New CD Reviews for 5-18-12


Title: Jimmy Gaudreau & Moondi Klein - Home From The Hills

Genre: Bluegrass, Acoustic, Duets

Description:  Multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein first played together in the mid-90s in the band Chesapeake with Mike Auldridge and Doc Watson's favorite bass player, T. Michael Coleman. After three albums Chesapeake disbanded but Gaudreau and Klein continued playing together. In 2007 they released their first duo album, 2:10 Train. For their second Gaudreau and Klein keep on doing what they do best, which is deliver unique performances of great tunes in a classic brother-duo style. Mastered by David Glasser, the overall sound has a perfect balance of clarity and euphony.

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



Title: Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze - Amanke Dionti

Genre: Jazz, World Music

Description: German-born trumpeter Volker Goetze collaborated with Senegalese kora player and singer Ablaye Cissoko to create a jazz synthesis that combines African rhythms with flowing jazz melody lines. Most of the tunes have a soothing almost new-age quality to them. But unlike most new-age, which tends to ramble aimlessly musically speaking, Goetze and Cissoko's music is trim, tight, and never stops moving forward. Beautifully recorded, the sound here is lusher than a tropical rainforest.

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



Title: Darryl Holter - Crooked Hearts

Genre: Country, Singer-songwriter, Folk

Description: If you prefer singer-songwriters with pretty voices, Darryl Holter probably won't pin your applause-meter. But if you don't mind a little roughness on the vocals, Holter's strong lyrics and melodies will win you over. His backup band includes Grieg Leisz on pedal and lap steel, Matt Rollings on keyboards, and Don Heffington on percussion. Guest appearances by Dave Alvin on vocals, Benmont Tench on keyboards, Gabe Witcher on fiddle and Willie Murphy on guitar add some extra glitter-dust to an already solid album.

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



Title: Bill Wence - Analog Man in a Digital World

Genre: Country, Pop

Description: It doesn't hurt to have "sidemen" like Jonell Mosser, Bekka Bramlett and Gretchen Peters singing on your album, but if you'd played on 615 records, like piano player Bill Wence, you'd know people, too. Four Wence originals join blues classics such as "Fannie Mae" by Buster Brown, and honky-tonk staples including Dean T. Hall's "Forever." Wence's lead vocals are marginal compared to the stellar vocalists backing him up, but there's a reason he's made a living as a piano player for over forty years, not as a lead singer...

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


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Title: Red June - Beauty Will Come

Genre: Folk, Acoustic

Description: For their second release, the trio Red June went to Kickstarter for funds. The results should please anyone who likes acoustic music. With ten original songs, four written by guitarist Will Straughan, three from guitarist and mandolinist John Cloyd Miller, two from Violinist Natalya Weinstein, and one collaborative effort, the band shows its scope and widely diverse influences. With equal parts Celtic, old timey, trad country, jug band, and contemporary folk, Red June typifies what modern folk music is all about.

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

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