A Beautiful Picture / Instrumental Favorites

Mike Conroy
A Beautiful Picture (Mike & Tari Conroy) & Instrumental Favorites (Mike Conroy & Steve Ralston)
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Coming to you from the wild mountains of Montana are two well-crafted, low-key CDs from Mike and Tari Conroy, with friend Steve Ralston. A Beautiful Picture is a collection of gospel songs done in the Skaggs & Rice tradition – just two voices, accompanied by mandolin and guitar. All of the tunes are well-known, familiar favorites. There’s no new ground broken here, but the performance is clean and sincere with a simplicity that lets the listener get right to the core of the music.

Instrumental Favorites features Mike Conroy on mandolin and Ralston on lead guitar, rambling through a collection of fifteen instrumental duets. Again, most of the tunes are familiar, with a couple of notable exceptions like Hot Stuff, probably most familiar from the recording by Mike Auldridge & Old Dog. The diversity is awfully nice, from breakdowns to blues to waltzes. Conroy and Ralston are fine pickers and Instrumental Favorites is a fine showcase for their skills.

Shook Mountain Records, P. O. Box 144, Conner, MT 59827
Published in Bluegrass Unlimited, April 2001. Used with permission.