Second Season

Kristin Scott-Benson

Second Season

Banjo-picking wünderkind Kristin Scott Benson delivers a thoroughly satisfying sophomore album with 2009’s Second Season. Voted the Best Banjoist of 2008 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Benson plays with a blend of ferocity and nuance, intelligence and feeling. On these tracks, she shines amidst a fine ensemble featuring her mandolin-wielding spouse Wayne Benson, guitarist Jim Hurst and fiddlers Shad Cobb and Jim Van Cleve. “Don’t Tread On Me,” “No Steering, No Brakes” and “Bugle Call Rag” are invigorating instrumental romps, with Benson and her band careening through the tunes at a breakneck pace, and just as pleasing are more mournful numbers like “Far Enough Away” (a Kristin original) and “Trying Times.” “Greencastle Hornpipe” delivers a Celtic sound with an Appalachian accent. Among the vocal numbers, Josh Williams’ aching performance on “No Southern Comfort” is a standout. Benson remains in cool control throughout, graciously stepping aside for her fellow players before unleashing another blazing solo. Second Season catches this young artist as her talent continues to ripen.

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