Fiddler Richard Greene established himself as among the leading lights on his instrument when his stellar Duets album was released on Rounder in 1977. Not that he wasn’t already a major player. He had done his time with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys (along with Peter Rowan and Bill Keith), and been a part of seminal 60s/70’s acts like Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band and Seatrain (again with Rowan).
Duets set a high bar, as it was an entire album of just that, Greene performing in duet with a “who’s who” of progressive bluegrass and acoustic artists at the time. Tony Rice, David Grisman, Tony Trischka and JD Crowe are featured, along with jazz pianist Dave Frishberg. The material is primarily taken from the traditional fiddle tune repertoire, but the arrangements and the playing are daring and inventive – especially by 1970s standards.
Rounder has resurrected this gem, set for an online exclusive release on July 25. These online releases are available as an audio CD, but not sold through outside distributors, available only on the Rounder web site.
If you have cherished this fine recording since its original release, this will be a welcome opportunity to purchase its digital counterpart. If you are unfamiliar with the project, and follow Greene’s fiddle work, or that of the various guest artists – or simply appreciate adventurous improvisational acoustic music – you’ll want Duets in your collection.
No audio samples up yet on the Rounder site, but pre-ordering is enabled.