I first met Cory Piatt three years ago at the Old Fiddlers Convention
in Galax, Virginia.At the time he was a quiet, unassuming kid with undeniable
talent and an insatiable appetite for picking. Fora week it seemed that
just about every bluegrass jam I showed up at, there he was. I have had
the pleasure of picking with Cory at Galax every year since, and I have
seen his talent (and him) grow in spades. In that time he has come to
develop his own voice on the mandolin; a singular sense of timing and
phrasing that stands out like a splash of fire-engine red on a blank gray
canvas. Simply put, Cory Piatt is one of those rare musicians that, once
youve heard him, you will always know when you hear him.
Born in Winston-Salem, NC into a musical family, Cory Piatt discovered
the mandolin at age 7, performing with his family at festivals and contests
in the region. As his talent began to develop, so did his opportunities.
Before long he was on the road with the Texas-based gospel project Appointed.
Currently, Cory makes his home in Nashville, TN, and holds down the mandolin
position for The Kenny and Amanda Smith band. And so the time has come
for a solo project. The new Patuxent Music release, Daydreams, serves
as a fitting introduction to the world of the prodigious talents of Cory
Piatt. The album hits the ground running with the aptly titled original,
Crossfire, a roller-coaster ride of a tune that serves as
both opening statement and appetizer, followed up by the more traditional
and resplendent, Ashleys Reel featuring grand turns
by Scott Vestal and Bryan McDowell on banjo and fiddle, respectively.
Keith lends his stellar vocals to the contemplative Good at Losing
You, while the Piatt/Mcdowell pennedLand Rush features
one of the finest mandolin breaks Ive ever heard captured on record
in Piatts second pass, as well as a game of guitar tag between the
aforementioned McDowell and Jake Stargel that comes up aces. Cory pays
homage to his family band roots with his brother Owen taking crisp banjo
turns on Poor Boy and Sad Songs, the latter featuring
the vocal stylings of Ronnie Bowman, as
well as another ear-bending mandolin break. The album closes with the
Piatt original Universal Truth, which not only closes this
collection in fine fashion, but augurs well for what the future holds
for this stellar young musician.
Mention must be made of the assortment of musicians assembled for this
project. With a core band of Mark Schatz, Randy Kohrs, and the previously
mentioned McDowell, Stargel and Vestal, as well as special guests such
as Ronnie Bowman, Keith Garret, Brandon Bostic and Jimmy VanCleve, the
musicianship present in this collection cant be beat. Yet as accomplished
as the aforementioned individuals may be, the star remains Cory Piatt.
And thats a star that wont be fading anytime soon.
Joseph L. Scott