Joshua Palmer is a very talented young man from Owl’s Hollow, Alabama and has developed an interesting, fluid, and clean mandolin style. On this mostly original project, Palmer exhibits some great songwriting and arranging, but he also expresses a sensitive vocal style. He’s joined on this project by Andy Hall (resonator guitar), Nate Leath (fiddle), Mark Schatz (bass, clawhammer banjo), Kenny Smith (guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), and Taylor Baker (second mandolin). Dede Wyland and Tom Mindte contribute harmony vocals.
From the first notes of Leath’s fiddle on Palmer’s “Train Of Tears,” the CD flows seamlessly from vocal to instrumental and back. Palmer’s vocal tunes include his own “Owl’s Hollow” and “Hammer Down.” He also covers John Denver’s “Anthem-Revelation” and Hamilton Camp’s “Pride Of Man.” Bassist Mark Schatz adds his clawhammer banjo to “Owl’s Hollow,” and his love for twin mandolin tunes are showcased on “Poe” (a salute to Edgar Allen Poe), and his “The Raven And The Crow,” with Taylor Baker adding the second mandolin. Swapping breaks with Vestal, Smith, and Leath on his instrumental tunes make for lively listening. Instrumentals include the title “Metacognition,” “Apollo 11,” “The Shipmaster,” “The Dusk,” and a hauntingly lovely “Hour Glass Waltz.” In addition, Palmer includes Doyle Lawson’s “Misty Morning.” This is a very good project not only for mandolin enthusiasts, but for anyone who likes really good music. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.)BF