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relationship between a granddaughter and her grandfather on his last day on earth as he prepares to meet his late wife and ‘waltz across heaven.’ Sickly sweet it might be, but this is the pure epitome of country music and its down home values and I’m just a sucker for it when it’s done with as much sublime sensitivity as this. She is joined by Jamie Dailey (of


bluegrass duo Daily & Vincent) for the delicate romance of That’s Just Me Loving You, in contrast Loving You Makes Leaving Easy is a heartbreaking leaving song, pure country and pure heartache magic with lashings of pedal steel, fiddle and an emotional vocal performance. There’s a light-hearted feel to the swing-styled Pour A Little Love On It as she turns on a sassy edge to her vocal, whilst her revival of Eric Heatherly’s dramatic The Big Hurt, shows that this newcomer has the vocal chops to handle the big ballads without going over the top the way a certain Ms Underwood does. Yeah, what Teea Goans offers here is more substantial than standard country radio fare, and more heartbreaking-and- twanging than alt.country. The songs are lyrically poignant, musically tight descendants of Patsy, Tammy and Loretta mixed with hints of jazz and swing. Alan Cackett


www.teeagoans.com


Tom Paley’s Old Time Moonshine Revue ROLL ON, ROLL ON Hornbeam Recordings HBR0001 HHHH Genuine traditional country, as it used to be known Back in my youth, when I first started


collecting country records, Tom Paley’s music would have been referred to as ‘traditional country music.’ Fast forward almost 50 years and these days it’s likely to be known as folk music, whereas traditional country is saved for the likes of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and even Patsy Cline. Well, whatever term ‘they’ like to use, for me, Tom Paley and his music is part and parcel of what is widely known as country music in all its forms, as this album demonstrates in spades. For the uninitiated, Paley was one of the founder members of the New Lost City Ramblers, who in the 1950s rescued many lost hillbilly


76 Maverick


and mountain songs from obscurity and made them palatable for younger listeners of the day. Now in his 80s, Paley is still out and about, mainly based in London, and still bringing to our attention some of the great tunes and styles of the past for today’s music fans to enjoy. The disc opens with some great fiddle


and guitar work on the very appropriately named Roll On, Roll On, a new Paley song that borrows from the past, and continues with some fine banjo picking with nice vocal harmonies going into a countrified version of the traditional Little Birdie. As the album progresses there’s an infectious Sally In The Garden, followed a little later by The Fiddling Soldier, a beautifully solemn ballad. In recent years we’ve had many younger singers and musicians revisiting the traditional country and mountain music of the past, but you just cannot beat a veteran like Tom Paley to really deliver the goods. The man has a lifetime of experience that you can hear in his straightforward and genuine delivery of vocals that bear the burden of life, love, and loss in every lyric. Alan Cackett


www.hornbeamrecordings.com


Town Mountain LEAVE THE BOTTLE Pinecastle Records PRC1180 HHHH Hard-drivin’ Appalachian bluegrass from the Carolinas This is Town Mountain’s fourth album


and it features mainly band-penned originals that cover the full gamut of country/bluegrass themes from missing home, drinking, murder, heartbreak and unrequited love. The band features the songwriting talents of Phil Barker (mandolin), Jesse Langlais (banjo), Robert Greer (acoustic guitar), Bobby Britt (fiddle) plus bassist Jon Stickley, who whips out his guitar on occasion. Trading instruments and musical textures like a runner changes socks, Town Mountain mix and match (acoustic) instruments and moods throughout this musically abundant, 12-song album. They blend guitar, mandolin and fiddle on the humorous opener Lookin’ In The Mirror, it’s more mandolin with a mournful fiddle to the fore on the sad-edged Leave The Bottle, followed by a Chuck Berry-inspired mandolin opening to Up The Ladder in which fun and


lively lyrics mingle with the upbeat rhythm. You’d swear that Jimmy Martin had


returned as Lawdog started, showing that these new young band has not forsaken the grand masters of the past. Away From Home features a sawing fiddle on a minor key, down-from-the-mountain-like air with evocative mandolin and heartfelt vocals. The driving You Weighed Heavy On My Heart is for those who prefer traditional bluegrass sounds, with intricate banjo notes tumbling forth, strident fiddle and muscular vocals. Yeah, these Town Mountain guys are mighty good. Alan Cackett www.townmountain.net


Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen HOME BY DARK Compass Rose Music HHHH Album number five is mighty fine, with each musician furnishing five songs and an instrumental Quietly and with no grand fanfare, over


the past two decades in an almost perfect cycle of five-year intervals, Steve and Cindy have released a series of live and studio duo albums, HOME BY DARK being their fifth. Mainly recorded in their North Bennington home studio, Steve Gillette (guitar, percussion, vocals) and Cindy Mangsen (guitar, concertina, accordion, dulcimer, vocals) apart, there’s support here from Jack Williams (guitar), Pete Sutherland (piano, fiddle), Jennifer Weeks (oboe) and Scott Petito (double bass). Also appearing are Peter David (tenor banjo, mandolin) and Will Patton (double bass, mandolin). An interpreter of traditional material at


the outset of her career, Cindy Mangsen has developed into a skilled songwriter, evidenced by her natural world inspired originals, Birdsong and Seal Harbor; the latter prefaced here by Kipling’s poem, Seal Lullaby. Steve Gillette meanwhile opens this collection with a cover of Doug Johnson’s Holy Smoke which, enriched by Native American references, focuses on California’s Santa Ana Wind and the devastating wildfires that it annually fans. A Gillette penned original co-written with Denise Fleming, The California Zephyr references an unrequited love affair for a—possibly alcoholic—woman who is travelling on the legendary train that links Chicago with America’s Pacific coast. The lyric cleverly alludes to the train’s Silver Lady nickname.


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