Tuesday, January 19, 2016

CD: PHIL NUSBAUM - The Dark Before The Storm - New Banjo Music

The Dark Before The Storm - New Banjo Music
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.
Phil Nusbaum is a Minnesotan who is a banjo player!  Well, yes, that, but he's much more than 'just' a banjo player. He's a banjo player extraordinaire.  He's a composer of music created for the banjo.  He wrote six of the melodies on this CD.  He's a music preservationist, his version of 'Stumbling' in the old New Orleans style proves that, as well as the Blue Sky Boys "Remembrance of You."  He's an old-time vocalist, proven by his "Forever Yours" romantic ballad. He's a 'keeper of the flame' keeping old-time 20's style of music alive, listen to "Limehouse Blues" and you can immediately connect to that great music. He's also an improvisnationist a well-spelled word to describe his work on "In Your Face." Phil Nusbaum is all of these, and more.  He incorporated his music with some incredibly gifted musicians.  On the very first track, "The Dark Before The Storm" he melded his banjo with that of violinist (I would say fiddler but don't want to down-grade ability) Gary Shulte.  He also does the same with guitarist Steve Howard, and uses both of these fine musicians on "In Your Face."  Remarkable to say the least.  In another of his compositions, he switches the fiddle to mandolin, an extremely good one too, Dwight Deason.  He also swaps guitarists frequently in all of these sessions, lending a ton of atmosphere and quality to the entire project. I've always liked the 'banjo' as a musical instrument, it is so vitally important to bluegrass music, and Phil does a good job of keeping that particular style alive in his playing.  But he also likes blues as well as the up-tempo of the 20's music. Makes for a very interesting and entertaining listen.  Oh yes, by the way, Phil Nusbaum is also a shaker and mover on National Public Radio.  Well, you probably already knew that.  Off this very interesting CD goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission.  Phil was inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015, wouldn't doubt he's going to get some more nice honor, memory, and respect coming his way.
for Country Music News International
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