Thursday, November 15, 2012

CD REVIEW - Siamese Cousins - 2 Chairs, No Waiting

By: W.J. Hallock

Siamese Cousins - 2 Chairs, No Waiting

Released: Sept. 2012

Label: Mountain Roads Recordings

I have been very lucky since Brian McNeal asked me to start reviewing new bluegrass CD releases for Prescription Bluegrass. My intake of new music has increased drastically! And I’ve been at it long enough now that I’m starting to do follow up’s on previous reviews and artists, which only adds to the pleasure.

Such was the case when I received a new disc from Mountain Roads Recordings called “2 Chairs, No Waiting” by SIAMESE COUSINS. Edwin Lacy, on vocals and claw hammer banjo, and Scott Freeman on vocals, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and bass, are the “SIAMESE COUSINS” in question. The name comes from the fact that Edwin and Scott have been playing together for so long, in one musical incarnation or another, that they consider themselves “joined at the frets.” NOW I get it! Works for me!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CD REVIEW – Ry Cooder - Election Special

By Dan King

Ry Cooder - Election Special

Label: Nonesuch Records

Released:  August 2012

Woody Guthrie did it. Pete Seeger did it. Joan Baez did it. Musical artists down through time have enlisted their craft to make a political point or foster social change. August 2012 found Ry Cooder carrying on that tradition with the release of his latest short play CD – “Election Special.”

“Election Special” is a poignant view of political issues that were hot leading up to the 2012 presidential election, many of which promise to hang around if the post-election turmoil is any indication. Within this work, Cooder utilizes traditional roots music instrumentation and his rough but sincere vocal styling to weave his way through nine original compositions that absolutely drip with musical genius and political insight. Hailing from a generation that started off wanting to change the world but somehow got lost along the way, Cooder is as radical and focused as any 60’s cause artist on “Election Special.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CD REVIEW - The Grass Cats - The Mountains My Baby and Me

By: W.J. Hallock

The Grass Cats - The Mountains My Baby and Me

Record Label: New Time Records

Released: July, 2012

     Sometimes I just can’t help myself….. I’ll make sure the CD’s I want to review are all in a neat, orderly pile, and I try soooo hard to listen to them in the order they arrive at my doorstep. I’m a lucky man, there are lots of CD’s to choose from. Then my schedule gets all messed up, because sometimes, one shows up and I’ve already heard some of the artist’s previous music, and I just get nosey. So much for good intentions…….

      The first track that I listened to off  The Grass Cats newest CD, “The Mountains My Baby And Me,” is called LIFE IN THE MINES. I’m a sucker for coal minin’ songs, so I thought I’d check out just this one tune and then get back on schedule. So much for makin’ schedules….. There are seven original songs by Russell Johnson, lead singer and mandolin player, on this thirteen song disc. LIFE IN THE MINES is co-written with Gary Whitt, and it is one dy-no-mite song! A sad, mournful minor key gem with great lyrics, harmony, twin fiddles, dobro and passion in it’s presentation, I was hooked and had to give in and listen to more.  So much for makin’ this CD wait it’s turn…….

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