Black Music Matters Festival

Darin Aldridge

Call It A Day – 2004 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

CDs by Darin Aldridge

Bluegrass sub-genres cause a lot of discussion in bluegrass circles so be forewarned this is not your Monroe-Stanley-Osborne bluegrass. Darin Aldridge is no stranger to bluegrass, playing mandolin for the Country Gentlemen, but some of the CG repertoire, popular as it has been, has been out on the edges of Monroe bluegrass. Aldridge leans heavily towards a Nickel Creek sound.

Aldridge's singing is a smooth tenor, in the same general range as Ricky Skaggs or Vince Gill, but without their drive and presence: think of a laid-back Gill singing ballads. This makes for some easy listening, but it's not likely to make you reach for your guitar to strum along with him. About as close as he gets to a driving song is "Broken Chains."

Aldridge's first solo effort is pleasant, but it's not driving bluegrass.