David Bragger, his band Sausage Grinder, and the online Old-Time Tiki Parlour have become fixtures in the old-time and traditional music scene in Southern California. Now, David has released a solo project of his own, a CD with 21 diverse and excellent selections played on fiddle, banjo, and pump organ. He’s accompanied by Christopher Berry of Sausage Grinder on guitar and banjo, Susan Platz on second fiddle, and Tim Riley on Scottish bagpipes.
The CD opens with “Uncle Tom And The Wolves,” a fiddle and banjo duet from fiddler Will Adam. “Going To The Free State” was the late Mel Durham’s name for Narmour and Smith’s tune, “Avalon Quickstep,” played here on two fiddles. David also learned “Over The Mountain” and “Jingle At The Window, Tidy-O” from Mel, who grew up in Southern Illinois, but ended up in Southern California, where he was a mentor to both Bragger and me. “Big Fancy,” “Big Hoedown,” and “Washington’s March” (played with two fiddles and bagpipes in the pie-like fiddle tuning of DDAD) all come from Edden Hammons. Throw in tunes from Jim Bowles, Delbert Hughes, Gribble, Lusk, and York, Tommy Jarrell, Dennis McGee, Henry Reed, Sammy Walker, Marcus Martin, Bruce Greene, and Dave Bing, and you have a lot of great music performed impeccably well. “Peter Francisco” is another great old tune from the Knauff collection.
The centerpiece of this recording is Bragger’s powerful fiddling with effective doses of funk and blues (for example, in “Altamont”) which might be inspired by Dan Gellert, one of the great musicians recorded by Tiki Parlour Recordings. Some of the arrangements are unexpected, such as the pump organ on “Boating Up Sandy,” but they all work to bring out the music. Expect lots of joyful listening with plenty of tasteful nuances if you take this reviewer’s advice and get this recording. (www.oldtimetikiparlour.com)SAG