Rufus – Buddy Greene
Buddy Greene may not be a name you'd recognize unless you follow
Christian recordings or the career of his onetime bandleader, country
singer/actor Jerry Reed. He won a Dove Award and was nominated for another
Dove (the Christian music industry's equivalent of the Grammy) and co-wrote
"Mary, Did You Know?" which has been recorded by Kenny Rogers with Wynonna
Judd and Natalie Cole.
Frankly, this is my introduction to Greene's music. On "Rufus," he visits
the roots of his formative years as a musician where listening to the
was as much a part of his life as Elvis Presley, Motown, bluegrass and
Helping out in this endeavor are a few of Greene's high profile friends
within bluegrass circles – Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Ron Block. The
familiarity among peers brings about a casual atmosphere that
makes Rufus, which turns out to be Greene's middle name/nickname, a
effort. throughout its compact timeframe. At times, it reminds me of the
David Grisman/Jerry Garcia acoustic recordings (i.e. Shady Grove and
Pizza Tapes) in the way that the performances sound as if they came
during friendly gatherings.
What's especially striking are Greene's interpretations of familiar fare.
The Beatles' "All My Loving" receives the ballad treatment without becoming
much too sweet, and just when you thought that there couldn't be another way
of finding the groove within "Walking Blues," due to the many performances
the Grateful Dead, Greene and company prove that they can breathe new life
into the blues standard.
The material eventually moves towards his spiritual side but the late
inclusion makes this side of Greene seem more like one part of the overall
puzzle rather than the only piece.