Moody Bluegrass Two... Much Love: A Nashville Celebration of the Moody Blues
It seems like an impractical idea---the reimagining of the repertoire of stalwart prog-rockers the Moody Blues as bluegrass music. But it is a hallmark of well-written material that it can be adapted to a wide variety of genres and the Moody's material proves to be a good fit for the old-timey, distinctly American music. Then again the musicians paying tribute here, including all the original members of the Moody Blues themselves, are no slouches. Country star Vince Gill takes lead vocals on one of the last radio hits the group had, "I Know You're Out There," while bluegrass biggies Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush and Peter Rowan take vocal turns elsewhere. All the songs are easily recognizable as Moody Blues favorites even though they're cast here into a bucolic setting full of arrangements for dobro, banjo, fiddle and mandolin. "Dear Diary" especially harkens to its original sound thanks to faithful recreations of the flute and mellotron parts by Moodies Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder. Justin Hayward on the other hand sounds like a natural born hillbilly singing the reworked version of "It's Cold Outside of Your Heart" while John Lodge takes a similar bent on the front porch pick-and-grin version of "Send Me No Wine." And billowing forth with the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes is Graeme Edge, wrapping up the contributions from Moody Blues members, talk-singing his way through a lush bed of bluegrass on "Higher and Higher." Bluegrass fans will definitely enjoy the musicianship on display here and the more adventurous of Moody Blues fans should dig this hootenanny too.
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