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Druha Trava

Czechmate – 1999 (Compass)

Reviewed by Stephen L. Betts

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CDs by Druha Trava

While Druha Trava is one of the most successful international bluegrass bands of all time, with five previous albums to their credit, this pleasingly diverse offering is their first in the U.S.

Formed in 1991, the members of Czech band (translated, it means "Second Grass") quickly became multiple award winners in their homeland. Though chiefly referred to as a bluegrass group, Druha Trava actually incorporate elements of country, swing, jazz, folk and rock into their skillfully rendered music. As a result their album is likely to satisfy followers of progressive bluegrass music most, especially fans of artists Tony Trischka and Bela Fleck, with whom they've shared a concert stage in the past.

Among the more interesting selections found here are covers of Bob Dylan ("One More Cup Of Coffee") and the Rolling Stones ("Wild Horses"), along with a scorching reworking of the Dreadful Snakes classic, "Who's That Knockin' At My Door." Based on this stellar effort, it'll be a Czech invasion well worth checking out!