Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Waiting on the Gravy Train
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
This North Carolina pre-grass quartet takes old-time, string- band, and fiddle tunes and injects them with a propulsive energy and buoyant spirit. To a certain extent, that's what Bill Monroe did more than 50 years earli... more »
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This North Carolina pre-grass quartet takes old-time, string- band, and fiddle tunes and injects them with a propulsive energy and buoyant spirit. To a certain extent, that's what Bill Monroe did more than 50 years earlier, but unlike Big Mon, the Hoppers stick to the old-time repertoire exclusively, digging up fine 1920s and 1930s gems; they also retain old-time's rougher edges, stopping short of bluegrass's precision. Certainly, they have the chops to merit liner notes from the venerable Charles Wolfe, especially David Bass on fiddle, who handles his romping contest-fiddling splashes with aplomb. Banjoist Frank Lee and guitarist Cary Fridley offer standout harmonizing, as on the Carter Family's "Anchored in Love," "Warfare," and "We Shall All Be Reunited;" Fridley's striking a cappella dirge "A Roving on a Winter's Night" marks another highlight. Despite their talent, taste in material, and exuberance, however, they seem to lack that tiny little distinguishing characteristic that would carry them to the next level. Still, the sundae is quite tasty, even if the cherry's missing. --Marc Greilsamer
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The Freights are even tighter on this, their second CD.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This group is magic as a unit. They play with awareness and respect for the old-time styles, but above all, with enthusiasm and focus. The solo ballads are also beautifully sung."
Old music, new life
Jerome Clark | Canby, Minnesota | 10/02/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's no simple trick to carry old-time Southern music into the late 20th Century, especially when those grand 1920s recordings from which the revivalist bands draw their repertoires are readily available in reissues from Yazoo, Revenant, Smithsonian/Folkways, and other labels. But the Freight Hoppers pull it off more successfully than any outfit we've heard in a while. In fact, they're surely the most accomplished neo-old-time outfit since the legendary Highwoods Stringband in the 1970s. The songs here are largely standards -- "Nobody's Business" in particular should have been left in mothballs -- but on the whole the Freight Hoppers manage to make even the worn-out sound fresh, through distinctive arrangements, unusual melodies, and pleasing harmonies. They cut right to the heart, at once dark and hopeful, of the venerable hymn "We Shall All Be Reunited," and the warhorse "Shortenin' Bread" comes roaring back to life in their accomplished hands. All in all, this engaging and entertaining exercise gives us cause for hope that even better is to come."
Woah! Now that's right nice music...
Skeeter Hater | SC | 10/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah this here's some fine music coming out of the Blue Ridge Mtns of NC. They are clean and clear. We had the pleasure of seeing them perform the summer of 2009, while waiting on the Great Smokey Mtn Railway excursion in Dillsboro, NC. They have changed a few members over the years, but have kept improving the sound."