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THE JOHNSON STRINGS Silhouette – It Is Not I That Live

THE JOHNSON STRINGS

Silhouette – It Is Not I That Live
La Rejouissance – Beaumont Rag – Written In
Red – Dwelling In Beulah Land – There’s A Peace In My Heart – The Merry
Widow Waltz – We Believe – Power In The Blood – Lookin’ For A City – The
Old Rugged Cross – Mansion Over The Hilltop – Psalm 67 – Rock Of Ages –
Gypsy Waltz – The Hallelujah Side – Fantomen – Near to The Heart Of God
– This World Is Not My Home – Holy Holy Holy
 
This remarkable family is a wondrous musical group. 
Violins, violas, upright bass, and keyboard is the majority, but expect
the most remarkable sounds coming from these instruments, and much
more.  “Beaumont Rag” to “Rock of Ages” is a transportation of the most
remarkable kind.  Six children, a mom and a dad, make up the ‘strings.’ 
I’m glad I had the chance to review this album when I did, because the
Johnson Strings are going to make a very delightful appearance at the
Oak Tree Opry in Anita, Iowa, on September 20th.  I’m also forwarding
this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission for ‘instrumentalist’
attention.  The entire project, and there are 19 great songs on this
one, really allows the ‘strings’ to prevail and shine. They went to the
Catamount Studios for the recording, and I have to admit this particular
studio is producing some incredibly good music.  In the overall
production, it’s hard for me to find any negatives with a fine group
like this.  I’ve listened to ‘Beaumont Rag’ played by old-time fiddlers
so much, the Johnson’s version seemed too slow to me.  Then I listened
to it three or four more times, and the more I listened the more I liked
it.  As a slower song it becomes quite beautiful.  The vocals
throughout, harmony included are all wonderful presentations of a
‘family’ singing together, and there just isn’t anyway this ‘tightness’
can be duplicated by the imitators.  “Old Rugged Cross” has an almost
operatic approach, it is sad, deep, very classically adapted, for me
it’s a wonderful expression of originality.  “Gypsy Waltz” is another
example of really good ‘personality added’ arrangement. “Fantomen” is
also like this, a very beautiful ‘Swedish’ influence. If you’ve never
heard the Johnson Strings, you should.  Their music is totally their
own, and professionally and classically done, whether it’s the Orange
Blossom Special and the Beaumont Rag…..and to be sure, The Old Rugged
Cross and The World Is Not My Home.
Bob Everhart, Reviewer www.ntcma.net

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