GREY CAT: A Bluegrass tribute to Uncle Dave Macon

David Harrison Macon, known as  "The Dixie Dewdrop" and first major star of WSM's Grand Ol' Opry, is being honored this year with a sparkling CD featuring 14 of his most beloved tunes and songs performed in bluegrass style by some of this country's best-known performers.

Conceived and co-produced by West Coast performer Peter Feldmann, "Grey Cat On the Tennessee Farm" was recorded in several intense and joyful sessions at Goldentrack Studios in Escondido, California.  "We had such a great time exploring Uncle Dave's wonderful songs that nobody wanted to go home!" says Peter.   

The CD features the superb fiddling of Byron Berline, along with the driving guitar stylings of flatpick king Dan Crary, co-members in the super bluegrass group "California".   Peter, whose singing and Monroesque mandolin chops add new dimensions to Uncle Dave's antebellum songs, also decided on including twin banjos for most of the material.  Dennis Caplinger of "Bluegrass Etc.", does credit to Macon's three finger rolls on both 5 and 6-string banjos, while clawhammer expert Wayne Shrubsall (a long-time "Banjo Newsletter"  columnist) adds great drop-thumb renditions to the tunes.  Bassist Bill Bryson of "Desert Rose" and the "Laurel Canyon Ramblers" fame, provides the flowing bass lines and contributes an archaic drop-thumb banjo sound on a minstrel gourd banjo to the recorded festivities.  The songs are performed in a rolicking, wide-open neo-classic country style, with up to five-part harmonies and three-part banjo breaks.  Occasional spoken-word introductions, adapted from sources ranging from Davy Crockett to William Shakespeare, are interspersed throughout the album.

"I wanted to try to capture some of the excitement that Uncle Dave produced in his famous '27 New York session with his band 'The Fruit Jar Drinkers',  so we essentially recorded the album as a group, 'on the fly', rather than relying on multiple tracks or takes."  Berline, Caplinger, and Crary were relative newcomers to Uncle Dave's music, and their spontaneous excitement in discovering his tuneful songs is fully apparent in the CD's jubilant treatments.

"Grey Cat On The Tennessee Farm", released this month on the Hen Cackle Records, was produced with the knowledge and support of the Macon family, and a percentage of the album's proceeds are dedicated to the  maintenance of David Macon's grave site and memorial in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  The CD is accompanied by an eight page booklet with photos and essays on Uncle Dave, the songs, and all the musicians, known as the "Pea patch Quintet".  It is available on-line at UncleDaveMacon.com, CDBaby.com, and at the better bluegrass record outlets.  

For photos see our PRESS SECTION

For further information, contact:

Blue Dalmatian Productions/BlueGrass West!
Post Office Box 614
Los Olivos, California 93441  U.S.A.
(805) 688 9894  *  688 0366 (Fax)
peterf@silcom.com  *  www.bluegrasswest.com



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