TONY TRISCHKA, “Great Big World,” Rounder. 13 tracks.
Tony Trischka calls his latest album “Great Big World.”
It’s an apt description of the album, which embraces a big world of musical styles and genres, while keeping one foot solidly in bluegrass.
That’s been the case for Trischka for the past 50 years.
At 65, he’s no longer the new kid on the block. He’s one of the legends.
And this album adds to his status as one of the more inventive musicians on the planet.
The Syracuse, N.Y., native began playing banjo in 1963, after hearing the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA.”
Then, he discovered bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs and never looked back.
Bill Monroe, Trischka says, “was a huge influence on me and he’s still at the heart of everything I do.”
But don’t expect traditional bluegrass.
There’s “Joy,” a Trischka gospel original sung by Catherine Russell with verses adapted from Buddhist, Christian and Jewish texts.
“Wild Bill Hickok” is a five-minute western saga sung by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott with additional vocals by Mike Compton and a dramatic reading by John Goodman.
“Say Goodbye (for KM)” is a tribute to the late singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle.
And then, there’s “Single String Medley,” which features five tunes each played on a different string.
Steve Martin joins Trischka on “Promontory Point,” a tune they composed together.
Other guests include Mike Barnett, Michael Daves, Skip Ward, Andy Statman, Russ Barenberg, Naom Pikelny, Aoife O’Donovan, Abigail Washburn, Chris Eldridge, Larry Campbell, Oteil Burbridge and Trischka’s son, Sean.
Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.TonyTrischka.com