Moody Bluegrass… Two Much Love, is simply more of everything that made Moody Bluegrass such a moving album, such a powerful combination of the deeply evocative songs of the Moody Blues with some of Nashville’s finest pickers and singers, this time including the most honored man in contemporary country music, Vince Gill. Like the other Nashvillians on the project, Vince has deep roots in bluegrass (including a stint with the aforementioned Bluegrass Alliance while still in his teens) and his opening track, “I Know You’re Out There,” teams him with one of the best harmony singers around, GRAMMY-winning producer Carl Jackson. The song also introduces the Moody Bluegrass Band, with David Harvey on mandolins, Tim May on guitar, Andy Hall on resonator guitar, Andy Toddon bass and Barry Crabtree on banjo. Daniel Carwile fills out the sound with his one-man string section, wizardry he repeats throughout the album.
Tim O’Brien brings his trademark wit to Ray Thomas’ “Dear Diary,” putting a very Nashville bluegrass spin on it with a recitation that namechecks Bluegrass Unlimited, “The Cherryholmes family” and Phonoluxe, one of Nashville’s favorite record stores. EngineerJohn Caldwell expertly channels Nick Forster for his harmony vocal debut, but for Moody Blues fans, the highlight here is the presence of two founding Moodies - flutist Ray Thomasand keyboardist Mike Pinder (who left the group in 1978) playing a vintage mellotron, the Moodies’ signature synthesizer.