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Jeff Scroggins & Colorado

As a teenage guitarist, Jeff Scroggins fell in love with rock and roll, especially with players like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck — but at nineteen, he picked up a cheap banjo at a garage sale, then ended up trading in his Les Paul for a better banjo. Once Scroggins started steeping himself in bluegrass, he became a hell of a banjo player, something that is quite clear on Western Branches, his new twelve-song LP. While Jeff Scroggins & Colorado plays bluegrass, the band's frontman attacks the banjo with the fervor of a rock guitarist on certain cuts, particularly the opener, "Wheels," as well as "Lonesome George" and "Cat and Mouse." Scroggins is in damn fine company, too, with the likes of fiddle player Annie Savage, guitarist Greg Blake and bassist KC Groves pitching in, along with Scroggins's sixteen-year-old son, Tristan, on mandolin.

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