Snake River Records
Ben Winship sings and plays mandolin, mandola, guitar, and tenor guitar on this new acoustic collection of 14 tunes and songs. Most are originals, but also included are a few older tunes such as Burl Hammons’ “Shakin’ Down The Acorns,” “New River Train” from Wade Ward and Ernest Stoneman, the Stripling Brothers’ “Kennedy Rag,” Bessie Jones’ “Turtle Dove,” the Métis tune “Grey Owl,” and Garry Harrison’s “Boys Them Buzzards Are Flying.” He has some excellent company; consider Brittany Haas, Scotty Meyer, Rayna Gellert, and Natalie Padilla on fiddles, and Pharis Romero, Eli West, Molly O’Brien, and Chris Coole singing harmony. Chris also plays banjo, as does Roy Andrade. Forrest Gibson plays guitar, and Eric Thorin is on bass.
The opening cut is “A Little Goes A Long Way,” a duet with Pharis and lively fiddle and banjo from Brit and Roy. “Shakin’ Down The Acorns” riffs on the original, with Coole on banjo and Meyer on fiddle. “Phoebe’s Rest” is an instrumental written for a documentary and features Winship on three instruments along with fiddling by Rayna and Natalie. “Katy Bar The Door” is not the Luther Parrish tune, but a Winship original song. “Turtle Dove” features four-part harmony with Molly, Eli, and Chris and sparse fills by Winship on mandolin and tenor guitar. “Fit To Be Tied”/“Sail Away Ladies” is an original song by Winship with some lyrics and a bit of melody borrowed from “Sail Away.” “New River Train” is not the uptempo bluegrass song, but a more poignant version rooted in older sources with additions by Winship.
One highlight is the pairing of Winship’s “Lily Green” with “Grey Owl.” “Kennedy Rag” is very laid-back with just mandolin and guitar and is followed by a sprightly “Boys Them Buzzards Are Flying.” You should find lots of fine music to listen to on this recording. (Snake River Records, P.O. Box 215, Victor, ID 83455, www.benwinship.com.)SAG