Broken Road

Broken Road

An air of ambition, however aware of tradition, floats through guitarist Jeff White's sequel to his Rounder debut, <I>The White Album</I>, and raises the stakes on this elegant, lyrical bluegrass recording. Drawing on the musicians who've aided him in the past--Vince Gill (White has played in his touring band), Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Jason Carter, and underrated banjo picker Pete Wernick--White also draws heavily on his own songs, something too few bluegrass musicians can or will do. Though he covers Bill Monroe and Vince Gill, the best material is his own, especially the stately drive of "The Broken Road" and the true-to-life rambling blues of "I'll Make My Way." Bluegrass into country, honky-tonk back into bluegrass--genres flow freely when the musicians are as gifted as these, and when the singer has the ripe, immediately believable tone White possesses. And categories like traditional, progressive, and mainstream disappear when the music is this easy-going and accomplished. <I>--Roy Kasten</I>