In the early 1990s, old-time music was mainly available on cassette, particularly for the contemporary music of that time. In order to get it on CD, there were a few compilations such as a joint project between Old-Time Music And Radio and Rounder Records and the late Ray Alden’s two Young Fogies CDs. Ray traveled around the country with his recording equipment to document some of the best old-time musicians and bands of that time. This compilation (a second is planned) is aimed at showcasing a new generation of old-time musicians. Producer Joseph DeJarnette and Anna Roberts-Gevalt collected the music of thirty young musicians.
The extensive liner notes focus on how these musicians found the music and what it means to them in their own words. Nick McMillian’s family has been playing old-time music for generations. Here, he fiddles “Reuben’s Train” with Kelley Breiding on banjo. Emily Schaad and Mark Freed, who play “Arkansas Traveler” also on fiddle and banjo, encountered the music and simply fell in love with it. With a generous 25 cuts and 75 minutes of music, I can only touch on a few highlights of the great fiddling, banjo, and guitar playing, as well as singing.
The other great fiddlers include Andy FitzGibbon, Nikos Pappas, Andy Edmonds, Joseph Decosimo, Mary Jane Epps, Hannah Johnson, Adrian Shepherd-Powell, Jesse Wells, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, and Rosie Newton. Elizabeth LaPrelle is an amazing a cappella singer; she performs “London’s Bridge” here. Brett Ratliff sings “Jubilee” with fine sparse banjo accompaniment. Sarah Wood does the same with “Wondrous Love,” but in a totally different style. John Haywood plays and sings “Hook And Line,” also with solo banjo, but in a driving style for dancing.
Rather than have this reviewer try to describe the rest of the music, I recommend that you get a copy and listen for yourself, but I should warn you that there are many even younger great old-time musicians coming along who will also warrant your attention. (Anna Roberts-Gevalt, P.O. Box 819, Blacksburg, VA 24063, www.newyoungfogies.com.)SAG