New ‘Newgrass’: Sam Bush — ‘Storyman’

Sam Bush — Storyman

Label: Sugar Hill Records

The title of the first track of Sam Bush’s new album, Storyman, states his case: “Play By Your Own Rules.” The song recommends a philosophy for living, but it also presents Mr. Bush’s approach to music. On the ten following original tracks, the gentleman officially recognized by the Kentucky state legislature as the “Father of Newgrass” makes it clear that he will play the music he chooses and in the style that suits him. There’s a pleasing blend of traditional country, bluegrass, bluesy, and even reggae. It is a revelatory experience to hear all of the varieties of music that come from the decision. What is even more remarkable is how perfectly the seemingly disparate songs fit together as an album.

The result is an album that is always entertaining and frequently emotionally touching. You will feel like singing in agreement to a song you might be hearing for the first time, and you might find yourself moving along (after you’ve turned up the volume little); Sam Bush has that kind of effect on humans in need of good vibrations. He must really know how to make a crowd satisfied at a live show. He has quite a reputation for bring life to a bluegrass festival and this album is your own personal live concert, but with the ability to repeat the songs that quickly become your favorites.

The stellar musicianship on Storyman is equalled by the high level of quality in the production itself. How wonderful to be able to hear every note of every instrument, and yet have them all perfectly in balance. For all of his innovation, Sam Bush can also always be counted on to deliver  just what it’s always been about—feeling and sharing—as only a true ‘storyman’ can.

Storyman track listing:

“Transcendental Meditation Blues”
“Play By Your Own Rules”
“Everything Is Possible” (w/ Deborah Holland)
“Lefty’s Song” (w/ Alison Krauss)
“Carcinoma Blues”
“Bowling Green”
“Handmics Killed Country Music” (w/ Emmylou Harris)
“Where’s My Love”
“It’s Not What You Think”
“I Just Wanna Feel Something”

Essential Downloads: “Play By Your Own Rules,” “Lefty’s Song,” “Handmics Killed Country Music.”


To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

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