Alison Brown

Stolen Moments – 2005 (Compass)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Alison Brown

The CD cover says to file it under bluegrass (more or less). Alison Brown's new CD is as grassy as something from Béla Fleck or Tony Trischka. If your music has to be Monroe's or Stanley's you probably won't like this, but if you appreciate good music just for itself, this is some excellent easy listening.

Brown is joined here by Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan and Kenny Malone on drums. (And then there are the Boomchicks playing "Prayer Wheel" - Ovaria, Fallopia... This group seems to spring from Telluride, 2003.)

Brown composed many of the numbers, but she also reaches out to some diverse influences, such as Jimi Hendrix ("Angel") and Paul Simon ("Homeward Bound"). While four of the tracks feature vocals, you never forget this CD is about the instruments, and the overall feel is almost classical in nature.

This CD is wine-and-fireplace music, not beer-and-campfire and provides a chance to lean back and relax and enjoy the banjo in an urbane setting.