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Tammy Rogers (Dead Reckoning, 1996)

Tammy Rogers

Reviewed by Norm Rosenfield

Tammy has been a successful name for country artists, and there is no reason to assume Rogers will fail to achieve her share of the "tammy" achievement legacy. Actually, an album of this type is remarkable enough on its own, with or without an appropriate first name. Rogers has carved out a work of bluegrass ethnomusicology. Her voice, violin and songwriting combine to produce a virtual bluegrass museum of past, present and future applications. "Coming Home" greets us at the entrance, with graceful, mournful tones; inevitable, not quite dirge-like measured rhythms. "Never Far Away" segues into more traditional territory, featuring Jerry Douglas on dobro. Bassist Alison Prestwood contributes songs "Come Out and Play" (featuring sitar, possibly a bluegrass first), "Let's Leave It Like That" (a haunting ballad) and "On A Night Like Tonight" (with Kieran Kane on mandolin and Mike Henderson on guitar).

Contained here as well are instrumentals with chamber group sonorities ("Something Old, Something New" and "There is a Fountain") and forlonful meditations (Victoria Williams' "Another Day") on love and loss. This album may have little chance of reaching the audience of an Alison Krauss, but is well worth the visit.

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