THE BUFFALO GALS
Won't You Be Cruel to be Kind
Sweet Marie - Captain Had A Bulldog - No Good Crazy Woman - Jerusalem Ridge - I Left Her Standing There - Just A Closer Walk With Thee - Frankie - Greasy Coat - Won't You Be Cruel to be Kind - Falls of Richmond - Weary Blues From Waiting - I Wish You Knew - Patty on the Turnpike, Shady Grove - I'm A Wild and Restless Cowboy from the West - Sweet Bye and Bye
The Buffalo Gals are without a doubt the only singular group still playing today, that plays early old-timey country music, and what it was all about. Their sound is almost like taking a huge step into the past. It is so authentic I find it hard to tell the difference between what this English group is doing today from the earliest recordings of Appalachian mountain music, the very best of early American rural music. This is this group's third recorded project, and lest I forget I want you to know who is doing what. Kate Lissauer plays old-time fiddle (extremely well) and also plays banjo occasionally. Sooz Clare is on the ukulele (extremely well), Peter Dunn on guitar (extremely well), Eve Morris on bass (extremely well), Johnny Whelan on banjo (extremely well), and Sibylle Riesen on foot percussion (extremely well), a kind of step dancing with a microphone to capture it with. Interesting, and exciting to hear this music done so well. I really love Kate's version of 'Jerusalem Ridge.' This 'sound' must be very very similar to the earliest of the Monroe versions. Especially good for old-time fiddle, Kate does a 'just-right' interpretation of the music, just as it was handed down in the oral tradition. The melody "Frankie" is the only song recorded by Thomas, but more of his tunes have been found by private recording, and are now available through the Field Recorder's Collective, a project which aims to preserve and disseminate recordings from private field collections, and to make proceeds from their sales available to surviving musicians or to their families. Isn't that the 'way' of rural America, so incredibly different than so-called 'country' music of today. Wow, the 'difference' is just the opposite. I was very impressed with the Buffalo Gals version of the Hank Williams song "Weary Blues From Waiting" just as that early Appalachian mountain musician may have interpreted it. Simply wonderful. Patsy Montana was a very close friend of mine, so an added treat to listening to this CD was the Buffalo Gals version of Patsy's song "I'm A Wild and Restless Cowboy from the West." Good foot percussion here as well as yodeling. The Buffalo Gals are already up for a "CD of the Year" award from the Rural Roots Music Commission, but I will be forwarding this one to them anyway. This wonderful old-timey group from England is going to be on the main stage of the LeMars, Iowa, festival, the 41st one of this high-ranking upper Midwest festival. Dates are Aug 29-Sept 4, mark your calendar and come hear this amazing group keeping America's old-time rural and mountain music alive, along with 500 or so additional performers.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International