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Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown
Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown
Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown
Genres: Country, Folk
 
Bruce Molsky and Big Hoedown, the 1997 album from the Arlington, Virginia fiddler and his trio-mates, came out at a propitious time. Thanks to the media hoopla over Rounder's reissue of the Alan Lomax recordings and the Sm...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown
Title: Bruce Molsky & Big Hoedown
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder Records
Release Date: 2/2/2009
Genres: Country, Folk
Styles: Bluegrass, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 011661042124, 011661042124

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Bruce Molsky and Big Hoedown, the 1997 album from the Arlington, Virginia fiddler and his trio-mates, came out at a propitious time. Thanks to the media hoopla over Rounder's reissue of the Alan Lomax recordings and the Smithsonian's reissue of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, there's much greater interest in the music of the pre-World War II rural South than in decades. Molsky grew up in New York City, but he got his musical education in the Southern Appalachian Mountains where he studied with such homegrown masters as Tommy Jarrell. Two decades later, Molsky became one of the genre's veterans, and he plays these ancient Celtic-African-American tunes with the authority and patience of someone who is way past trying to impress anyone. This old-timey music predates the bright tone and fast tempos of bluegrass as well as the sing-along melodies and rousing sentiments of '60s folk music. This is a slower, darker music that came out of mountain communities where death was a constant threat and Saturday night a brief respite. Molsky digs his bow into his fiddle-strings as if the resulting drones and bird cries might suggest the anxiety of that threat and the yearning for that respite. The fiddler, who also sings and plays banjo, is joined by guitarist Beverly Smith and fiddler/banjo player Rafe Stefanini. Their album includes two songs from the Harry Smith Anthology--"Wagoner's Lad" and "Train on the Island." Songs such as "Pretty Saro" and instrumentals such as "Shove the Pig's Foot a Little Bit Further into the Fire" are strange and powerful enough to have found a place. --Geoffrey Himes
 

CD Reviews

A triumph of limitations
Paul Johnson | Woodland Hills, California USA | 07/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I was in school, if you gave me a blank piece of paper and said, "Draw something," you'd get something stiff and uninteresting. However, if you said, "Draw something containing a rock, a rooster, cotton candy, and a lake, and make them all relate to each other," I would burst out with all kinds of ideas.Bruce Molsky and Big Hoedown are similarly constrained by the simple tunes and repetitions of Old Time music, and these very limitations seem to propel them into wild feats of innovation, improvization and creativity. This CD is pure joy to listen to, and to sing along with, if you're so inclined. The very simplicity masks the prodigious musicianship of these three, and the difficulty and complexity of what they're actually doing.This is one of my favorite CD's, and I listen to it all the time."
A great recording
Peter Kasin | California | 05/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bruce Molsky is a master of his craft. His fiddle playing is many-layered and textured, and clearly demonstrates the mix of Scottish and Irish melody influences with African-American rhythms in old-timey fiddling. With his band-mates Beverly Smith and Rafe Stefanini, they have produced an exciting album showing many facets of appalachian string band music. There is much variety of pace and rhythm to their selection of tunes and songs. Although this album has it's share of rousing fast-paced reels, some of the slower numbers have complex rhythms that are so deftly executed, it is awe-inspiring. Their singing is wonderful, as well. This is a must buy for any fan of appalachian music, or any traditional music for that matter."
Love it!
Kate | Virginia | 06/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Great CD of old time Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes. I listen to it over and over again!!!"