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Thursday, January 7, 2010


320 KBPS

It might be a cliché to say that to understand where you are and where you're going, you must know where you've been, but it's a very accurate cliché — especially when it comes to music. If you're going to have a thorough understanding of the history of country, bluegrass, and Anglo-American folk, it's important to have some knowledge of the music that paved the way for those forms — namely, the music that immigrants from the British Isles brought with them to the U.S. On The Crossing, singer/instrumentalist Tim O'Brien does a fine job reminding listeners how great a role Celtic music played in the development of Anglo-American styles. As a vocalist, O'Brien shows how Irish and Scottish ballad traditions have influenced American folk and country, and as an instrumentalist, O'Brien (who plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and other instruments) shows how the jigs and reels of Ireland and Scotland paved the way for Appalachian bluegrass. A fine storyteller, he describes the experiences of Irish immigrants to the U.S. on gems like "The Crossing" and "Lost Little Children" — and on the humorous, Bob Dylan-influenced "Talkin' Cavan," O'Brien (himself an Irish-American from West Virginia) recalls traveling to Ireland in 1998 to visit the land of his ancestors. This CD is not to be missed.

1. Ireland's Green Shore
2. A Mountaineer Is Always Free
3. The Crossing
4. Into the West
5. Wagoner's Lad
6. Down in the Willow Garden
7. The Kid on the Mountain
8. Lost Little Children
9. Ireland's Green Shore [instrumental]
10. John Riley
11. Rod McNeil
12. Lord McDonald/Cumberland Gap
13. Talkin' Cavan
14. The Ribbon in Your Hair
15. Yew Piney Mountain/Dusty Miller
16. Wandering

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