VARIOUS ARTISTS, THE COOPER SESSIONS

VARIOUS ARTISTS
THE COOPER SESSIONS

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The premise of this recording is to put together Maine melodic banjoist Ron Cody with fiddlers from a variety of genres (Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Mike Barnett, Darol Anger, Alex Hargreaves, Brittany Haas, Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, Tashina and Tristan Clarridge, and Jonathan Cooper) playing fiddles made by luthier Jonathan Cooper. The backup on the 12 cuts includes mandolinists Roland White, Matt Witler, Jesse Brock, Dominick Leslie, and Joe Walsh, guitarists Matthew Arcara, Lincoln Meyers, Grant Gordy, and Frank Varela, and Wendy Cody on bass. The genre, based on the style of fiddling rather than the origin of the tunes, is mostly what I would call contemporary acoustic. The two exceptions, both old-time, are Brittany Haas’ fiddle duet with Jonathan Cooper on “Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine” and Bruce Molsky’s medley of “The Cowboy’s Life Is A Very Dreary Life,” the only vocal, and “Snake Chapman’s Tune.” Ron Cody brought two of his original tunes, “Stompin’ Time” and “Backstreet,” to the project. The other tunes derive from old-time, contest fiddling, and other sources.

These are all great musicians, and all the playing is impeccably good. So, if you enjoy collaborations with lots of improvisation and modern sounds in your music, you may want to give this recording a listen. (www.roncody.com)SAG

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