January 08, 2005
Favorites of the Week:
Balder Saunders in the old Net Ban'd and the new Dread Clampitt (CDs available from DreadClampitt.com)
Ray Davis' Radio Series Vol 1-4 (featuring Owen Saunders & many others). Oddly, the only way this series seems to be available is for a donation premium from Bluegrass.org. I highly recommend all 4 CDs. They're nonstop max bleugrass greatness from all ranges of the dial. From the gorgeous singing of James King, to the pure'n'classy harmonizing of Dave Davis, to the gruff fiddling of Owen...to perhaps my favorites: the wild'n'wooly GILLIS BROTHERS. True whisky-drinking yee-haw players who prove why 'grass easily keeps up with rock and punk in the energy and memorable characters department.
David Davis and the Warrior River Boys -- Fine, sweet, pro bluegrass harmonizing. Dave Davis is the lead singer---he has a sweet voice. He gets backup harmony from his hefty bass player. When their voices merge it's really something. You have to hear something like this to say you've heard proper music or singing. A family friend is the fiddler player. He has a gruff, gravely voice that wasn't fit into this pure-singing CD very often. All these guys are shining at least as nicely on the Ray Davis Basement Tapes Radio Series---with highpoints from a wider range of musicians ranging perhaps higher---but the quality here is sweeter and cleaner.
The Dilliards: There Is a Time -- a double record CD of the best of the two phases of popularity for this band. These guys were the ultimate 60's crossover band between oldtime folk and the new hippy vibe. They don't electrify their instruments, though. They just get groovier. Contains a bunch of strong, classic tunes. I love their version of the timeless traditional "Old Blue" from their early work. The last song from their hippy-phase cuts, "She Sang Hymns Out of Tune," is just amazingly haunting. Still, it does seem like this is the kind of band that the movie "A Mighty Wind" is teasing. The joke is a good one. But the music still kicks the movie's behind!
Unbroken Circle: Carter Family covers -- A friend said they just read a new book about 50 unknown American heroes, those who've made the US what it is who not that many know about. It included the Carter Family. Makes sense. All the "Circle" CDs are fine. But this one of pure Carter covers by various hot bands and singers is essential.
Ray Davis' Radio Series Vol 1-4 (featuring Owen Saunders & many others)
Folk Classics Roots of American Folk Music
Em McElderry: "The Blue Sun"---available from OYB Music!
Balder Saunders in the old Net Ban'd and the new Dread Clampitt
Owen Saunders: "12 Gauge Fiddle"---tape he made when he was 16.
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