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Gather at the River

Gather at the River

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CD 
Prijs: € 13,04

Product notities

After three years together, the Muskellunge boys have finally put out a studio album. The superb 11-track Gather at the River is a collection of originals (save for two traditional instrumentals) by the band's frontman, singer-songwriter and hometown hero Nolan McKelvey. A veteran of a heap of great roots-Americana bands both in the Southwest and in Boston, McKelvey has been writing well heard, and road-worn songs for more than a decade. A few years ago he returned to a more rootsy-bluegrass sound with Muskellunge and released the live album, Pickin' in the Pines, a tight set recorded live during the second year of the festival. Featuring banjo picker Frank Dedera, bassist Tim Hogan and mandolinist Aaron Tyler, the band laid down the tracks for Gather at the River with local recording guru Jeff Lusby at his Radio Dog Studio last winter and spring while the tireless McKelvey simultaneously worked on a forthcoming solo album. Most of the album was recorded in two halves, with McKelvey and Hogan laying down a single live track while Tyler and Dedera filled in with a second instrumental track later. The method maintains the band's tight and warm live vibe while displaying the instruments with crystallized clarity. And, last May, before completion of the album, NPR's "Car Talk" used the McKelvey original "Drive Up the Mountain," now featured on Gather at the River, for one of the show's car-themed musical interludes, garnering early interest in the project. Gather at the River's first track, "High Country," is an up-tempo romper that provides a tidy thesis statement for the whole album and displays McKelvey's greatest skill: writing poetic and catchy anthems that concisely summarize the beauty and sublime unattainable meanings of our individual sense of place. For him, that place is northern Arizona and Gather at the River is full of original songs that capture the flavor and mystery of why people settle where they settle, and how those people are often picked by their place. McKelvey fills the mountain West's role as a working man's poet laureate every bit as much as Bruce Springsteen is the hard-times spokesmen for his native New Jersey. And no, that isn't just hyperbole. McKelvey's songs both celebrate the majesty and the people of the West as well as it's notable downsides. The album's fourth track, "Priced out of Town," is the songwriter's finest and most acute social statement of his career thus far, as he laments the conversion of picturesque locales to second-home dotted playgrounds of the rich, beyond the reach of the normal American income. Sound familiar? McKelvey sings: "Well, I'm an honest man and I make an honest buck, I've been banking on hope and I've been banking on luck. As the prices go up, the applications turned down. Can't even borrow enough from getting priced out of my town." The 10th track on Gather at the River is a very welcomed re-recording of "Cheers to the First Snow," a classic McKelvey ode to the change of seasons and the sedentary comfort in replacing summertime adventures with the barroom communion of the winter months. Musically, the river-themed Gather features three of the finest players in the Southwest: banjo player Frank Dedera, formerly of legendary bluegrass band Flying South, fleet-fingered mandolin wiz Aaron Tyler and the perpetually solid and tasteful Tim Hogan on bass and backing vocals. While McKelvey's songs form the foundation of the band, it's the virtuosic musicality present in the foursome that truly makes Muskellunge a classic Flagstaff band and one that thankfully has put down it's distinctive sound on record once again. Bravo boys!

Details

Kunstenaar: Muskellunge Bluegrass
Titel: Gather at the River
Genre: Country
Releasedatum: 27-10-2009
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 884501205146
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