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Adam Steffey
One More For the Road
Review By Steven Stone
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  Mandolinist Adam Steffey's latest solo outing combines exceptional instrumentals with enough songs to keep the CD from having too many notes. Although Steffey has been playing professionally since 1987, One More For the Road is only his second solo release. His first, Grateful, came out in 2002.

Adam Steffey is currently touring with the Dan Tyminski Band. Before that he worked with Alison Krauss and Union Station, The Isaacs, and Mountain Heart. Six times he's been voted mandolin player of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association and is also multiple Grammy winner. Steffey is also a first-call session player who's done studio work for Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Bill Frisell, Alecia Nugent, Clint Black, The Isaacs, Dale Ann Bradley, Ralph Stanley II, Claire Lynch, Kenny Smith, Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain, and Tony Furtado.

For One More For the Road Steffey enlisted the help of Dan Tyminski, Ronnie Bowman, and Allison Krauss for vocals, Barry Bales on bass, Justin Moses and Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Ron Stewart on banjo, Clay Hess, Bryan Sutton and Dan Tyminski on guitar, and Randy Kohrs on dobro. Although most of the tunes on One More For the Road are covers, Steffey's original instrumental "Deep Rough" shows he can write a first-class tune. Steffey's picking is impeccable as always. His first pass on the instrumental "Half Past Four" has a rhythmic exactitude that few players can equal.

The overall feel of the CD is relaxed perfection. While not as tightly orchestrated as Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver or Alison Krauss and Union Station, the playing here is still precise with a modern bluegrass twist. Steffey may be the bandleader here, but he doesn't step out as much as you would expect from a solo effort. He's content to assemble a crack band and then join in the fun as an equally contributing participant.

Produced by Gary Paczosa, Barry Bales, and Steffey, the CD has the sonic earmarks of a Paczosa project. His trademark sound is clear yet never sterile. Paxzosa has perfected the art and science of finding that fine line that makes it seem as if the music is just there like it would be if the players were in your living room playing live. In short One More For the Road ranks as a classic bluegrass album worthy of shelf space in any discerning music-lover's collection.

 

 

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