Dittyville Records 007
Fiddler Erynn Marshall, born in British Columbia, nurtured in Toronto, West Virginia, and Kentucky, and now living in Galax, Va., has contributed original old-time tunes before. Her “Springfield” is played in jams in many places. Her new CD features 13 original tunes. Some of them were commissioned, and all are written for particular people and places. The first track, “Tricks Of The Trade,” for example, is dedicated to the late Joe Wilson, who hired Erynn to work at the Blue Ridge Music Center. Her backup musicians include husband Carl Jones, Bob Carlin, Adam Hurt, Beth Hartness, Joe Dejarnette, Phill Woddail, Kyle-Dean Smith, Snake Smith, and Eddie Bond.
Erynn’s fiddling is characterized by expressive tone with rock-solid rhythm in her bowing. Fries, Va., fiddler Eddie Bond joins her on the first track as well as on “Old Barn,” which evokes a creaky old building in British Columbia filled with lots of memories and skittering creatures. Bob Carlin plays banjo on five tunes, including the lively “Redtail,” written for two other B.C. friends. In the medley of “Gibsons/Buck Fever,” named for a town where Erynn once lived in B.C. and a store there, Carlin’s clawhammer is joined by Kyle-Dean Smith’s fingerpicking in the second tune. Adam Hurt’s banjo is heard on four cuts, starting with the contemplative “Rory’s Road.” Phill Woddail adds harmonica to the raggy “Decatur Stomp” and to “Laughing Girl.” “Bass Cove Waltz” is a lovely change of pace between faster numbers. The title cut, “Greasy Creek,” is a three-part modal tune featuring Carlin’s cello banjo. “Snake Ate A Hoecake,” written for Snake Smith, who is on guitar, gets a somber sound from minor chords. “Windfall” is a gentle tune about an apple. The last track, “Jacqueline’s Dream,” is a slow amble in F and is hidden.
These are all great listening tunes, and I expect to hear (and play) some of them in future jams. Anyone who enjoys powerful old-time fiddling will want and need this recording. (Erynn Marshall, 99 Faith Dr., Galax, VA 24333, www.dittyville.com.)SAG