King Of My World
Sugar Hill Records, 2004
REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/15/2004
Sam Bush is more fun than a bathtub of otters. More rollicking than a southern Ohio Oktoberfest. More amusing than hedgehog croquet. In short, I like Sam Bush, and I like King Of My World. Now, this review could stop there, whereupon our Fearless Founder and Mildly More Fearful But Not Much Editor would remind me, gently, about minimum word count. Since we want to avoid that, we'll talk a bit more.
For those of you who don't remember my superlative-laden reviews of him in the past, Sam Bush was one of the founders of newgrass icons the New Grass Revival, one of the first bands to mix the traditional sounds of bluegrass and roots music with other influences. Since then, he has been a mainstay of the bluegrass and newgrass scene in this country, has played 26 of 27 Telluride Bluegrass Festivals; appeared on literally hundreds of recordings by other musicians; and has generally had himself a good ol' time becoming one of the masters of newgrass music and mandolin playing. It must be a lot of fun to be Sam Bush. He sure sounds like he's having fun.
King Of My World is his latest effort, and the CD title is not a boast. Sam Bush is confident and comfortable, and because of that he turns out some tasty, tasty newgrass and roots music. He proves himself at alternating times funny and poignant, melodic and percussive, and makes it look easy. It's no mistake, perhaps, that the final track on the CD is a tribute to longtime St. Louis Cardinals shortstop and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, suitably titled "The Wizard Of Oz"; Bush has the same sort of joie de vivre and style that Smith had in his playing.
Other tracks worth noting include the entire CD. If you want more details, check out the heartfelt "A Better Man", the joyful "Eight More Miles to Louisville", and the funny, funny "Bless His Heart"...or maybe you should just go buy the CD. Did I mention you should buy the CD?
King Of My World is, indeed, a recording fit for a king. Don't miss it.