New Grass Revival , formed in by four former members of the Bluegrass Alliance , flourished in a decade when numerous groups took traditional bluegrass and changed it to varying degrees. As one of this movement's most prominent and influential acts, they hold the distinction of seeing their name become a generic label: "newgrass. In terms of longevity, popularity, and exposure, the Revival , with their hip reputation, were perhaps the most successful in competition against II Generation , Seldom Scene , the Country Gentlemen , and others.
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Virtuoso instrumental insurgents, the NGR brought the counterculture into bluegrass festivals during the '70s, and altered the music forever with daring, extended, jazz-influenced jams. Over two decades the band went through various line-up changes, and this generous single-disc retrospective concentrates on the classic '80s unit, featuring founder Sam Bush on fiddle and mandolin, John Cowan on bass and vocals, Bela Fleck on banjo, and Pat Flynn on guitar and vocals. The song selection itself tells much about the band: Standards give way to originals from Flynn and producer Wendy Waldman, as well as John Hiatt and the Beatles "I'm Down". Skip to main content.
Forty-eight years ago, a new band was born and throughout its development would play a major role in creating progressive bluegrass. During the early years, New Grass Revival gravitated toward a traditional bluegrass style. In , the group experienced its first major evolutionary twist when electric bass player John Cowan was added and brought with him not only the first electric based instrument, but also his background and influence of rock-n-roll. The band continued with this arrangement of talent while producing five studio albums and one live album until Through this decade of transformation, the group produced an additional four studio albums and one live album. When it appeared as though New Grass Revival was at its peak, Bush made the decision to separate himself and form his own group which ultimately led to the breakup of the band.
For the Record …. It [is] as old and poignant as sepia photographs The band formed in , essentially by splitting en masse from a group called the Bluegrass Alliance. Bush, Johnson, and Burch all cut their professional teeth with the Bluegrass Alliance, joining within several years of one another.