Eighty-nine percent of the second recording from Rosin In The Aire is recycled material. They say it’s ninety-four percent, but sixteen of eighteen rounds up to eighty-nine percent. Does it matter? Not one bit. It’s just an intro and a way of saying the band is playing a large number of covers.
Those covers, half of them instrumentals, are likely to come from anywhere. Some, such as “Sunnyside Of The Street” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” come from jazz, as does “Farewell Blues” originally, though banjoist Allan Walton is obviously covering Scruggs here and doing so quite well. “Angel From Montgomery,” a sinuous highlight vocal from mandolinist Denise Glover comes from John Prine, while the goofy “Homegrown Tomatoes” is the product of the inimitable Guy Clark. From country, they draw Floyd Tillman’s “I’ll Keep On Loving You” and Pee Wee King’s “Tennessee Waltz” complete with the original first verse. Others are Celtic (“Boys Of Blue Hill/Harvest Home”) and Spanish (“La Llorona,” featuring the lovely hammered dulcimer of Leaan Cardinale and the fiddling of J.P. Wittman). Only “Blue Night” comes direct from the bluegrass repertoire.
All of this is rendered in a relaxed, after-hours manner. They sound like good friends gathering for an evening’s entertainment. Everyone gets their say and the music largely has a melodic good humor about it. At times, they do have a little trouble finding the groove, but usually (as on “Blue Night” and “Sunny Side Of The Street”) they lock in after the first verse or so and carry it to the end. At their best, on such instrumentals as “Southern Belles From Nashville,” the classical/Celtic hybrid “Caspian Lake,” and Walton’s original “Good Times In C,” they hold solid throughout. Those, along with “Angel From Montgomery” and “Homegrown Tomatoes,” stand out on what is a pleasant second release. (www.rosinintheaire.com)BW