The Old School – Peter Rowan

Read about Peter Rowan’s new release ‘The Old School’


Peter Rowan’s newest release

I saw The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest in 2011. It was a delightful set, a fantastic introduction for me to this great artist. The sealer for me was the song “Land Of The Navajo” – the chilling and mournful chant contained within was a special moment. Oddly, the only Peter Rowan CD that I could find that contained that song was 2006’s Crucial Country – a recording of a live performance at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado. It’s an excellent product and has the significant bonus of having dobro maestro Jerry Douglas throughout – highly recommended.

Now Peter Rowan has a new album titled The Old School. “The Old School is a big school. It is where the tributaries of the river came from,” says bluegrass musician and Grammy-winner Peter Rowan of his new album.

Influenced by his experience with the dynamic and enigmatic father of bluegrass Bill Monroe and written with the “bluegrass code” in mind, the now 70-year-old Rowan recorded the album with an inter-generational cast of skilled players. Old masters such as Bobby Osborne and Del McCoury sat shoulder to shoulder with younger players including The Traveling McCourys, Michael Cleveland, Bryan Sutton and more, everyone playing and singing in a circle and recording old school style. It is aimed at capturing the raw spirit of bluegrass music.

Rowan’s ambition going into the project was to assemble an elite cast of players and singers to represent the music’s core as well as its broader range of influences. The all-star lineup that came together included musicians who were members of the Bluegrass Boys, some of whom were Bill Monroe’s contemporaries, as well as subsequent generations of ground breakers whose talents continue to shape and define bluegrass music.

The complete cast for The Old School cast includes Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, JD Crowe, Buddy Spicher, Jason Carter, Bryan Sutton, Michael Cleveland, the Traveling McCourys, Stuart Duncan, legendary bassist Dennis Crouch, Jeremy Garrett, Don Rigsby, Chris Henry and the members of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.

The album includes eleven Rowan originals and a rework of “Freedom Riders,” the Civil Rights anthem made popular by Odetta. Del McCoury features on the high lonesome “That’s All She Wrote,” Bobby Osborne on a stunning duet called “Stealing My Time,” Jesse McReynolds on the very impressive “Mountain Man’s Dream” and Bryan Sutton on the ode to Doc Watson – “Doc Watson Morning.”

Here’s a (slightly fuzzy, but the sound’s good) video of “Keepin’ It Between the Lines (Old School)”.


Read about Peter Rowan’s new release ‘The Old School’

Read about Peter Rowan’s new release ‘The Old School’

Read about Peter Rowan’s new release ‘The Old School’


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Author: Rob Dickens

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