A Review of the Madeline MacNeil & Ralph Lee Smith CD
"Across The Blue Ridge"
"Across The Blue Ridge"
by Madeline MacNeil & Ralph Lee Smith
Falling Mountain Music
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/06
This is a rather 'earthy' release for it contains not only songs
readily associated with the hills and hollers of Appalachia, but
also renditions that one might truly hear traveling through the
territory in the last 100 or so years.
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Madeline MacNeil and Ralph Lee Smith, in association with Michael
DeLalla, certainly have the street 'cred'--check that, rustic cred--for such a release with MacNeil being a veteran singer and
dulcimer player who has performed worldwide, and folklorist and
'dulcimer-er' Smith sporting a history that dates back to Greenwich
Village in the 1950s.
The cuts featuring the singing of MacNeil are the most engaging as
her vocals are stronger andmore prominent. They include solos on
"Somebody's Tall And Handsome," "The Storms Are On The Ocean," "Going
To Boston," "Land Of Promise," "Chickens Are a-Crowin'," and
"Shenandoah," along with primary vocals on "Old Man At The Mill."
Regarding the selections, "Scarborough Fair" has some
lyric/word changes and is quite different from Simon and Garfunkel's well-known version. It's
always intriguing how artists diversely interpret a song.
For reasons that will become obvious, "The Old Woman And The Pig" should probably be re-titled "The Oink Song."
With vocals by both MacNeil and Smith, "When Are You Coming To See Me"
delivers both the initial and concluding argument of an engaged couple and then an admission
that puts the kibosh on the whole affair.
Touches of guitar and harmonica appear on the opening and closing
cuts--otherwise it's pure dulcimer and vocals through and through.
For 'dulcie' fans and those of this musical genre, this will be a nice addition.
- Waterbound (3:56)
- Somebody's Tall And Handsome (1:38)
- Scarborough Fair (3:23)
- The Old Woman And The Pig (1:31)
- The Storms Are On The Ocean (3:11)
- Who's Going To Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot? (2:30)
- Going To Boston (3:01)
- When Are You Coming To See Me? (2:56)
- Land Of Promise (3:23)
- The Colorado Trail (2:15)
- Chickens Are a-Crowin' (2:05)
- Shenandoah (3:18)
- Old Man At The Mill (1:53)
- Pretty Little Turtle Dove (2:54)
- My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains (3:30)
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