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IIIrd Tyme Out

Live at the MAC – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by IIIrd Tyme Out

For a live recording, IIIrd Tyme Out's latest is as good as it gets. The band has energy to spare, and so does their audience. The mix of audience in the recording is a bit heavy, and this will either distract or add to the enjoyment, depending on the listener.

The highlight is the leadoff, Bill Monroe's "White House Blues." Wayne Benson employs a variety of mandolin styles to his breaks, sounding first like Sam Bush and then Monroe.

Aside from the instrumental moments, you will hear why this band continues to be the top vocal group in bluegrass. On a softer note, Russell Moore serves up a sweet version of "Erase The Miles." The balance is a mix of gospel combined with classic bluegrass. Other highlights are Flatt & Scruggs' "I Ain't Broke (But I'm Badly Bent)," and Monroe's "Blue Moon Of Kentucky."

As rare as live albums are in bluegrasss, IIIrd Tyme Out has served up something special. A must have.