Old Time Radio
Old Time Radio - Lay Your Money Down - Riding Every Rail - Get Ready Sweet Betty - By The Ohio
Well by golly, I've listened to a lot of music in my many years, and have moaned my head off because of the lack of 'real' old-time music, or rural music, or music something other than the top-40 music charts, all of which is 'pop' music no matter what they call it, and then along comes a musical group like the Little Riddles. This band emanates from Minnesota, you betcha, and they not only know how to put new ideas into old systems, and make it work, they make it sound terrific in the doing. I loved the 'mix' on this album, I can hear all the lyrics, some very inspirational writing. Just the way it should be, not hidden in the sound track to be covered up the inept writing of today's country and pop music. This album is a kind of 'folk' music, but I hasten to identify it as more remarkable than 'just that.' I'm really impressed with the 'writing' as well as the melody lines. All new and old at the same time. I was a great fan of the Beatles, and I hear a little bit of them in "Get Ready Sweet Betty." Another super old-timey/new-timey song that sounds great. They don't tell us who is playing what, but Rob Pieh, Rachel Calvert, Daniel Lohmann, and JakeArthur make up this super band. One of them is a fiddler, a good one right on. I also liked the last song, a sort of take-off on "Banks of the Ohio" and a super 'follow-up' to that song. Just right fiddle here too. Harmony singing is good too, right where it needs to be. Other reviewers classify the Riddle's music as Americana. I would agree with that, but it's much more. It maintains that very close connection to old-time and rural standards, descriptions of musical genres that made it possible for this exhilarating CD to come into existence. Young and fun, to be sure, but old and bold as well. Keep up the good work Little Riddles, I'll have no problem passing this very good artistic work along to the Rural Roots Music Commission. Good luck on that. In the meantime, keep looking out your back door to see where your next inspiration might come from.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - President, National Traditional Country Music Association, for Country Music News International