If you’ve ever heard Town Mountain play live in recent years, then you’ll know they’re on fire and that their fiddler Bobby Britt is one of the best in the business. From Chapel Hill, N.C., and an alumnus of the Berklee College of Music, Britt can take a song and kick into high gear as good as anyone in bluegrass. With his mastery of double-stop grooves and rollicking and melodic fiddling, Britt is a big part of Town Mountain’s honky-tonk bluegrass sound. On this solo album, however, he gets to explore both his bluegrass and old-time influences and what he calls “Experimental Roots Fiddle.”
Alayawas produced by Britt and Andrew Marlin, who also provides mandolin and lead vocals on the project. Marlin is a part of the duo Mandolin Orange with Emily Frantz and has become a big part of the North Carolina Piedmont music scene that’s producing many artists from that region. The rest of the artists include Frantz, Josh Oliver, Jerry Brown, and Allison de Groot.
Britt’s fiddling is solid and flowing as opposed to flashy. It’s driving and tasteful instead of running show-off riffs up a flag pole to see who salutes. He wrote two tunes here, including the romping old-time/bluegrass hybrid “Tar Heal” and the sounds-familiar-but-is-new “Out Of The Woods.” He also puts new arrangements onto various Public Domain fiddle tunes such as “Constitution March,” an upbeat version of “Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom,” and the more obscure but fun “Silver Spire.” Other highlights include “Big Footed Man In The Sandy Lot” and Tommy Peoples’ beautiful “The Fairest Rose.” (www.bobbybrittfiddle.com)DH