Roger Netherton is one of the new, young fiddlers to hit the old-time scene. He’s an adventurous soul and isn’t afraid to take the tunes, old and new, and turn them any which way but loose. His arrangements and approach are that of someone who plays contra dances where the tune is a vehicle to be driven to where it leads, as long as the groove is never forsaken. Included are newer tunes, “Tippin’ Back The Corn” and “Chips And Sauce.” He shines on the Irish tune “John Stenson’s No. 2.” There are two versions of “Durang’s Hornpipes,” a laid-back version from Jake Phelps, followed by a frantic one where he shows off the triple-bow jump taught to him by the revered West Virginia fiddler Bobby Taylor.
The tunes throughout this project are of a consistently high quality, as are the musicians. Under the solid hand of producer Rachel Eddy, who also plays guitar, banjo and some fiddle, this project makes a bold statement. Hunter Walker demonstrates his prowess on dulcimer and banjo, and Alex Lacquement plays bass. Netherton’s original “Blue Moon Waltz” features some nice work by Walker on dulcimer. “Half Past Four” is a fiddle duet with Eddy, and it rocks.
There are 14 tracks on this project, and most are real aural treats, such as Ed Haley’s “Cherry River Rag,” a tune not to be taken lightly. The driving version of the late Garry Harrison’s “Ol’ Bob” is one of those groovy dances tunes that keeps it moving. Hunter Walker wrote “So Sang The Mountain,” a haunting number that would make a great bluegrass showpiece. This young fiddler shows a lot of promise here. It’ll be fun to hear what he does in the future. (facebook.com/rogernetherton)RCB