Bigfoot is an old-time band originally formed to compete in the traditional string band contest in Clifftop, W.Va., (the Appalachian String Band Festival in West Virginia) in 2010. They took their name from fiddler Rhys Jones’ swollen foot at the time, and they took first place. Rhys is joined by fiddler Cleek Shrey, John Herrmann on banjo, Susie Goehring on guitar, and Meredith McIntosh on bass. Everyone but Cleek sings. These folks are all household names in old-time music and veterans of many great bands.
This is a powerful group, with very well-matched and resonant double fiddling, rock solid banjo and guitar, and the bass to keep it all together. They open with a tune from Illinois fiddler Willie Ault, “Indian Corn.” From there, they play “Newt Payne’s” from the Tennessee fiddler of that name. The title cut, “I’ve Got A Bulldog” is from a song by the 1920s Galax band, the Sweet Brothers. I particularly like the lovely C tune “Indian Ate The Woodpecker” from Mississippi fiddler Stephen Tucker, though the title leaves us to wonder if he was still hungry afterward. John Ashby and the Free State Ramblers from Virginia are the source for two tunes: an unusual version of “Cluck Old Hen” and “Sleepy Eyed Joe.” There are also tunes from Missouri/Nebraska, Indiana, North Carolina, New York, Kentucky, Georgia, and probably some other places I have missed, all played with authority. There are 18 selections, though only 17 are listed.
The highlight of this CD is the amazing ensemble playing. The two fiddles intertwine effortlessly, and the rest of the band is right there, all the time. Susie Goehring sings “The Dying Cowboy” in a pure clear voice that I’d like to hear more. Bigfoot specializes in rocking dance music from a wide geographical range and style, and if you enjoy listening to that, you will definitely want to hear this CD. (Susie Goehring, 6206 Washington St., Ravenna, OH 44266.)SAG