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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Various Artists

Pickin' on Pink Floyd: A Bluegrass Tribute

Review by Gary Hill

The idea of doing bluegrass versions of Pink Floyd songs is strange, but it works remarkably well. No, I don’t consider this to be progressive rock in and of itself – although it has its moments – but considering the source material I think it fits into this category. Also, it should be mentioned that this is unlike most various artists albums in that everyone on the CD plays on every song – basically it’s a bunch of guys getting together to do all this music. All in all it’s a great disc. If you like Pink Floyd, pick it up. It will be entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
See Emily Play
This cut from the psychedelic era of Pink Floyd seems well suited for this, oddly enough. It's full on bluegrass, but yet there are definite melodies from the original. Somehow they manage to bring in the psychedelic weirdness, too. This is a great song and an excellent opener.
Money
I make out plenty of the original melody on this one and it’s almost as much rock as it is bluegrass. I can also hear some Western movie soundtracks at points here. This is a great tune. It gets pretty intense at times.
Astronomy Domine
Parts of this are somehow not that different from the original. Still others feel more like Steve Howe. However you slice it, though, this is quite a cool piece of music. 
Julia Dream
There’s almost a European café kind of texture to a lot of this track. This is intricate and quite pretty.
Another Brick in the Wall

It’s almost scary how well this rocker works as a bluegrass song.

Run Like Hell
This one also makes a good bluegrass song, but I hear a lot less of the original on this. It’s there, but almost unrecognizable a lot of the time. 
Wish You Were Here
Another where it’s almost frightening how well this translates to bluegrass music, this is definitely one of the highlights of the set. 
Breathe in the Air
This one works remarkably well at times feels like it could actually have fit onto a Pink Floyd album. 
Lucifer Sam
Bouncy and fun, this is a cool little dittie. 
Comfortably Numb
This really captures a lot of Pink Floyd in its web while still weaving plenty of pure bluegrass into the mix. 
Time
While some of this seems like pure bluegrass with little tying it to the Pink Floyd cut there are segments which directly correlate. The harmonica adds a lot to this piece.
Goodbye Blue Sky
This moody guitar based piece translates surprisingly well and makes for a great closer.
 
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