Written by 6:32 am Audiophile Music

New Releases For 6-10-13

This month had so much great new music that Steven Stone had to write a second column to cover it all…



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Della Mae – This World Oft Can Be

Genre: Bluegrass, Old-Timey, Roots

Recorded at Johnny Cash’s former recording studio in Henderson,
Tennessee, the five-piece acoustic band, Della Mae’s first album balances roots
influences with contemporary sensibilities. Produced by flatpicking guitar master,
Bryan Sutton, the playing on
This World
Oft Can Be
is impeccably tight without sounding rote or overly rehearsed. That’s
because everyone in the band has great chops. I’ve watched Della Mae’s
guitarist, Courtney Hartman, playing at jams at RockyGrass Academy. She can
shred with the best of them. The band’s fresh and guileless multi-part vocals also
add to their music’s momentum and energy. If you like modern acoustic music
Della Mae will check all your boxes.

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

 

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Hot Club of Cowtown – Rendezvous in Rhythm

Genre: Swing, Jazz, Stringband

The Austin, Texas-based trio, Hot Club of Cowtown, have
specialized in acoustic swing since they formed in 1997. Their previous albums concentrated on Western swing, but for their latest the band focused their
musical attention of Gypsy Jazz and French Swing. Their versions of Django
Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s “Minor Swing, and “Douce Ambiance” are
guaranteed to get you swinging, even if it’s only from side to side in your
favorite listening chair. The overall sonics are excellent with just the right
amount of ambience and room sound so each of the three principal instruments,
fiddle, guitar, and acoustic bass, have equal emphasis.

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

 

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Don Rigsby – Doctor’s Orders

Genre: Bluegrass

Dr. Ralph Stanley has been Don Rigsby’s idol ever since
Rigsby’s sixth birthday when his parents took him to the Paramount Theater to
see Stanley’s show. Since then Rigby has gone on to become a well-respected
mandolin player and lead vocalist. He’s played in J. D. Crowe’s New South and
Lonesome River Band as well as releasing five solo albums. For his latest solo
release Rigsby chose songs from Dr. Stanley’s traditional repertoire. Stanley
makes cameo vocal appearances on several of the fourteen songs, but the real
star here is Rigsby’s ability to render Stanley’s songs in a direct manner that
emphasizes each song’s power and presence.

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

 

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Rebecca Frazier – When We Fall

Genre: Bluegrass

Rebecca Frazier’s voice is a nearly perfect bluegrass
instrument – both powerful and delicate. She also happens to be a fine
songwriter, as demonstrated by the nine original songs on
When We Fall. Joined by her husband John Frazier on mandolin,  Scott Vestal and Ron Block on banjo, Shadd
Cobb on fiddle, Andy Hall on Dobro, and Ron Bales on bass, Frazier handles all
the guitar parts herself. She is a monster flatpicker, with a crisp clean
attack and superb timing. Her playing on the instrumental “Clifftop” will make
most guitarists envious. When Frazier’s last band, Hit and Run Bluegrass,
disbanded I was bummed, but Rebecca Frazier’s return to recording and hopefully
touring should bring a smile to anyone who appreciates fine picking and
singing.

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

 

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The Roys – Gypsy Runaway Train

Genre: Bluegrass, Country, Folk

For their third release the brother-sister duo, The Roys,
further refine their special brand of bluegrass. Lead by their perfectly
in-synch dual lead vocals, sophisticated arrangements and well-constructed
original songs, the Roys have a smoother and more urbane edge to their music
than most “traditional” bluegrass bands. Co-produced by Andy Leftwich, the
backing band includes Cody Kilby on guitar, Randy Kohrs on dobro, Justin Moses
on banjo, and Mark Fain on bass. If you know someone who likes country miusic,
but complains that bluegrass is too “whiney” and rustic, the Roys’ contemporary
bluegrass sound may be just the thing to ease them into the fold.

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

 

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The Beautiful Old – Turn-of-the-century Songs

Genre: Americana, Folk

This concept album features turn-of-the-century songs preformed
by contemporary roots, folk, and Americana artists. Produced by Paul Marsteller
and Gabriel Rhodes, performers include Richard Thompson, Kimmie Rhodes, Graham
Parker, Garth Hudson, Carrie Elkin, Kim Richey, Eric Bibb, Christine Collister,
and Richard Green. The tunes include well-known titles, such as “Silver Dagger,”
“Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and ” The Band Played On,” as well as more
obscure songs. With nineteen songs,
The
Beautiful Old
demonstrates why some songs are still with us, even after a
century after they were penned.

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

 

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