New CD Reviews for 4-6-12


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Title: AudioPhysic - 25 Years

Genre: Classical

Description: To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Audio Physic speaker company has produced an album of classical music. Drawn from the archives of Turtle Records, a small audiophile label based in the Netherlands, this CD includes sixteen tracks of chamber music, arias, concertos, and symphonies by various composers from the late 16th through the 20th century. You'll find compositions by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and Beethoven along with pieces by lesser-known composers including Hugo Dister and Andre Jolivet. The sound is uniformly excellent and since it was all done on location in many different rooms, gives listeners an opportunity to hear a variety of elegant recording solutions.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 9

 

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Title: Life Goes On - Musicians Against Childhood Cancer

Genre: Bluegrass, Country,

Description: A live concert recording, made during the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Bluegrass Festival, features 39 performances by 139 artists. Recorded between 2006 and 2011, the sound quality varies from acceptable board mix to excellent depending on the artist. Some cuts, such as Rhonda Vincent's rendition of the gospel classic, "The Water is Wide," and Sierra Hull's original instrumental, "Smashville," are simply superb. 

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 9, Sonically - 7

 

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Title: MERCYLAND - Hymns For The Rest of Us

Genre: Folk, Bluegrass, Country, Rock,

Description: This concept album was Kickstarter-financed and is based on this simple premise, "God is just love." Phil Madeira approached a widely divergent group of musicians and asked them to record what they considered a hymn. The results include ten original and two traditional songs from the likes of Dan Tyminski, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Mullins, Buddy Miller, and John Scofield. The recording quality is well above average, and some of the performers, such as the Carolina Chocolate Drops used a minimally mic'ed, recording technique that have a particularly alluring midrange aliveness. The title cut from producer Madeira features a killer electric bass sound as well as lovely acoustic and electric guitar solos.   

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 9, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Brand New Strings - Stay Tuned

Genre: Bluegrass

Description: With an EP-length CD, Brand New Strings introduces us to their particular brand of bluegrass. Strongly traditional, built around guitarist Randall Massengill's tenor and mandolinist Mike Ramsey's lead vocals, the band combines tight arrangements with hard-driving energy. More rootsy and rustic than Rhonda Vincent or Ricky Skaggs, Brand New Strings are closer to Del McCoury or Dry Branch Fire Squad.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: David Chesky - String Theory

Genre: Classical

Description: When he's not riding herd over Chesky Records or HD Tracks, David Chesky is a contemporary classical composer. His latest recorded compositions are on the album String Theory, which includes a concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra, a concerto for violin and orchestra, and the title piece for orchestra. The music is highly accessible, with a plethora of rhythmically diverse passages. Recorded, edited, and mixed by Alex Sterling, the album sounds wonderful. And, yes, you can get higher than standard redbook 44.1/16 versions via HD Tracks.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 9

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