MP3 The Amishland Stringband - Walkin` Home From Gettysburg
Style: Decidely Amish but a bit more "worldly" in that it appeals to the senses and is alarmingly delightful to say the least. Is it old time country? Stringband Groove? Folkly funk? Pop rock with a philosophical twist? Newgrass? You bet.
15 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Country Pop, POP: Folky Pop
The "quiet people" are making a very big noise with the timely release of this most unlikely but well received album. The songs, 15 in all, call upon a strange but subtle mixture of 5-string banjo, mandolin, honky-tonk piano, fiddle, drums, Dobro, Hammond organ, acoustic guitar and bass to make their point. And the point it seems is very well made, for the offerings hint of some rock n` roll roots one minute, slide straight down into a melancholy, country abiss the next, and then recover rather nicely by rewarding the listener with a hooky sing-along that`ll grab them by both attuned ears and have `em hummin` like a bee.
The vocals, male and female alike, are strong yet seductively simple, typical of the Amish themselves. The lyrics are decidedly poetic, spinning heart-touching stories that are either as sweet as Shoofly pie or as bitter as Old Betsy`s butter gone bad.
"Walkin` Home From Gettysburg", recalling the sufferings of the Civil War years from a Confederate soldiers point of view, will surely draw a trickle of tears, while other tracks such as "South Of Virginia" are bound to start all ten toes `a tapping. Worse yet, you`re likely to be caught in the middle of a daydream as you mouth the infectious words, all the while picturing the carefree life of a hillbilly couple who refuse to remodel their rundown cabin in the hills.
"Divided By Two" will have you struttin` your stuff down Main street, with or without the fancy Mummers attire and banjo in your hands. It`s a funky rocker with a deliberate, steady thump that`ll get you outta` the chair and onto the dance floor in a hurry. Better be careful of this one folks. It`s downright tempting!
"Echo Banjo" could easily be added to the "Best Sing-along Song" list. This little ditty is radio-ready, and aside from the tricky guitar harmonics throughout, it features a soaring melody that enchants.
"Steamboat Whistle Waltz" is one of those "keep a hanky handy tunes" that exalts the ultimate power of love, a true love that refuses to die. The beginning is slow, it gains momentum as the tale unfolds, and ends with a honky-tonk bop that is brazenly contradictory to the sadness the storyline spins. A favorite pick for those with a highly sensitve, "been there and done that heart."
"Water Wears Down Stone" speaks volumes about the complicated lives that we, the time travelers live. It`s a wake up call for those who think themselves invincible, for, "if water wears down stone, (and we all know it does) then no one is invincible." Point made. (it`s also a terrific sing alonger!)
"Colors On The Hill" will surely appeal to those individuals who are deeply devoted to their one true love and plan to spend an eternity or two with them. The beat is, once again, that "Amishland Stringband Groove" that rolls right along. The fiddle in this one flys like a kite at times, beckoning the vocals to follow it into the skies... which they willingly do. The end result is a precious bit of storytelling that reaches out from the tranquility of the farmers fields, those now-harvested acres that are slowly turning a seasonal yellow, ochre and red, and by doing so, it confirms our innermost beliefs that there is indeed, "life after life."
This song has the undeniable power to elevate one`s spirit, carrying it off to a much higher, less earthly place. It speaks of kindred spirits, ghosts if you will, that are walking hand in hand through, "those colors on the hill."
There just may be a few hit records hidden within this haystack of harmonies that cast their hex-like spell...and you`ll have to play them in order to find them.
More plainly put, "you can`t judge a book by its cover." Don`t let the photo and attire fool ya` my friend, for these folks ain`t foolin` around when it comes to their homestyle music. They are to the last, experienced performers with a cultivated taste for the freshest creme in the crock, be it that fast movin` bluegrass sound or good ole` country rock!