Won't You Come Out Tonight
Cumberland Gap - The Southern Whoopie Song - Polecat Blues - In My Time Of Dying - Reuben - Johnson Boys - Sally Anne - Talking Blues - Elzic's Farewell - Hop High My Lulu Gal - Angels - Buffalo Gals
It is the old-time fiddle of Kate Lissauer that brings the past alive so actively and so vibrantly on this CD. Her ability to 'feel' what those early Appalachian Mountain entertainers did with their music is all here. The Buffalo Gals come from England, and began gathering the tunes and songs of the early mountain folks in 2002. In 2016 they are coming to America to accept a CD of the Year award from the Rural Roots Music Commission. I don't believe there are any 'rules' about winning more than one, for I know once I present 'this' incredibly well produced CD of early American music to them they might just make that possible. The first song on this vibrant CD is "Cumberland Gap" a very important and vital song of the early folks in the mountains. The 'gap' was a way west, the quickest and easiest. This song was first recorded by Gid Tanner and Riley Puckett. Being a close friend of Juanita McMichen, the daughter of Clayton McMichen (Tar Heel Ramblers and Skillet Lickers) worked a lot with Riley. Oh my the stories I could tell she related to me about Riley. Kate does a remarkable job of presenting the song as a gifted fiddler directly from the time frame and the geographic 'style' of the music. She holds the fiddle throughout the entire CD, and finds remarkable follow up with the banjo of Johnny Whelan who is one of the best frailing drop-thumb banjoists I've heard since Ralph Stanley. Add to that Peter Dunn on guitar and Tim Smith on acoustic upright bass. Wow, this is the best (guts of the songs) I've heard in a long time. Add to that the mandolin and guitar of Sue Clare and the foot percussion of Sibylie Riesen and you are going to hear the 'original' country music of America at its very best. The entire selection of songs is remarkable, some incredible up-tempo happy music as well as some old-timey blues songs. I was so impressed with the Buffalo Gals rendition of the Morris Brothers song "Sally Anne." Both of those brothers are still alive and living in Georgia (now in their 90's), doing mostly old-time gospel music, very good friends of myself and my wife Sheila. They made the trek to LeMars, Iowa, a number of years ago, and drove the audience wild with their great old-time gospel music. The same thing will happen to the Buffalo Gals in 2016 when they perform their early American old-time mountain music. For reasons I do not understand I could not get that last two tracks to play, but I'm using a 'not so good' lap top to listen to CD's, and the previous ten songs more than make up for anything I may not have heard. Off this one goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their listening pleasure. Good luck Buffalo Gals see you in LeMars in 2016.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International