Arthur Lee Land

Dragonfly (Perfect Groove Records)

While touring Nigeria and Ghana four years ago, Arthur Lee Land, a Boulder transplant, came up with the idea for Afrograss: a synthesis of West African percussion and bluegrass in a folk-rock format. Less indebted to King Sunny Ade than David Grisman (guest fiddle and mandolin ace Joe Craven is an alumni of both Grisman and Jerry Garcia), Land's uplifting hybrid unites skilled players with impressive track records. Musically speaking, it's an earth-toned blend of djembe, congas and every unplugged bluegrass instrument this side of the jug. From a less-captivating lyrical standpoint (wife Carol Lee co-writes the songs), Land remains locked in a holistic box, fixated on serenity, astral travel and love as "constant as the sun." And for every well-penned number like "The Song That You Sing," there's the unrestrained treacle of one like "Golden-Hearted Goddess." A cosmic misdemeanor in an otherwise satisfying long-player, it still makes you want to say, "Get a room, hippies."

 
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