Monday, 19 November 2012
An apple review from the Big Horse Creek Farm website:
"A long-time Southern favorite, Carolina Red June is believed to have originated in the early 1800's in Tennessee. This apple has long been highly valued for its early ripening qualities. Unlike most early season varieties which fail to develop a full balance of flavors in their short ripening period, Carolina Red June has a high quality flavor making it a first choice for fresh eating and pie making. The tree is very productive and has an unusual habit of occasionally blooming twice in the same season, producing a second, smaller crop of apples in the fall. Fruit is small to medium with smooth, dark red skin and is quite oblong or conical in appearance. The tender, fine-grained flesh is white and sometimes stained with red when eating. Ripens June to July and only a fair keeper."
Sunday, 11 November 2012
It’s hard to believe that No Part Of Nothin' is the first CD by Alan Tompkins. His assured baritone anchors this mellow album of bluegrass classics and originals and gives it the feel of a recording by a much more seasoned artist. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he is joined here by a handful of experienced and recognizable musicians such as Sam Bush, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Ron Stewart, Mike Bub, and Brad Davis to highlight just a few. The net effect is a smooth and professional-sounding offering that bluegrass fans will find easy on the ear.
Friday, 09 November 2012
Like many bluegrass fans of a certain age, I came to it by way of folk music. Although steeped in Fifties rock and roll, I was caught up in the charms of The Kingston Trio and the idea that unamplified acoustic instruments could support songs that seemed instantly singable; mine was a generation that wanted to replicate what we heard, not just listen to it. (High school boys’ rooms had acoustics that did wonders for doo-wop harmonies.) The arrival of Bob Dylan led me (and others) to move beyond the slick pop of Peter, Paul and Mary et al. and to explore the sources of Dylan’s pre-electric work—and that led, inevitably, to his greatest influence, Woody Guthrie.
Saturday, 03 November 2012
There's an energy and insistance to Michael Cleveland's music that sounds fresh yet vaguely familiar- I had to do a little digging into the bluegrass historical archives to figure it out. Before I get to that game of bluegrass band version of Six Degrees from Jimmy Martin (well, actually, in this case, one, but as I said, we'll get back to that in a bit), let's get this out of the way: I think Michael Cleveland is the Kenny Baker/ Byron Berline of his generation. That is, he is not just a talented fiddler, he is utterly expressive with the fiddle, as if there is no separation between his musical thoughts and his beautiful, accurate and soulful fiddle playing.
Friday, 02 November 2012
When a band with the talents and musical pedigree of the Lonesome River Band decides to record an album of songs chosen in a poll of their fans, the appropriate response from most of us should probably be ‘thank you.’ This (their 15th) disc should more than satisfy listeners familiar with the band’s music as well as offering a perfect primer for anyone new to their particular brand of bluegrass.
As the final installment in a trilogy of CD’s, Chronology,Volume 3 rounds out their most recent musical offering with 10 tracks that have both helped to bolster their reputation as a leading modern bluegrass band and define their sound.