This project pulls together a group of session musicians to play a set of newer and traditional material featuring Kotick’s guitar playing. Kotick has had a friendship with the Rice family, and the first cut “Burnt Rice” is by the late Larry Rice. Jarrod Walker does a fine job on the mandolin here, as he does throughout the entire program. Corey Walker holds down the banjo chores nicely. Vocals by Claire Lynch and Ronnie Bowman on a Lynch original, “Goodbye Again,” and Gaven Largent on the title-cut bring a variety to the project. Mark Schatz does his usual fine job on bass and Bryan McDowell’s fiddling is top flight. Gaven Largent adds nice touches on resonator guitar. This is a sonically rich project thanks to production values by Jake Stargel and Ron Rice’s job of mastering.
The programming is excellent as traditional tunes such as “Beaumont Rag” and “Forked Deer” are sandwiched between Kotick originals and bluegrass standards like “Wheel Hoss” and “New Camptown Races.” There is the fine Tony Rice tune “Swing 51” and the Django Reinhardt classic “Minor Swing” thrown in for more variety. Kotick gets his guitar involved nicely throughout, but “I Am A Pilgrim” is rich with guitar as he and Jake Stargel trade licks. For those who like their bluegrass with a touch of gypsy jazz, there’s a whole lot to like here. (www.leekotick.com)RCB