CD Review: RIVERPICKERS OF THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY Dulcimer Strings – And Other Things


Dulcimer Strings – And Other Things
Black Mountain Rag – Wildwood Flower –
Nacogdoches Waltz – Angel Band – Susanna Gal, Angelina Baker, Camptown
Races Medley – Midnight On The Water – Redwing – Life’s Railway To
Heaven – Hangman’s Reel – Spanish Fandango – Flop-Eared Mule – Seneca
Square Dance – Buttermilk Biscuits – Keel Row – Clinch Mountain Backstep
– Sugar Hill – Columbus Stockade Blues – Soldiers Joy – Liza Jane, Bile
them Cabbage, Old Joe Clark Medley
Somehow the makers of old-time music find a way to get
their CD’s to Bob Everhart, who they already know really likes old-time
American rural music.  These songs will immediately tell any listener
that they are the ‘standards’ in the early learning process of great
old-time music.  I was totally surprised to hear such a good version of
“Wildwood Flower” done so well with a penny whistle.  Extraordinary to
say the least.  Lots and lots of instrumental music throughout this CD
with no less than 19 players involved.  Singing first comes with “Angel
Band” which is not the biggest ‘plus’ for the Riverpickers.  “Picking”
is their most outstanding ability, and this done on plenty of dulcimers,
of which 13 of the 19 instrument players are dulcimers.  Add to that
the interesting addition of four guitars, two bass (one a washtub), one
fiddle, two banjos (one of them a tenor banjo), two penny whistles,  one
spoons player, one hammered dulcimer player, and one bodhran player. 
So you can see, this is an exciting gathering of regular down-home folks
doing with music what our ancestors did.  First and foremost, play as
well as you can, and secondly play with enthusiasm and certainly, maybe
the most important of all, have fun with our ancestor’s music.  What a
joy to hear this group of players doing ‘their thing.’  It’s totally
entertaining and certainly totally enjoyable.  The Riverpickers Band is
composed of members from the San Antonio Dulcimer Society, the Guadalupe
Riverpickers, and the Boerne Jubilees.  The three organizations are
non-professional musicians of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.  The
clubs are designed to provide a venue for the promotion and
preservation of acoustic music as played on the mountain dulcimer,
hammered dulcimer, and various other stringed instruments.  In the case
of this delightful CD, we MUST include the very beautiful abilities of
the penny whistle players.  It was also remarkable to me hear “Redwing”
done on the hammered dulcimer.  This is the way I very first heard it in
the Ozark Mountains of Missouri when I worked for Silver Dollar City in
Branson.  What a nice memory jogger. I will obviously pass this along
to the Rural Roots Music Commission, and if they should consider this CD
for an annual award, I would make every effort to get all three clubs
to make the trek to LeMars where each and every playing member would
receive a separate award.  It could be an incredible outing for these
folks, but even more interesting, to surprise our upper Midwest
listeners with something they haven’t heard in a long long time.  So,
San Antonio Dulcimer Society, Guadalupe Riverpickers, and Boerne
Jubilee, come be with us in LeMars, Iowa, the ice cream capital of the
world, and see what happens.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – President National Traditional Music Association for Country Music News International


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