King of My World – Sam Bush
Sugar Hill Records 3987
Sam Bush, more than just about any other acoustic artist, has crafted a sound and a scene that is all his own. King of My World is a testament to that fact, sometimes coming right out and saying it, like on the almost-title-track ‘King of the World,’ where Bush sings about the fleeting moments of self-fulfillment and self-control. But, regardless of his spiritual journey, Bush is very much in command on this release.
With a solid group of players including Chris Brown (drums), Byron House (bass), Jon Randall Stewart (guitar), Reese Wynans (piano), the CD is well-rounded, solid, and playful. All the players mesh into Bush’s unique world of reggae, rock, country, bluegrass, and jazz with ease, making King of My World a typical platform for Bush to exercise his virtuosic talent and depth of emotion.
The decidedly Dawgish "Bananas" and "The Mahavishnu Mountain Boys" are easily the most excitable from a purely musical viewpoint, while Johnny Clegg’s "Spirit is the Journey" manages to show Bush’s ability to pull reggae into his newgrass universe. "Majestic" is a rather emotional and blues-rock inspired song about a shoe shine man, providing a good example of Bush’s ability to tap into his soulful voice with authority.
King of My World, while being rather characteristic of Bush’s musical personality, which is eclectic and far-reaching, is built on a solid foundation of solid musicanship and excitable interplay. Are we supposed to expect something other than this from Sam Bush?