MP3 Chris Henry - Monroe Approved
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12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, COUNTRY: Bluegrass
Young Bill Monroe acolyte Chris Henry came by his music honestly. His dad, Red Henry, is a respected Monroe-style mandolinist who passed on his creative spark and dynamic attack to his son. Chris has paid his dues playing guitar with his family band, the Virginia-based Red and Murphy and Their Excellent Children, from the age of eleven, and playing mandolin with such groups as Dave Peterson and 1946, and Audie Blaylock and Redline, since relocating to Nashville in 2003. For the last two years he and his sister Casey have fronted their own band, Casey and Chris and the Two-Stringers, and released their first CD, Get Along Girl, at the beginning of this year. Now with Monroe Approved, his first solo release, Chris displays to the public what mandolin players have known for years: his unmistakable touch and firey creative passion distinguish him as the premier Monroe stylist of his generation.
The idea for Monroe Approved started as a phone call to Chris from Butch Baldassari, who produced the early stages of the recording. Chris wrote and chose material for the project that reflects his approach to Monroe-style mandolin: aggressive, mischievous, and occasionally quite focused and sensitive. He followed Monroeâs lead to create new tunes that preserve the vigor and heart of hardcore bluegrass. The title cut was inspired by an evening backstage at the Grand Ole Opry when David McLaughlin introduced 12-year-old Christopher to the Father of Bluegrass. Upon hearing the young mandolin picker play âRawhide,â Bill took off his hat, placed it on Chrisâs head, and danced around the room, subsequently saying, âIf you ever need anything, boy, you come let me know.â
The three-tune medley âMonroe Approvedâ spans more than seven minutes, the music overlaid with the voice of Bill Monroe himself. One tune in the medley, Monroeâs âBig Spring,â has never previously been recorded. Chrisâs originals âThe Indians are Comingâ and âGallatin,â Frank Wakefieldâs âCatnipâ (the hidden track), and Red Henryâs âRedâs Zeppelinâ reflect Chrisâs penchant for hardcore instrumentals. The triple fiddles of the slow-grooving masterwork âJames Riverâ hark strongly back to the Blue Grass Boysâ triple-fiddle sound. âListen to the Lonsome Train (Boxcar Door),â featuring Roland White, has quickly become a listener favorite for its old-sounding appeal. And the rarely heard triple-mandolin harmony on âFarewell to Long Hollowâ stands out as a highlight.
Some of todayâs top pickers lend their talents here: Ronnie McCoury, Jason Carter, Mike Bub, David McLaughlin, Robert Bowlin, Alan OâBryant, and Butch Baldassari, as well as Canadian songster Adam Olmstead, Chrisâs uncle John Hedgecoth, sister Casey Henry, and father Red Henry.
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