Written by 7:42 am Audiophile Music

New CD Reviews for 5-4-12

This week’s new releases include a killer solo guitar album, a driving bluegrass CD, some eclectic acoustic jazz, and Edie Brickell’s latest…


Title: Trace Bundy – Elephant King

Genre: Acoustic, Instrumental, Solo guitar

Description: Although you can hear Michael Hedges’ influence on his guitar tapping and fingerstyle technique, musically Trace Bundy is his own man. His lead lines are lyrical, yet he never sacrifices pace and momentum for the sake of an overly florid variation. With a rock-solid sense of time and rhythm, Bundy’s playing never meanders as he treks through harmonically lush musical landscapes.

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



Title: Carrie Hassler – The Distance

Genre: Bluegrass, Acoustic

Description: Opening your album with “Luxury Liner” takes a certain amount of self-confidence, especially if you’re a female vocalist; But Carrie Hassler owns this tune after the second bar. Her lead vocals have a driving edge that propels the tune forward in a way that makes Emmylou Harris’ original version sound slightly sleepy. This is the album that should earn Hassler a spot among the first tier female bandleaders of bluegrass. She’s that good.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8.5, Sonically – 8



Title: The Joe Craven Trio – All For One

Genre: Acoustic, Jazz, New World,

Description: Eclectic has long been the first word that comes to mind when describing Joe Craven. His music combines so many diverse elements from traditional American music (both north and south) that it is practically its own genre. But essentially Craven and his fellow travelers are jazzers – give ’em a theme and they cook up variations.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 8.5



Title: Evie Ladin Band – Evie Ladin Band

Genre: Acoustic, Old Timey, Dance

Description: That Evie Ladin is a dancer explains her attention to rhythm. Unlike old timey influenced acoustic bands that intentionally blur some of their music’s edges, every rhythmic pattern on this album is clearly delineated. On Ladin’s vocals you’ll hear a hip-hop level of precision on every syllable. Even her frailling banjo style is cleaner and more on the beat than most players who use this style. Beautifully recorded, the percussion sounds especially natural.

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



Title: The Gaddabouts – Look Out Now

Genre: Pop, Rock

Description: The Gaddabouts consists of Edie Brickell, Steve Gadd, Pino Palladino, Andy Fairweather-Low, and friends. For their second release the band had so much material from only two recording sessions that it spilled onto a second CD. Very well recorded, with a loose improvisational feel that only experienced pro players possess, it’s easy to connect with the band’s good humor.    

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

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