Virginia cool meets Kentucky thunder in a collaboration between genre-bending pianist Bruce Hornsby and multi-instrumental virtuoso Ricky Skaggs that expands the terrain of bluegrass. Highlights include a meditative, minor-key transformation of Hornsby's "Mandolin Rain" (with Skaggs on the title instrument) and a downhome revival of "A Night on the Town," though newer originals such as "The Dreaded Spoon" seem slight in comparison. The traditional "Across the Rocky Mountain" and original instrumental "Stubb" shift the spotlight to Skaggs, though Hornsby's sophisticated chord progressions fit fine within the backing of Skaggs's Kentucky Thunder band. Guests include Jerry Douglas and Stuart Duncan, with John Anderson contributing vocals to a wild-card rendition of Rick James's "Super Freak," which provides the closing bluegrass hoedown.
Don McLeese for Amazon.com