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Eddie & Martha Adcock

Spirited – 1998 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Jon Weisberger

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CDs by Eddie & Martha Adcock

From the moment the first hard-driving banjo notes of the old gospel song, "By The Side Of The Road," jump out of the speakers, there's no doubt EddieAdcock is just as hot a picker as he ever was. Adcock and longtime partner, Martha Hearon Adcock reunite with their former bass player, Missy Raines to deliver a collection that, as the liner notes say, "bears hardly any resemblance to a bluegrass gospel album."

Adcock is a long-time master of banjo and guitar, and he plays both here to great effect, especially on the instrumentals, "The Narrow Road," "Spirited" and "Rainbow." Vocal numbers feature Martha's distinctive lead, with Eddie stepping out front on Jimmie Skinner's old bit of advice, "Don't Do It And It Won't Be On Your Mind." Songs range from several originals by the Adcocks, including the provocative "What Love Can't Do," to the classic "Satisfied Mind" and "Standing In The Need Of Prayer," to well-chosen new numbers.

This makes a thoughtful departure from the standard, both in terms of the way it lyrically addresses spiritual matters and in Eddie Adcock's inventive, idiosyncratic playing. The overall effect is a strong personal statement from a couple of bluegrass's most interesting - and experienced - musicians.