On January 23, Rounder Records will proudly release Quartet – the new studio album from Grammy–award winners Peter Rowan and Tony Rice. The highly anticipated follow-up to 2004’s critically-acclaimed You Were There For Me, Quartet marks the recording debut of the road-tested Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, which finds “two ground-breaking and genre-defying musicians” (Nashville Tennessean) supported by Sharon Gilchrist (mandolin, vocals) and Bryn Davies (bass, vocals).
In contrast to You Were There For Me, which was recorded in a variety of studios with an array of backing musicians, Quartet was recorded by the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet in one location – lending the album a striking, classic coherence. Quartet is a fluid and mesmerizing work, featuring an intriguing set of songs both vintage and contemporary. Highlights include five originals by Peter Rowan (“Dustbowl Children,” “Perfection,” “Let the Harvest Go to Seed,” “The Walls of Time,” and a stunning re-imagining of the Old and In the Way classic “Moonlight Midnight”), and a mix of bluegrass standards (“The Sunny Side of the Mountain”), reborn traditional material (“Shady Grove”), and poignant covers of Patti Smith (“Trespasses”) and Townes Van Zandt (“To Live Is to Fly”). The result is an imaginative synthesis that bears traces of Rowan and Rice’s prior groundbreaking achievements, while rooted in the rhythms, improvisational dexterity, and achingly lonesome vocal stylings of classic bluegrass.
The Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet are: Peter Rowan (lead vocals, guitar), Tony Rice (lead guitar), Bryn Davies (acoustic bass, tenor harmony vocals) and Sharon Gilchrist (mandolin, high baritone harmony vocals,). Gilchrist joins the Quartet following up a successful tenure with rising string band sensation Uncle Earl (also on Rounder).