JOE DIFFIE, “The Ultimate Collection,” Rounder. 20 tracks.
The bluegrass world has been hearing for months now that Joe Diffie, a country music headliner in the 1990s, is returning to his roots in bluegrass and cutting a new album for Rounder Records.

But this isn’t it.

This is essentially a greatest hits album with 20 of his top country songs re-recorded for a new label.

If you’re a Joe Diffie fan, it’s probably a collection you’ll want.

If you’re a bluegrass fan, you’ll have to wait a few more months.

Songs include “Home,” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “John Deere Green” and 16 more hits.

Thirty years ago, when he was in college, Diffie and his band, Special Edition, cut three bluegrass albums and toured extensively at festivals in Oklahoma and Texas.

“With a deep respect for the pioneers of bluegrass and for the artists that continue to carry the torch today, Joe is excited to begin a new era in his career,” his Web site says.

“He’s found the perfect home for his upcoming bluegrass projects at Rounder Records, arguably the most well-respected bluegrass label in the business,” it adds.

So, hopefully soon, Diffie will make his bluegrass debut.

But if you were hoping this album would feature bluegrass versions of his country hits, you’re out of luck.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.rounder.com.

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