A winner of 2019 IBMA Liner Notes Award - 40 page liner notes can be
downloaded for free from
Smithsonian Folkways website.
Excerpts from Akira's liner notes.
In the mid-1960s when I was learning to play mandolin in Japan, one artist
really stood out for me -- John Duffey of the Country Gentlemen. He had an
amazing tenor voice and unique style of mandolin playing. I tried to copy
his breaks note for note -- he was my idol.
In 1970 an owner of Rebel Records, Dick Freeland, and his family came to Japan for a vacation, and after listening to my band, Bluegrass 45, he invited us to tour the States and record for his label. It’s hard to believe but in June of 1971, five Japanese boys were jamming with John Duffey in Dick’s living room in Hyattsville, Maryland. I’m sure we impressed John because we could play any song he had recorded, even though our English was not so good. From that night on, John took me under his wing, and he even produced Bluegrass 45’s album "Caravan" in September that year. I used to see his new group, the Seldom Scene, every week at either the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, Maryland, or the Birchmere in Arlington, Virginia. I accompanied the Scene to Japan as a road manager, soundman, roadie, translator, and tour guide in 1985 and 1991....
"Epilogue: a Tribute to John Duffey" is available through:
Amazon, Apple Music, Smithsonian Folkways
Best bluegrass album in a decade -- maybe longer. Perfect
from first note to last. Don't miss this one!
-- Fred Bartenstein
This project is truly a wonderful tribute to John Duffey
whose influence on bluegrass music will be felt for years to
-- Bill Foster (Bluegrass Unlimited)
This masterful collection, a labor of love for co-producer
and Duffey protégé Akira Otsuka, will give those stories,
and Duffey’s music, extended life.
-- David Morris (Bluegrass Today)
This CD treats listeners to 16-tracks + one bonus track of
modern bluegrass that is cohesive, maintains a generous
dose of vitality and its essence of good music. Did I say
it had lots of gasoline poured on their fiery musical
notes? Well, it does.
-- John Apice (No Depression)
With 50+ musicians paying tribute to one of the most
colorful characters in the history of Bluegrass Music,
how can you go wrong?
-- Amy Orlomoski (WHUS Bluegrass Café)