Warp Factor No. 9
Label: New Rounder
Back Home in Sulphur Springs is the kind of gentle, country-folk pastoral that John Denver would've made had the dude been one of the most insanely talented bluegrass pickers of all time. This is the genius of Norman Blake: he comes off as laid-back and easygoing, but never sappy. And that's because he's a mountain hippie who can totally shred. Simply dig the way he follows up a song titled "When the Fields Are White with Daisies" with the head-spinning breakdown "Cattle in the Cane."