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Published: 2008/09/23
by Brian Robbins

Glide – Jerry Douglas

Koch Records

Though there are still plenty of Oh, wow Jerry Douglas moments on the dobro kings new release, Glide, the album is just as noteworthy for its comfy feel. When ol Flux lets loose, theres no one else that sounds like him. But its apparent that hes also proud of his role as a band leader and is tickled to be sharing the spotlight with his very capable musicians.

At this point in his career, Douglas could make any album a super session chock full of star peers, but eight of Glides 11 cuts feature either the full Jerry Douglas Band lineup or JDB members woven into settings with guests who mesh well with their sound. Beyond that, youve got Jerry and old chums (Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer make it a threesome on Bounce, which sounds like a Strength In Numbers hidden track), Jerry and an old hero (Tony Rice and Douglas play backup to Earl Scruggs banjo on Home Sweet Home), or just Douglas by himself (Trouble On Alum, a Scottish medley).

Instrumentals abound on Glide, of course and there are some fine JDB moments. Unfolding is anchored by a cascading Guthrie Trapp guitar riff, with Douglas, violinist Luke Bulla, bassist Todd Parks, and, eventually, Trapp himself each getting to put his own spin on the main theme. The dramatic Route Irish, named for the most dangerous stretch of road in Iraq, is almost too short at a little over four minutes theres a hint of a Whipping Post-like theme that begs to be let loose in a live setting. Bulla, Trapp, and Douglas all do their best to break your heart with wistful leads on the title track. And the rumpled-suit-on-a-Saturday-night blues of Sway Sur La Rue Royale eventually gives way to Hallelujah! an everythings-gonna-be-alright Sunday-morning-hangover horn-driven rag.

Other visitors include Rodney Crowell, who handles the lead vocals on his self-penned Long Hard Road (Tony Rice also guests on this cut, contributing some fine flat-picked guitar against Douglas soaring dobro) and Travis Tritt who—predictably—leads the band through its most mainstream country-sounding moment on Marriage Made In Hollywood.

Theres nothing shocking here; no radical departures from past Jerry Douglas music, no forays into uncharted territory. Of course, when youre talking about the guy who once gave us a song inspired by a dream about Charlie Parker hanging out with Fred Flintstone (Cavebop), what is uncharted territory?

Never mind. This sounds like a Jerry Douglas album. Thats all you need to know. And thats a good thing.

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