With only occasional help from Steve Thomas on fiddle, Dewey Farmer (mandolin, guitar, and bass) and Derwin Hinson (banjo, lead guitar, and bass) have put together a nice variety of tunes on this 13-cut all-instrumental release, between them providing all the instruments except the fiddle. While there are a few rough edges, it is clear that Farmer and Hinson have wide-ranging musical interests and a lot of talent between them.
The tunes here include standards “Old Joe Clark,” “Snowflake Reel,” and “Arkansas Traveler” (the latter performed in several keys), the Beatles “Yesterday,” “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Roly Poly,” and “Kansas City Kitty,” the waltzes “Moonlight On The Waves” and “Flatbush Waltz” (at five minutes, a bit long), and the gospel number “Jesus Savior Pilot Me.” Something for everyone, more or less. There are three originals: “Moonlight” and a bouncy “Dew-Win Bounce,” both by Farmer, and Hinson’s driving bluegrassy “The Bells For Candrea.”
Farmer and Hinson both have solid chops and an ear for sounds that are off the beaten track, no doubt a result of forty-plus years (each) in the music; Farmer with Carl Story and A.L. Wood from the early ’70s, and Hinson with Charlie Louvin and Vern Gosdin in Nashville. This is nicely reflected in the interesting variety of interpretations they bring to each tune.
A CD of 13 instrumentals can be a bit too much of a good thing. But, while a few cuts seem somewhat longer than necessary, Farmer and Hinson keep it interesting throughout, with a diverse selection of tunes, innovative approaches, and solid musicianship. A well-done document of the interests and talent of two veteran musicians. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.)AW