Monday, April 20, 2015

CD: FLYNN COHEN - The Lazy Farmer

The Lazy Farmer
Lady Hamilton - Black Is The Color - Cousin Sally Brown - Conversation With Death - Fine Times At Our House/Falls of Richmond - Neighbor Girl - Younjg Emily - A Sailor Being Tired - Booth Shot Lincoln/The Hog Went Through The Fence Yoke And AQll - Carolina Lady - Mathie Grove - A Lazy Farmer Boy
First song on this very interesting CD is an acoustic guitar instrumental.  We're hearing some nice new licks that originated in the very fertile area of Macon County, North Carolina.  Flynn Cohen is the acoustic guitarist as well as the lead vocalist.  He also plays sruti box.  Matt Heaton plays bouzouki and bodhran, and Danny Noveck plays mandolin and fiddle, with Liz Simmons on harmony and vocals.  The third song is another delightful instrumental originally a fiddle tune from Galax, Virginia, played very expertly especially with the prominent rhythmic syncopation the players use.  "Black Is The Color" is not the Donovan song, but rather a traditional Scottish song popular among Celtic lovers.  I liked very much, Flynn's short description...."Traditional music is unique in a new century full of commercial music devoid of historical and cultural connection.  The majority of sounds consumed in the present musical marketplace....are actually most ofen the product of salaried song-writing teams, digital programming and the artifice of sonic manipulation."  Wow, that's saying in a few words what is wrong with the music business today. We hear some more instrumental guitar on 'Fine Times At Our House' with the notation that the creator of the melody was Edden Hammons who played fiddle.  He apparently recorded this particular tune while in his early seventies, even when his wife pled for him to get a real job, he stayed with the fiddle and managed to scrape a living together through 'multiple revenue streams.'  Interesting huh?  Flynn does a nice job on "Neighbor Girl" with his wife Liz adding some very nice traditional harmony.  "A Sailor Being Tired" takes us far into the past when songs were done about true and sometimes 'people-take-warning.'  How different is that from today's music?  The instrument on this song backing Flynn is the sruti box, an Indian type of drone instrument that fits the song incredibly well.  Much of what I hear in Flynn's vocalizations take me back to very early old-time Appalachian Mountain singing.  I'm not sure Flynn would agree with that, but it is a most refreshing opportunity to hear these old songs done so well. He brings his players back to the fold with "A Lazy Farmer Boy" good old-time fiddle, guitar, and mandolin making for sweet backing to Flynn's mountain voice. The enclosed booklet describing these many and various old-time songs is not in the same order as the recorded version, but not a problem.  Good luck Flynn, Matt & Danny, you are doing music that needs to be desperately heard in America today.
for Country Music News International Magazine 
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