TONY RICE 'Native American'
Again Rounder has produced a superbly arranged and beautifully recorded album that showcases the consumate artistry of one of today's foremost musical talents. Rice states in his notes that he is trying for a "subtler and different mood" here than on previous albums, and we would say that he has achieved this, though for some of his more Bluegrass-oriented fans this will mean a less exciting and satisfying album than previous classics like COLD ON THE SHOULDIER(ROU-0183), Manzanita (ROU-0092), or even ME & MY GUITAR(ROU-0201). the album is definitely folk-oriented and much one will like it will depend a lot on one's feeling towards the songs themselves. For myself, I really liked the Gordon Lighfoot songs (GO MY WAY and especially the lovely SHADOWS), and a newer song, BROTHER TO THE WIND. Not particularly being a fan of the Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs schools of song writing, I was not overly excited by most of the others, but every songs does get exquisite treatment from Rice and his backup crew--Jerry Douglas on dobro is especially good, beautifully complementing Rice's ever amazing guitar work. Piano is present on 4 cuts. Lovely job. JOHN WILKES BOOTH, URGE FOR GOING, ST. JAMES HOSPITAL, CHANGES, SUMMER WAGES, NIGHT FLYER, WHERE YOU BEEN GONE SO LONG.