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CD: PHIL NUSBAUM - The Dark Before The Storm

The Dark Before The Storm
The Dark Before The Storm - From Moville to Red Oak - Stumbling - Forever Yours - A Fine Day - Boys Of Wexford/Scotland The Brave/Come Dance And Sing - Limehouse Blues - Remembrance of You - Wind Chill - Blues For Shorty - In Your Face
This enchanting CD was recorded in a number of sessions utilizing the very obvious talent of a number of terrific acoustic musicians in Minnesota.  Standing out front of course is the '5-string banjo' of Phil Nusbaum, but he also used a trio of fiddlers on various songs that created an atmosphere of very different sounding banjo interpretations of various musical endeavors that 'matched' the additions of the fiddlers, as well as some super original banjo 'licks.'  Ron Siegel, Joe Davoli, and Gary Schulte provided the violin/fiddle additions throughout, and it made for a valid listening experience, quite a lot different than a typical 'bluegrass' music show, including some bluegrass of course but much more, even including a trip into very 'old-time' sounding music that isn't very bluegrass like at all, and certainly not heard very much anymore, so that alone made the musical adventure super fun to listen to.  I was hoping there might be lyrics to "From Moville to Red Oak" both Iowa towns of importance to me personally, instead it's a delightful interlude to the trickly little things the fingers can do on a five-stringed instrument not often found in melody lines like this.  Phil created this one, along with quite a few other numbers, some of them he wrote from snookering as they often call it in developing musical melody lines.  All of these numbers are super well done.  The first vocal number is an old Carl Perkins song "Forever Yours" which definitely took me back to the 'twenties' in style and vocal interpretation.  What fun this must have been to record.  Another interesting song is "Limehouse Blues" a roaring twenties style song, but on the 5-string rather than the 4-string tenor banjo.  This entire CD is  kick-back to what music was like in the past, and what it sounds like in the present, and will certainly extend into the future.  Phil Nusbaum, who does a lot of radio work for National Public Radio in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, is being recognized for his long tenure playing and promoting old-time music with a new twist, by being inducted into America's Old Time Music Hall of Fame this year at the 40th annual convention of the National Traditional Country Music Assn.  (August 31-Sept 6, LeMars, Iowa) on Thursday, Sept 3.  The last song on this album "In Your Face" uses a heavy bass line to do exactly that.  Thoroughly enjoyable, this album goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission, hopefully they'll still have time to consider it for honorarium this year, but I might be too late.
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine

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