Hickoryjack 2013

The title of Erynn Marshall’s wonderful new CD reflects her travels from her origins in British Columbia to Toronto to West Virginia to her current home in Virginia with lots of other stops, too. There are 45 friends who play and sing with her on the twenty tunes and songs on this recording.

The opening cut is a fiddle duet of “Bonaparte’s Retreat” in DDAD with Skip Gorman. The two fiddles together with their powerful drones sound like an organ in a cathedral. The closing piece is Snake Chapman’s “Going Down To Charleston,” again with double fiddles, this time with Bruce Greene and accompanied by Carl Jones on banjo and Don Pedi on dulcimer. In between, Erynn travels to the Pacific Northwest, Toronto, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. There are three originals: “Tune Tramp” by Carl Jones, “Silver Bridge” by Billy McCumbers, and “Springfield” by Marshall.

There are two double fiddle pieces with Kenny Jackson (“Icy Mountain” and “Trouble On The Mind”) plus double fiddle with Greg Canote, Kirk Sutphin, Rafe Stefanini, Eddie Bond, Joel Savoy, and triple fiddle on “Springfield” with Jim Childress and Barbara Payne. The songs include “Lonesome Road Blues” with Paul Brown, “Milwaukee Blues” with Pharis and Jason Romero, “Rambler’s Blues” with Caleb Klauder and Sammy Lind, “Rovin’ Gambler” with Mac Snow and Eddie Bond, “Going Down To Georgie-O” with Gerry Milnes, “Poor Hobo” with Joel Savoy and Kelli Jones-Savoy, “Ragged But Right” with Arnie Naiman, “Fugitive’s Lament” with Skip Gorman, and the two above-mentioned, “Tune Tramp” and “Silver Bridge.”

The liner notes are very extensive, though I noticed a minor error. “Boys, My Money’s All Gone” is part of a skit called “Moonshiner And His Money” recorded by Charlie Bowman and His Brothers, rather than by the Hillbillies. Bowman did fiddle with the Hillbillies, and he recorded “Hickman’s Rag” with them, but it was released in his name rather than as a band recording. I wish there was room here to describe each tune and the contribution of each musician. Instead, I highly recommend that you track down a copy of this recording and hear it for yourself. (Hickoryjack Music, 99 Faith Dr., Galax, VA 24333,

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