A Review of the CD
"Hit The Ground Running"
by The McKrells

"Hit The Ground Running"
by The McKrells

Copyright 2002
Draguin Records
P. O. Box 767
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
http://www.mckrells.com and

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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If Mark Graham and Orville Johnson are the self-described Kings of Mongrel Folk, then The McKrells are the Princes of Mutt Music. For those assuming this description is a rather back-handed compliment, read on.

This band out of Saratoga Springs, New York (put me down for $20 on Lickety Split to show in the fifth), provides an amalgamation of folk, celtic, bluegrass and a touch of country in a tight, smooth and melodic mixture. The mainstays of banjo, guitar and fiddle intertwine with mandolin, percussion and dashes of tin whistle and button accordian, to provide smooth and enjoyable arrangements.

A combination of songs and a few instrumentals, the subject matter of this release is built mostly around peripatetic individuals and lifestyles, where home is where one finds oneself today or else a bittersweet memory of long ago.

With button accordian reflectively lazing in the background, "Carrick Fergus" is a prime example. A percussion-driven, edgy version of Ewan McColl's "Move" is another. Both of these well-known offerings are given first-rate re-introductions.

"Sleep" features a smooth bluegrassy twang. A fusion of bluegrass and country highlights "Take Care of Those Wings My Friend." The band closes with a hard-driving version of "The Star of Munster."

The song lyrics are fairly straightforward and engaging but the shining star here is the pleasing arrangements. Although at present this is primarily a regional band, it is composed of excellent musicians who genuinely deserve a much wider audience. If there is a God (or Goddess) in Heaven...

Kevin McKrell on guitar and vocals, is joined by Chris Leske on banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals; Craig Vance on flatpick guitar and vocals; Brian Melick on percussion; Sara Milonovich on fiddle, viola and tin whistles; Scott Petito on bass; Steve Belcher on bass; and Jon Nolan on button accordian.

Track List:

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