Written by 7:47 am Audiophile Music

New CDs For 3-23-12

Five albums in this week’s new release reviews feature folk, blues, bluegrass, and Americana.


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Title: Claudia Schmidt – Bend In the River

Genre: Folk, Singer Songwriter

Description: Prairie Home Companion fans should be
familiar with Claudia Schmidt’s music since she’s a regular musical guest there.
Her career began over thirty years ago – she’s released sixteen albums. Bend in The River gives folks who aren’t
familiar with her work a chance to catch up. It contains several selections
from each of her five previous Red House Records releases. The title cut comes
from her 1987 release, Big Earful, which
aptly sums up you will hear – delicately nuanced vocals, sharp songwriting, and
superb accompanists.

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

        

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Title: Peter Mulvey – The Good Stuff

Genre: Folk, Roots

Description: Once you get past the opening cut, a
soporific rendition of Melvern Taylor’s “Sad and Blue,” Peter Mulvey’s
treatments of songs written by other songwriters kicks into high gear. Randy
Sabien’s fiddle solo on “(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” is so hot it’s downright
evil. But nothing upstages Peter Mulvey’s vocals. Both his phrasing and the
timbre of his voice draw you into each song, sorta like the distaff equivalent
of a Siren. His “Mood Indigo” is dreamy…

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 7.5

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Title: Steep Canyon Rangers – Nobody Knows You

Genre: Bluegrass

Description: Those five fresh-faced young men playing
behind Steve Martin during his recent concert tours have a name – The Steep
Canyon Rangers
. They’ve been together since 2000. For their seventh album, Nobody Knows You, the Rangers have honed
their sound, emphasizing their multi-part lead vocals and songwriting. Sure,
they’re all still hot pickers, but this album is more about songs than picking.
Want to hear one of the future of bluegrass? It’s here on Nobody Knows You.

Rating (0- 10): Overall – 9, Sonically – 8.5

 

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Title: Josh Harty – Nowhere

Genre: Singer Songwriter, Folk

Description: Drunkenness, suicide, love, loss, all those basic
Americana values, that’s what you’ll find in the seven songs on Josh Harty’s
EP/Album, Nowhere. His six originals
hold up well in contrast to the lone cover, Richard Thompson’s “52 Vincent,”
which has become one of those songs that everyone wants to cover but very few
do cover successfully. Harty’s live version gets off to a rocky start, rhythm
wise, before settling into comfortable backhanded gallop. By the end he’s got
you.

Rating: (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 7

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Title: Eric Bibb – Deeper
In The Well

Genre: Blues, Roots, Folk

Description: Eric Bibb has been drinking deeply from the source
pools of acoustic blues and folk music throughout his career. For his latest
album Bibb enlisted roots multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell and Creole fiddler
Cedric Watson. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Michael Bishop using a Sonoma
DSD and Korg MR2000S DSD recorders, it sounds like I wish every acoustic album
would sound. Killer.

Rating: (0- 10): Overall – 8, Sonically – 9.5

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