Bluegrass Unlimited - Thierry Massoubre & Jefferson Louvat - A Walk With YouTHIERRY MASSOUBRE & JEFFERSON LOUVAT
Acoustic Music Records

What do you get when a French guitarist and a Belgian mandolin player record in Nashville for a German record label? In the case of Massoubre the guitarist and Louvat the mandolinist (who also picks some guitar), it’s a splendid acoustic, all-instrumental CD sure to please anyone who appreciates inventive, melodic musicianship with deeply planted American roots.

The duo is aided by Stuart Duncan (fiddle), brother Steve Louvat (banjo), and Missy Raines (bass), who provide understated backing on some tracks, notably “Crossing The Strings,” which features some mind-bending crosspicking by Massoubre, and “Frosty Hill,” but the spotlight here is on the two main musicians whose interplay approaches the magical. The bluesy, haunting “Vendanges tardives” is a prime example of this alchemy, a tune played with no flash, but only the right notes that create a striking, simple beauty. The leisurely “Les vacances de Chester B.” features some Chet Atkins-like fingerpicking from Massoubre, while “Dun Laoghaire Reel” shows off the best of Louvat’s clean, precise, and tasteful mandolin.

The overall effect of this CD matches its title and the mood of its title track: it’s very much like a walk through the woods with a couple of great friends. The terrain and scenery change along the way, but the exquisite company knits it all together into an extraordinary, unforgettable experience. (Acoustic Music GmbH & Co.KG, Postfach 1945, 49009 Osnabruck, Germany, www.acoustic-music.de.) AKH