Reviews

Review: Jack Dwyer & Tim Connell - Mando Planet

HVBA readers may remember Jack Dwyer from when he used to jam at the Pirate Canoe Club. The boy sure could play! Bill and Kalia Yeagle knew Jack before he moved to NY, back when the Dwyer family lived in Alaska. He was remarkable then too! Bill remembers Jack as having always been a fearless musician with a really great attitude going into any musical venture. Kalia gets to teach with Jack at music camps in Alaska most summers, and it is always a treat to make music with him. Here is Bill and Kalia’s take on Jack’s duo album with Tim Connell:

Review: Bittersweet - Alice Gerrard

The most enduring testament to a musician’s life work is the love and respect of other musicians, and a generation of artists cite Alice Gerrard as a source of inspiration and encouragement, and a reason that they came to love the music of the American South.

In the 40 plus years that she has been singing and playing American Traditional music, Ms. Gerrard has played a pivotal role in the preservation of music from the Southern Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, while herself being one of the founding figures of the modern folk and roots movement. From her early Rounder and Folkways recordings, Alice has performed with some of America’s pre-eminent traditional musicians including Tommy Jarrell, Enoch Rutherford, Otis Burris, Luther Davis and Matokie Slaughter.

Review: Hammertowne

"In most cases, much forethought, planning, and sometimes recruiting, goes into forming a musical unit. But not in this case. This group of musicians gathered in a studio as session players on a solo effort, and something special transpired.

After the stop button had been hit on the first take of the first song, several seconds of complete silence filled the place, until finally from the control room came... "WOW." The energy and musical compatibility was so strong, that the fellows decided they wanted to... TAKE IT OUTSIDE! Thus... HAMMERTOWNE was born!"

Review: Nu-Blu - Ten

Celebrating their 10th year as a band, Nu-Blu has issued their newest release Ten. Founded in 2003 by husband and wife team Daniel and Carolyn Routh, Nu-Blu has developed a strong following while establishing their reputation as a progressive bluegrass band. While firmly versed in the traditions of bluegrass and gospel, they also bring other musical styles into their fresh, contemporary sound. This is a hard working band, their road schedule is relentless, playing many out of the way venues and bringing new audiences to bluegrass.

Review: James King - Three Chords And The Truth

Some types of music have a longer shelf life than others, and I think bluegrass is one of them. Recordings of, say, the Dry Branch Fire Squad made in the 1980s hold up just as well today as when they were recorded. Certainly there are lots of albums like that, ones that were recorded simply, staying apart from whatever musical and music production fads were popular at the time. Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice sound so young on “Skaggs and Rice”—it was recorded in 1980—though it holds up, and we don’t approach it today as a time piece (at least I don’t).

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