Sam Bush - Laps in Seven CD

Legendary, genre-bending, string wizard are some of the descriptions you hear when the name Sam Bush comes up. Some say he is the godfather of the jam band scene. With Laps in Seven he has done it again. This time the mandolin player is joined by Emmy Lou Harris, Buddy Miller, Jean-Luc Ponty and a host of others to create an album that is a pure fun.

Highlights include a cover of John Hartford's "On the Road" with its weird 5/4 timing and offbeat lyrics that make Hartford famous. The droney country rock duet with Emmylou Harris on Julie Miller's "The River's Gonna Flow" breaks new ground, and then we go right to the traditional bluegrass sound of Charlie Monroe's train tune "Bringing in the Georgia Mail" with some of the bestplaying ever!! Bush's more signature sound is found in his fine instrumental,
"Dolphin's Dance."

Though they tend to get overlooked because of his insturmental prowess, Bush's vocals are outstanding throughout Laps in Seven.

The title track, "Laps in Seven" has a funny story behind it. One day Bush's dog, Ozzie, was drinking and Bush noticed that it was in 7/4 time signature. Bush decided to write one in that rhythm. You can hear Ozzie lapping water at the end of the song.

Taken in large doses bluegrass music can seem to run together sometimes. Not so with Bush. He definitely explores some new territory, keeps it all interesting and displays crazy wonderful skills that just amaze. The album is a joy.

- Bob Felberg