Published in Bluegrass Unlimited, May 2006. Used with permission.

On The Edge Review

Lou Wamp


Triple L Music 0104

Dobro players are the butt of all the bluegrass jokes that don’t involve banjos. One relatively well-known bluegrass wag has said, “The Dobro isn’t a musical instrument. It’s a sound effect.” However, in spite of the good-natured teasing, the resonator guitar might just be the most versatile of all bluegrass instruments. Mike Auldridge’s recordings over the years have stretched the limits of the instrument and the minds of the listeners. And Lou Wamp reinforces these notions in his wide-ranging release, Resolution.

Wamp and a collection of bluegrass all-stars — notably Jim Hurst, Butch Baldassari and Byron House — let the instruments do all the talking, and you’d best be taking notes. There is great stuff here. Wamp wrote 9 of the 11 songs, including the dark, jazzy Spooky Pass, the hard-driving, bluegrassy Oldsmobile Brokedown and the quietly meditative Hymnal. Though the overall feel gets a bit sluggish and moody in spots, the players never sacrifice the sense of the melody nor the feel in favor of hot licks.

For me, the absolute highlight of the recording is Wamp’s lovely version of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It’s a delightful and surprising tour de force presentation of what is arguably one of the most beautiful melodies ever written. Overall, Resolution is a real winner — tasteful, diverse and yet, to the point.

Available from Lou Wamp, P. O. Box 339, Hixson, TN 37343-0339

Archie Warnock, [email]

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