Other than the infamous Sam Bush, what other musician would recognize that their pet dog was lapping water in syncopated 7/4 time and then fashion the theme of a new CD around the concept. No one can deny that Sam is a breed of his own and one of the most brilliant musicians in the acoustic /progressive bluegrass scene.
This project is classic Sam. Certainly New Grass with an underpinning of bluegrass stretched to Sam's signature styling. If you have seen Sam and his Band on the festival circuit, you will have heard many of these tunes in his show. The one classic Bluegrass tune on the project is the hard driving "Bringing in The Georgia Mail."
The project is richer for the touch added by the likes of EmmyLou Harris, Tim O'Brien, Jean Luc Ponty, and Andrea Zonn. EmmyLou's distinctive vocals pack a subtle punch on "The Rivers Gonna Run." Tim O'Brien connects with Sam on "Riding that Bluegrass Train" which has strong traditional bluegrass elements but musically stretches the limits of the classic sounds. Defying all classifications, Sam takes an unusual twist by including the Classic Rock tune "White Bird" accompanied by Andrea Zonn. This piece works perfectly under Sam's arrangement.
There are three instrumentals on the CD. Two of which were penned by Sam, the title cut "Laps in Seven" inspired by Sam's dog Ozzie, "The Dolphin Dance" conceived during a Florida vacation and "New Country" composed by the brilliant Jean Luc Ponte. Fulfilling Sam's dream, Jean Luc joins Sam for a rendition of Ponty's jazz fusion composition. My heart leaps every time I listen to this piece which in my estimation is one of the most intriguing instrumentals tunes of our time. Departing from Jean Luc's typical jazzy rendition, the mandolin and banjo breaks are wonderfully done on this cut.
I really appreciated the liner notes because they gave me a sense of Sam's thoughts on each tune and the reasons for their inclusion on the project. Good liner notes gets you into the heart of the music. "Laps in Seven" is a rich compilation of tunes that fit without repetitiveness. Each tune delivers unique twists with subtle intricacies that unfold over time. It's a great listen.
|Project Title:||Laps in Seven|
|Produced by:||Sam Bush|
|Recorded and Mixed by:||David Sinko assisted by Patrick Granad at the Sound Emporium, Nashville, TN|
|Mastered by:||Randy LeRoy at Final Stage Mastering, Nashville, TN|
|Record Label:||Sugar Hill|
|The River's Gonna Run||(Julie Miller- Bughouse, ASCAP; West Bay Music, ASCAP)|
|Bringing in the Georgia Mail||(Fred Rose – Sony/ATV Milene Music, BMI)|
|The Dolphin Dance||(Sam Bush – Samanda Lynn Music, BMI)|
|On the Road||(John Hartford – Ensign Music, LLC, BMI)|
|I Wanna Do Right|
|(Jeff Black & Sam Bush – Lotos Nile Music, BMI; Samanda Lynn Music, BMI)|
|Ridin' That Bluegrass Train||(John Pennell & Sam Bush – Solargrass Music, BMI; Samanda Lynn Music, BMI)|
|Where There's a Road||(Robbie Fulks - Lorne Rail Music ASCAP)|
|New Country||(Jean Luc Ponte - (YTNOP Music, BMI)|
|Ballad for a Soldier||(Leon Russell – Dimensional Songs of the Knoll, BMI; Embassy Music Corp., BMI)|
|River Take Me||(Darrell Scott – EMI April Music, Inc. ASCAP)|
|White Bird||(David LaFlamme & Linda LaFlamme – Davlin Music, GEMA)|
|Laps in Seven||(Byron House, Scott Vestal & Sam Bush – Byron House Music, BMI; Scott Vestal Music, BMI; Samanda Lynn Music, BMI)|
Sam Bush – Mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Scott Vestal – Banjo, Chris Brown – Drums, Byron House – Bass, Keith Sewell – Acoustic Guitar
Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Shaun Murphy, Tim O'Brien, Jean Luc Ponty, Andrea Zonn