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The Civil War Collection
Jim Taylor
The Civil War Collection
Genres: Folk, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

A superb quartet featuring Jim Taylor and friends on hammered dulcimer, fiddle, banjo and guitar, playing music for square dances, hoe-downs, and minstrel shows; for sitting around the campfire or socializing in the parlor...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Jim Taylor
Title: The Civil War Collection
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Gourd Music
Original Release Date: 6/26/1995
Re-Release Date: 9/11/2001
Genres: Folk, New Age, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090167000128


Album Description
A superb quartet featuring Jim Taylor and friends on hammered dulcimer, fiddle, banjo and guitar, playing music for square dances, hoe-downs, and minstrel shows; for sitting around the campfire or socializing in the parlor ... With fascinating liner notes telling the story of each tune, this album offers 70+ minutes of music (including Gary Owen, Haste to the Wedding, Arkansas Traveler, Seneca Square Dance, Booth Shot Lincoln) -- a rare treat for lovers of string band music and a treasure trove for students of the War Between the States. The Civil War Collection is a co-production of Gourd Music and Pearl Mae Music.

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CD Reviews

J. C. Bailey | East Sussex United Kingdom | 11/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is that sublime rarity, a collection of authentic ancient music on period instruments that stands on its own two feet as good listening music. It was bought for me by our host in Virginia when we went to Richmond and visited the historic Tredegar Iron Works (and if that name doesn't stir your heart with some kind of American pride - whether you're a Billy Yank or a Johnny Reb - then you need to go back to your history books on the double). It's the perfect sonic accompaniment to Civil War history.I'd never have gone out and bought a CD like that myself, because my experience of heritage recordings hasn't been too good. But when I listened to it in the car on the way home I was knocked out, and it's now our family's favourite driving music.To transcend the cultural gap over around a hundred and forty years in this way calls for astonishing musical and production gifts. And if you've been getting into 'NewGrass' it would be particularly worth your while listening to this."
Excellent old-timey pickin' and hammerin'
Michael | Placerville, CA USA | 12/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is so rare these days to here a male style hammer dulcimer player, such as Jim Taylor, that is playing with synchopation and a driving rhythm. I suppose that is politically incorrect to say these days. However, this style of dulcimer playing is very different than the harp like exquisite Celtic tunes of a Maggie Sansone. This is one of the few CD's out there that has this rare, near extinct art form. Dulcimers could be backpacked or horse hauled into remote areas, whereas pianos were the luxury of the monied class. While they had their pianos, linens, polished silverware and servants, the people that had the guts to fight the civil war on both sides or be a pioneer in the old west had their music. The only thing that is missing is friends, fellow soliders or family gathered around a camp fire or woodstove. There is also excellent banjo provided by Sheila Adams ( yes, a female banjo player ) and fiddle provided by Bruce Greene. Sheila is providing here a smooth finger style lead and counterpoint banjo. Bruce is using the flatter faced fiddle to its best advantage for its double notes and slides. This provides voice like expressiveness. Several songs have a dulcimer, banjo, fiddle shared lead. The songs themselves are timeless and you keep humming or whistling them long after listening. It is more than just historic value here. If re-issued as simply old time blue grass, it may be closer to the truth and accessible to a wider audience that may still be traumatized by their high school history class. My wish list for future albums is to please include Bodhran ( Irish Drum ), spoons and bones, and/or Octave Mandolin. The Mandolin is a perfect complement to dulcimer."
Nice Collection of Tunes & Great Liner Notes
Theo Logos | Pittsburgh, PA | 05/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Playing music was one of the few ways Civil War soldiers had to break the mind-numbing tedium of camp life in the weeks and months between battles. Back home, in civilian life, these tunes would be played at barn dances and hoe-downs, but around the camp fires they became a welcome distraction from the war. The old fiddle tunes in this impressive collection were all current during the 1860s, and would certainly have been in the repertoire of camp fiddlers both North and South. Several of these tunes take their names from incidents in the war, like The Rebel Raid, Bragg's Retreat, or Hell Broke Loose in Georgia.
`The playing on this instrumental collection is first rate; I particularly enjoy the lively fiddling of Bruce Greene. As a fiddler myself, I found the tune arraignments to be simple and straightforward, and was able to add several of these tunes to my own repertoire after repeated listening. The liner notes provided with the CD are outstanding - extensive notes are included for each tune, including Civil War stories and legends that have become part of each tune's lore. This CD is a great addition to any collection of Civil War or old timey music.
It is for reasons of personal taste that I only rated this fine CD as four stars. As a fiddler, I am partial to fiddle music, and almost all of the tunes here are old fiddle tunes. Jim Taylor, however, plays a hammer dulcimer, and plays or shares lead on most of the tunes. Even though Mr. Taylor is a fine player, I find that the dulcimer lacks the power and verve of a fiddle. It is a fine point of taste, but worth noting. Even with this caveat, this is the finest collection of its kind, and I enthusiastically recommend it.

Theo Logos