Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This CD reflects the changing face of folk music. When two premier architects of instrumental acoustic music in America, Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, are able to connect with three like-minded new-traditionalists from Sweden, Väsen, you know that you are living in a very different world. It could be that the term ''folk music'' may actually need a new definition. All five virtuosos have been pushing the envelope on their respective instruments for over twenty years, and have successfully created a body of work that reflects this never-ending quest for new sounds. All are deeply rooted in the traditional music of their past, while also being hell-bent on composing music that reflects that ever widening influence and access that the new global/musical/digital landscape has opened up to us all.
Dirty Linen (p.40) - "Marshall's mandolin and Anger's violin join with Olov Johansson's nyckleharpa, Mikael Marin's five-string violino grande, and Roger TAllroth's 12-string guitars, and the result is a genre-blending celebration that obscures geographic borders."
Personnel: Mike Marshall (mandolin); Mike Marshall ; Roger Tallroth (12-string guitar); Darol Anger (violin, baritone violin).
Additional personnel: Mikael Marin (violin); Olov Johansson (unknown instrument); Roger Tallroth, Väsen.
Audio Mixers: Mike Marshall ; David Luke.
Recording information: Emeryville Studios, Emeryville, CA.
Editor: Mike Marshall .
Photographer: Claudia Marcelloni.
The pairing of Americans -- mandolinist Mike Marshall and violinist Darol Anger -- and Swedes -- Väsen -- is a meeting of minds and styles. Both are well grounded in their native traditions, but also versed in original acoustic music. They show their breadth here, taking in traditional tunes from Sweden ("Penknife Killer") and the U.S. ("Yew Piney Mt."), along with several original pieces and a touch of Braziliana on "Os Pintinhos." There's style and wit in the music, as you'd expect from musicians this good. More interesting is the perfectly natural way they all mesh together and complement each other, finding a middle ground that's far more than a simple compromise. There's plenty of delicacy in a piece like "Forslund," but throughout the disc there's a very strong sense of melody, the stock in trade of everyone here. There's no need for anyone to be showy, and it's only at odd moments like the sly fiddle run on "Misch Masch" that you remember these are all virtuosos. So even though it doesn't particularly hew to any tradition, there's enough of a sense of the past to anchor this wonderful slice of new acoustic music. ~ Chris Nickson