Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | Photos | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - The Hidden Land Review
By Dan Upton

In case you've been living under a rock for about the last 20 years, or maybe are just oblivious to things like jazz and bluegrass, the Flecktones could use a little introduction. Formed in 1998, they've performed an unlikely combination of bluegrass and jazz fusion sometimes termed "blu-bop" and spend large amounts of time touring including stints with various jam bands. In 2005 the band took a hiatus where all of the members worked with side/solo projects and Bιla took a trip to Africa. Their 9th release (not counting live sets), The Hidden Land, reins in things a little bit compared to their previous offering, 2003's three-disc set Little Worlds.

Before getting into the actual meat of the music, I watched the DualDisc DVD footage which contains a short film called "Bring It Home." Some of the parts of the video are obviously a joke; for instance, Big Foot coming up and knocking on Bιla's door, only to be turned away from his lesson, or the band sending Jeff Coffin out into the middle of a field for rehearsal so as not to be overpowered by his baritone sax. On the other hand, they say Victor Wooten hasn't been speaking for a while, and he spends the first half of the video communicating only via writing on a whiteboard. While some of the introduction is entertaining, the real gem of the DVD part is video at a jazz workshop including some question-and-answer and live performances of "Over the Wall," the intro to "Puffy," and "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie." Just a word of caution about DualDiscs though, the CD side doesn't conform to the CD audio standard and won't always play. For instance, none of the computers I tried were able to play it; fortunately, the DVD side also includes stereo and 5.1 surround versions of the CD. If you can play the CD side of the DualDisc, or don't mind listening to it through a DVD player, the live performance is definitely worth the price to upgrade.

The CD opens with a Bach fugue, which I imagine sounds somewhat different than Bach ever imagined when played on banjo and sax. This leads into "P'lod in the House," which percussionist Future Man explained was about the alien who shakes the hand of the winning presidential candidate on the cover of tabloids. This song marks one end of the spectrum of the CD's tonal palette, with Bιla's typical electric banjo tone and a wild, rather unconstrained free jazz jam in the middle. On the other end of the spectrum is "Labyrinth," a moody, atmospheric piece with a twangy piezo guitar and background vocals and scat singing by Future Man. Some other standouts are the Brazilian-influenced "Rococo," the interesting, out-there harmonies of "Who's Got Three?" and "Weed Wacker," with a long smooth solo section that transitions first into bluegrass-style banjo rolls and then into an upbeat, wah-drenched groove.

So what's the verdict? If you're a fan of all things Flecktones, you probably already have this, and if not, you should stop reading immediately and go buy it. People turned off by the sprawling, little-bit-of-everything nature of Little Worlds should give this a try too, as it's somewhat more accessible while still completely retaining everything that's great about the Flecktones. And for anybody sitting quietly on the sidelines, this wouldn't be a bad introduction. In short, if you have any interest at all in creative, exploratory instrumental music, you should check this out.

CD Info and Links

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - The Hidden Land


Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review



News Reports
• Day in Rock:
Muse Release New Video 'Something Human'- Def Leppard Streaming Unexpected Cover- Billy Joel Jams With Bruce Springsteen At Milestone Concert- David Bowie Box Set- more

• Day in Pop Dead & Company Hit Milestones On Summer Tour- Uli Jon Roth Announces 50th Anniversary Tour Dates- Unseen And Heard Leonard Cohen 1972 Tour Rediscovered- more

• Yesterday's Day in Rock: Taylor Swift Reveals Her Mother Has Cancer- Rich Homie Quan Surrenders To Police Over Alleged Nightclub Assault- Justin Bieber Duets With Ariana Grande- Mumford & Sons- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


• Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

• Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

• Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

• The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

• Trauma Interview

• December in Red - The Way Out

• Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

• SOKO Interview

• The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

• Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

• Death Penalty - Death Penalty

• On The Record: The Wild Beyond

• RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

• Michael Ubaldini Interview

• Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

Today's Rock News

• Ozzy Sets Home On Fire

• Santana, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie Reunite at Journey Show

• Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested

• Iron Maiden Tops Billboard's Hot Tours Chart

• Pop Star Fergie Names Son After Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose

• Jack White Recording New Songs With The Dead Weather

• Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington Reveal EP Details

• The Who Releasing Massive Super Deluxe Edition of Tommy

• Paul McCartney Talks New Song and His Plans Never To Retire

• August Burns Red Announce Special Screening of Documentary

• The National Curating Grateful Dead Tribute Album

• KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Announce Book Signings

• Mike Portnoy Reveals Full Progressive Nation At Sea Lineup

• Saxon's Biff Byford Explains Evil Look Was Down To Illness

• Astrid Kirchherr's Early Beatles Photos To Be Exhibited Next Month

• Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck Footage Goes Online

• Red Fang Streaming New Song ' Blood Like Cream' Online

• Sammy Hagar Compares Les Paul Guitars To Muscle Cars

• What Do Crocheting And Rock 'N' Roll Have In Common? Deap Vally

• Classic Rock Going Country

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

Today's Pop News

• North Korea Reportedly Execute 12 Musicians

• Jay-Z Releases Holy Grail Video Featuring Justin Timberlake

• Big Sean in Fall Out Boy's New Video

• Thousands of Justin Timberlake Fans Flood 'Take Back The Night' Filming

• Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O Unplugs

• Miguel Covers Pink's Just Like A Pill

• Eric Church Going In A Different Direction With 'Chief' Follow Up

• Kip Moore Has Almost Finished New Album

• Juicy J Twerk Tweet Ends Up As Scholarship Competition

• Danny Brown's On Stage Sex Act Was Not Planned

• Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

• Singled Out: Dulcinea Renee's Pictures Of You

More News

anti Worthy Links
• The Screen Door • superLOUD • A Journal of Musical Things • Lloyd Zeffler blog • Demolish Mag • Nightwatcher's House of Rock • CJ Chilvers • Deja Voodoo • The 1st Five • • Hard Rock Memorabilia • Day in Rock @twitter

New Mystery Book from
antiMusic's Dawn Marie Fichera!

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!


Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2013 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.