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David Peterson & 1946

The Howling Blue Winds – 2003 (www.1946bane.com)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by David Peterson & 1946

Massachusetts native David Peterson has a passion for traditional bluegrass. So much so that he named his band, 1946, after the year that many claim that bluegrass music was formed.

Peterson's new album is delightful and will no doubt please many bluegrass fans. He's chosen to record songs written by many of the legends of traditional bluegrass - Jimmy Martin, Don Reno and Carter Stanley. He also includes nice treatments of two Bill Monroe gospel classics, "You'd Better Get Right" and "That Home Above." To show he can take a modern song and adapt it to his own style, Peterson opens the album with Tom T. Hall's "New Pair Of Glasses." Peterson's band is well-schooled in traditional bluegrass as well, offering up harmony singing and back-up instrumentation, including triple fiddles, that would have made Monroe himself proud.

As fine a recorded effort as this is, it can't capture the magic of a live 1946 show. Peterson and company typically perform in 1946-era bluegrass garb and sing and play around a single mic, a la the bluegrass bands of the era. In spite of this, the music offered up by 1946 is top-notch. David Peterson pays tribute to the golden era, but doesn't copy it.