One More River to Cross
Fred Sokolow, well known for his hundred-plus guitar & banjo instruction books & DVDs (sold on 6 continents!) has been part of the West Coast bluegrass scene since the 60s, and two of his banjo/bluegrass albums were released long ago, but this recent release includes his long-time partner, the remarkable fiddler/singer Brantley Kearns. From North Carolina, Brantley has toured & recorded with Dwight Yoakam, David Bromberg & others (he & Fred both toured with Bobbie Gentry & Jim Stafford). Brantley's gutsy fiddling and star-quality vocals shine on this CD, and he & Fred's duets have a great blend that they've rehearsed for several decades! An added attraction is Fred's teenage son, Zac Sokolow, winner of several festival awards, who plays banjo and guitar throughout the 16 tunes. Well known bass player, David Jackson, who has toured and recorded with more stars than would fit on this screen, rounds out the group. The selections are both bluegrassy and old-timey, including several Carter Family tunes plus songs Fred and Brantley learned from Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Hank Williams and more. There's a great selection from Tom Paxton, who Fred often backs up, and the title song is a traditional gospel tune Fred learned from Uncle Dave Macon. It's bluegrass with a lot of soul.