PETER ROWAN – The Old School

Album: The Old School

Artist: Peter Rowan

Label: Compass

Release Date: June 04, 2013

Peter Rowan

www.compassrecords.com

BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

 It’s not like Peter Rowan has anything to prove. Hardly. After more than 40 years of furthering the cause of modern bluegrass — first with his seminal sibling band the Rowan Brothers and then consistently on his own — his credentials are well decidedly established. (His song “Midnight Moonlight” is one of the great classics of the genre.) Yet with the all too aptly named The Old School, Rowan can again be found doing what he does best, hewing to a template that has him showing his devotion to tradition and making music that’s both vital and affecting. He doesn’t do it alone — other masters of the genre like the Del McCoury Band, Jim Lauderdale, Stuart Duncan, JD Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Don Rigby and Bryan Sutton all make cameos here — but it’s clearly Rowan that’s carrying the banner and directing the proceedings.

 Proof lies in the fact that all the songs are his, and whether it’s a rag, a ramble or both, the songs ooze authenticity. The old time-sounding “Letter From Beyond” comes across just as its title suggests, a tune that could easily be mistaken for an old time Appalachian folk song. “My Savior Is Callin’ Me” creates the same impression in a sturdy Gospel vein. In between, tracks like lovely “Doc Watson Morning,” “Keepin’ It Between the Lines (Old School),” “That’s All She Wrote” and “Drop the Bone” maintain those old school lessons with a strict discipline. Those seeking an introductory course in genuine mountain music will find no better place to begin.

 DOWNLOAD: “Letter From Beyond,” “That’s All She Wrote,” “”Drop the Bone”

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