Show NotesAcoustic Disc proudly delivers Livin’ With The Blues, the first ever blues album from award winning fiddler supreme, Vassar Clements. Throughout his illustrious fifty-plus year career, Vassar has earned a reputation as one of America’s greatest folk musicians—and as one of the architects of bluegrass music, Vassar always put the blues in bluegrass.
For decades Vassar has added his magical touch to recordings by a diverse musical "Who’s Who"—Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, the Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, the Allman Brothers Band, Bonnie Raitt and Paul McCartney among many others. But it is only now with Livin’ With The Blues that Clements is provided with authentic rural and urban blues settings to showcase his soulful playing. Produced by mandolin champion David Grisman with harmonica ace Norton Buffalo, Livin’ With The Blues teams Vassar with blues heroes Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo and Bob Brozman.
While Vassar Clements has often been considered the ‘bluesiest’ of the bluegrass fiddlers, it wasn’t until producer Grisman asked him what kind of record he wanted to make, that the soft spoken septuagenarian replied "I’ve always wanted to make a blues record."
Livin’ With The Blues kicks off with Skip James’ swampy "Cypress Grove," with Vassar’s lonesome fiddle accompanied by Bob Brozman’s National slide guitar. Arkansas’ #1 blues export Elvin Bishop cleans house with his own "Dirty Drawers" and "That’s My Thing," while the queen of the Oasis, Maria Muldaur gets low-down with Vassar on "Honey Babe Blues" and Bessie Smith’s "I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle." Other tracks guaranteed to keep you in the crossroads include Roy Rogers desolate take on Robert Johnson’s "Phonograph Blues," "Mambo Boogie" featuring the pulsating piano of Dave Mathews and the Booker T. Jones classic "Green Onions," given a new twist by Charlie Musselwhite and Vassar. "Rube’s Blues" features 19-year old blues guitar whiz David Jacob-Strain helping Vassar reinvent a bluegrass standard and Norton Buffalo brings it all home with his unique soul treatment of his own "Don’t Stand Behind A Mule."
Vassar Clements has been a living legend for quite some time—but right now he’s Livin’ With The Blues.