluegrass and acoustic music, but their Quartet cohorts perhaps less so. Gilchrist has a long pedigree in the music, having performed as a teenager with Martie and Emily Erwin of Dixie Chicks fame, and more recently as a member of the acclaimed old time band, Uncle Earl.
Davies is a relative newcomer to bluegrass, discovering it while studying jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She performed as a member of the Two High String Band before coming aboard as a member of The Tony Rice Unit and the Rice/Rowan collaboration.
The official Tony Rice web site indicates that Tony has described Quartet as “one of his favorite albums to date.” No faint praise, that.
Audio samples from all 11 tracks can be found on the Rounder web site.
January 23 is listed as the official release date for Quartet, and the group will be touring in support of the CD throughout 2007.