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CD: BUFFALO GALS – Won’t Get Trouble In Mind

BUFFALO GALS

Won’t Get Trouble In Mind
Big Scioty – Squirrel Hunters – Daddy’s
Little Lulu – Crawdad – Farewell Train – Great Atomic Power – Cindy –
Cattle In The Cane – Jealous Hearted Me – Peg & Awl & Old Gray
Mare – John Henry – Trouble On My Mind – Hell Up Coal Holler – Save It
 

This amazing six-member old-timey country string band just
simply amazes me.  The first thing is their music.  It is so completely
well researched, reaching far back to America’s early rural music to
capture that incredible, mostly happy sound, that is so easily
addictive.  It’s just plain happy.  It’s just plain real.  It’s just
plain great.  What a wonderful option to what is called ‘country music’
today in America.  Oh, did I forget to mention this incredible group is
from England.  Yes, sailing all the way across the big Atlantic Ocean,
this remarkable performance group will be at the Old Time Music Festival
this year in LeMars, Iowa.  If you can listen to this group and not tap
your foot, you need to see a doctor.  They have immaculately captured
that sound of rural America, especially with the fiddle, guitar, banjo,
acoustic bass, ukulele, and percussion.  Kate Lissauer is on the fiddle,
and I would have to say she not only ‘feels’ the music, her terrific
ear tells her exactly how to express it to the full extent attainable. 
Peter Dunn is on an excellent sounding acoustic guitar.  Like Jimmy
Martin, he has a powerful grasp of rhythm, strong and forceful.  His
leads are equally as good, strong, sensitive, delightful. Please don’t
let me forget the banjo playing Johnny Whelan, who like all the
musicians in this group has a complete understanding on how the banjo
can weave in and out of the music to emphasize happiness.  Unlike
bluegrass where the banjo becomes the steadfast lead instrument, in this
wonderful sound of Johnny, he uses it as a very distinguished backing
instrument and when he plays leads it jumps out at you, and then
carefully eases back to the backing section.  Sue Clare plays the
ukulele to a wonderful essence, and more she also uses the banjo-ukulele
to a level of expertise I’ve not heard before.  Eve Morris is on the
bass.  She is just as professional in her approach to the old-time music
sound.  No leads here, there never were ‘leads’ on the bass in old-time
music, it’s the instrument that keeps the BEAT in tact, and also adds
that down deep very pleasant foot-tapper beat that keeps the music in
line with justifiable innocence.  They do a tremendous amount of
research on the songs they present, remarkable for old-time music makers
in itself, but they also add emphasis to the vocals, especially the
harmony parts, and even the ‘speak-back’ style of old-time music
makers.  Sibylie Riesen plays foot percussion.  I’m not exactly sure
what that is.  In their version of “Cindy Cindy” we hear that old-time
frailing banjo sometimes called drop-thumb, played delightfully to an
old loveable song.  I feel so sorry for you if you don’t make it to the
old-time music festival in LeMars, Iowa, this year (Aug 29-Sept 4).  The
pitifully small entrance fee of $15 for a 9am-midnight program
everyday on ten stages is remarkable, but not to spend that small amount
to see the Buffalo Gals is an insult to the music of rural America, if
not the makers of it.  I will definitely be looking forward to hearing
this group in person.  What fun that will be.  They are also scheduled
for a concert at the Oak Tree Performance Center in Anita, Iowa, on
September 9th.  Come share the ‘fun’ music of America’s rural past. The
Buffalo Gals will surprise and delight you, carrying on the great
tradition of America’s early string bands.  More sophisticated
observation, they are top-class instrumentalists, utilizing soul-searing
harmonies and thrillingly syncopated percussive stepdance beats.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine 

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