J.D. Crowe & the New South's eponymous debut album is one of the most influential and pioneering records in the history of bluegrass. For the first edition of the New South, Crowe assembled a stellar group of musicians -- including Ricky Skaggs (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Tony Rice (lead vocals, guitar), and Jerry Douglas (dobro) -- and gave them each equal weight. Consequently, this is vibrant collaborative music, not just a leader with some faceless studio hacks. Furthermore, Crowe pushed the music in new direction with his section of material, taking songs from contemporary singer/songwriters like Gordon Lightfoot, adding a couple of originals, as well as standards. With such an eclectic selection of songs, plus the band's trailblazing instrumental style, The New South did indeed offer a new kind of bluegrass and its impact could still be felt years after its release.