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World Music CD Reviews North American

John Starling & Carolina Star

By James Rodgers
Published June 22, 2007

Slidin’ Home

Slidin’ Home, by John Starling & Carolina Star, is one classy bluegrass record. But that’s to be expected from a band made up of Starling, Mike Auldridge and Tom Gray, all members of the original Seldom Scene, the 1970s progressive bluegrass supergroup. The song selection here is superb, covering tracks by Jimmie Rodgers, Gram Parsons, Gillian Welch, Lowell George, Ricky Skaggs, and others. For the cover of “In My Hour Of Darkness,” they get Emmylou Harris to sing harmony vocals, just like she did on the original. The band gets strong support from studio musicians like Jon Randall, Rickie Simpkins, Jimmy Gaudreau, and more, creating a strong, cohesive sound. Although Starling doesn’t have the most original voice, it’s warm and comfortable, and his love and respect for the material always shines through. These artists may be in the home stretch, as the title slyly suggests, but let’s hope the road’s a little longer.