Monday, September 14, 2009

CD Review- Casey Joe Abair and Hunter Robertson "If you want to sleep, go to bed"

Here's a quick review for an excellent new cd i received a few days ago. Under the evocative title "If you want to sleep, go to bed" (A saying by banjo-player Charlie Lowe, who was a major figure of the Round Peak old-time musical tradition and who liked his music fast...) it contains almost exclusively fiddle and banjo duets by two young musicans, Casey Joe Albair and Hunter Robertson. The fine art of fiddle and banjo duets is the core of american old-time music and the two musicians gives us an excellent and energetic selections of instrumental tunes, some well-known, some more obscure, along with a few old-timey songs sung in the expressive and rough vocal style of banjo player Hunter Robertson. The contrast with the delicate voice of his wife Fereale who join him on three numbers makes a delightful combination (it reminds me of some Blind Willie Johnson numbers where the rough street singer sings with a woman).
An elegant and tasty packaging along with some fine liner notes (the source and tunings are provided for each track) to boot makes this cd a must-have for every fan of authentic and deep appalachian old-time music.
-Go to Hunter Robertson's website to hear some samples of it. You can order the cd directly from the website or from various places like ITUNES, AMAZON, ELDERLY...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mike Seeger-Fresh Oldtime String Band Music

This is my tribute to Mike Seeger who passed away this summer... Mike was one of the greatest revivalist musician that came out of the folk revival and a passionate advocate of american old-time music for more than 50 years, alone and with the New Lost City Ramblers. He played on almost every folk stringed instruments: Guitar, banjo, autoharp, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer... and was a model for a lot of people(including myself) to learn and play authentic old-time country music.
The lp i'm offering today was recorded for Rounder in 1984 and was the result of a project Mike had to present old-time string band music played with new ideas, settings and combinations. He took his more adventurous musical friends along with him, including Norman and Nancy Blake, Alan Jabbour, Kirk Sutphin, Paul Brown and members of new old-time string bands of the time like The Stepping Stones from Washington D.C, Tha Agents of Terra and The Horseflies from Ithaca N.Y.
This recordings sounds as fresh and exciting now as it should have been 25 years ago.