Thursday, 29 November 2012
While Hills of Alabam is a new release, the material all dates from the early 1980s or thereabouts—it’s a compilation of material from two Front Porch String Band albums, the only ones that were ever released, with the one exception being “The Day that Lester Died” which comes from Mark Newton’s album Follow Me Back to the Fold.
For fans of Claire Lynch—and frankly, who isn’t—this album is a delight. The instrumentation sparkles, as does the quiet energy of the material. Yet, despite the extremely tight and tasteful instrumentalists, Lynch’s voice steals the show pretty much throughout.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Byron Berline has released a great new CD of fiddle standards and original instrumentals. The title of the CD is Jammin' With Byron. According to my Bryon detection meter, that's two releases in two years after a bit of an absence from the recording studio. I like this cadence!
This CD harkens back to Byron's earliest music influences and recordings (though with some contemporary arrangements). It has the relaxed feel of a jam session but clearly we are treated to some of the very best texas-style fiddling and bluegrass instrumental playing.
Friday, 23 November 2012
Last Saturday (November 17, 2012) night’s Lonesome River Band concert at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie provided a vivid reminder of why people go to live performances rather than just sitting at home with CD’s or the radio. The evening was filled with great harmonies, spectacular solo and ensemble instrumentals and fresh interpretations of old tunes. In the words of Lynn Lipton, “it was back-to-back great, toe-tapping music!”
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Partnering with an orchestra seems to be the thing to do these days. Bela Fleck did it last year with his concerto, as did the Kruger Brothers, as did Ricky Skaggs with the Boston Pops a few years ago, and as did Cherryholmes before they disbanded. It’s easy to wonder what the impulse is. The pessimist might say that it’s a desire for respectability or, in the case of the Jay Unger and Molly Mason Family Band, a desire to take their music into bigger markets.
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."