Tater Patch has been playing out of the State of Delaware for more than thirty years. Their current personnel includes Judy Hough-Goldstein, fiddle; Marge Sume, fiddle, banjo uke, vocals; Tony Sume, guitar and vocals; Shel Sandler, banjo; and Richard Gordon, bass. This CD has 18 tunes and songs from a stellar list of mostly southern sources beginning with Dykes Magic City Trio’s “Tennessee Girls” and John Salyer’s “Featherbed.” They range further when they play Nebraskan Uncle Bob Walters’ “Paddy On The Railway,” Canadian Bill Guest’s “Bay Of Fundy,” and Californian Kenny Hall’s “Hobb Dye,” which he says comes from Texas.
In general, this band’s sound is more relaxed-tune playing and singing as opposed to hard-driving dance music. Doc Roberts’ “Shortenin’ Bread,” for example, is a tune with lots of built-in driving rhythm, but this is a fairly laid-back version. The same observation can be made about “Grubb Springs” and “Black Jack Grove.” Their rendition of “Hobb Dye” shortens the rhythmic pause in the B part, which is one of the defining passages of the tune.
As far as the singing goes, it falls into the parlor singing category, very relaxed and familiar. Tony and Marge Sume, for example, sing Doc Boggs’ “Prodigal Son” more as a ballad than with the searing intensity that Boggs displayed. There is lots of room for style and interpretation in old-time music, and this band definitely has its own take on that. (Richard Gordon, 115 Cleveland Ave., Newport, DE 19804, www.tater-patch.com.)SAG