No Label, No Number
The Lonesome Ace Stringband comprises Chris Coole on banjo, Max Heineman on bass, and John Showman on fiddle. All three sing. They open with a haunting original fiddle tune by Showman, “Hold Your Lying Tongue.” Showman also wrote “Gauley Junction,” which is played in a medley with “Cherry River Line” from Jenes Cottrell. “Fox Hunt” is from Israel Alston via Bruce Molsky with harmony vocals by Kathleen Lew. “Devil On A Stump” is from Art Stamper. “Don’t Get Trouble In Mind” comes from Frank Blevins, and Ed Haley’s “Indian Squaw” is renamed “Femme Indigene.” “Skipping In The Mississippi Dew” was composed by John Hartford. “Hills Of Mexico” comes from Roscoe Holcomb, while “Katy Hill” is a widely played traditional tune. “Green Sleeve” is from Illinois fiddler Henry Hall. “44 Gun” is from Lily May Ledford, and the closing medley of “Waynesboro” and “Wolf Creek” comes from West Virginia’s Hammons Family.
Chris Coole has been a fixture in the Toronto old-time community for a long time. I was not previously familiar with Showman and Heineman, but the ensemble plays all these numbers with great drive, Showman’s rocking, sliding fiddle is the anchor of the band with a very strong rhythmic base supplied by Coole and Heineman. The vocals are also excellent. The entire CD was recorded live with no overdubs or edits, and the quality of the music is high throughout. There aren’t many liner notes, but these are three powerful musicians playing and singing some powerful music. If you like old-time music at all, you want to order this CD. (Chris Coole, 8 Edna Ave., Toronto, ON M6P 1B5, Canada, www.lonesomeace.com.)SAG