Buffalo Rose – The Soil & The Seed

Folk and Soul-grass with soaring vocal harmonies.

 

 

 

The Soil and The Seed by Buffalo Rose is a well-produced, cozy folk record with soulful harmonies. Vocalists Mariko Reid, Lucy Clabby and Shane McLaughlin join together to create a wall of sound, with the gently plucked guitar (McLaughlin), dobro (Malcolm Inglis), bass (Jason Rafalak) and mandolin (Bryce Rabideau). In 12 tracks, Buffalo Rose energetically tackles a variety of  Americana-ish songs, ranging from boisterously upbeat (ripe for singalongs) to gently sweet and tenderly sad.

The album-opener, “God Willing,” is a fun stomp- and clap-heavy number, but the band shines brightest on tracks like “Poison Oak.” It’s a bittersweet number about learning from heartbreak, and finding light and a home after the hurt. The beautiful female vocals softly sing: “I opened up the blinds and let the sun in,” an affirmation about inviting happiness back into your life.

Craig Duncan & The Appalachian Orchestra – Smoky Mountain Fifties

Pop hits of the 1950’s featuring Hammered Dulcimer.

Performed on authentic mountain instruments. Includes bluegrass inflected renditions of “Sixteen Candles,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Bye Bye Love,” and more.

Craig Duncan is no stranger to the Nashville music community. His talents on violin, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, bass, and viola can be heard on numerous Nashville recordings. A graduate of Appalachian State University and Tennessee State University, Craig is a member of the North American Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and Who’s Who in Music and Musicians.

Frank Lee & Allie Burbrink – Roll On, Clouds

Frank Lee and Allie Burbrink (Bryson City, NC) are a vocal-driven old time duo. Their April 2018 release, Roll On, Clouds, showcases their favorite songs from over two years of performing together. These pieces range from blues tradition (“Somebody On Your Bond,” “Roll and Tumble”) to bluegrass classics (“Standing on a Mountain,” “Cabin on a Hill”), yet remain rooted in the old time aesthetic. Frank’s nylon string fretless banjo is the dominant instrument, with guitar, slide guitar, and Allie’s banjo and harmonica adding to the musical texture. Recording engineer Bruce Lang supplies upright bass on several tracks.

Frank and Allie, core duo of longstanding string band The Freight Hoppers, have traveled extensively as touring musicians. Frank, a founding member of The Freight Hoppers, has impressed audiences all over the United States, Canada, and northern Europe with his signature clawhammer sound. Allie is a founding member of The Whipstitch Sallies, a band from Indiana that toured in the Midwest, North Carolina, Colorado, and Hawaii. Together, the pair is a powerhouse duo with appearances planned across the country and in France.

1. Little Sadie
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Vocals & Steel string banjo – aDGBD
Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & guitar
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
A classic murder ballad with long and deep roots in North Carolina popular in old time and bluegrass circles. Our version is loosely based on Clarence “Tom” Ashley’s.

2. Somebody on Your Bond
(Willie Johnson, © Alpha Music, Inc.)
Frank Lee: Vocals & National Duolian resonator guitar
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & guitar
A spiritual piece learned from Blind Willie Johnson.

3. Turn Your Radio On
(Albert E. Brumley, © Stamps-Baxter Music)
Frank Lee: Vocals & guitar
Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & guitar
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
Written by Albert E. Brumley, this catchy spiritual song was popularized by John Hartford. We learned our arrangement from the Blue Sky Boys.

4. Travelin’ Down This Lonesome Road
(Bill Monroe, © Unichappell Music Inc. And Bill Monroe Music)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & harmonica
Frank Lee: Harmony vocals & nylon string fretless banjo f#BF#BC#
Credited to Bill Monroe, this heartbreak song is one from bluegrass repertoire that makes a great blues piece.

5. Standing on a Mountain
(Alton Delmore, © Vidor Publications, Inc.)
Frank Lee: Vocals & steel string banjo aDGBD out of F position
Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & guitar
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
A sweet song written by the Delmore Brothers. We learned our version from Jim and Jesse McReynolds.

6. Cabin on a Hill
(Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, © Peer International Corp)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & guitar
Frank Lee: Vocals & guitar
A Flatt and Scruggs classic! We have fun trading the lead vocals on this one.

7. Gallows Pole
(Traditional)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & guitar
Frank Lee: Vocals & nylon string fretless banjo c#BG#C#
Possibly the oldest song we perform, this piece is from the singing of Lead Belly. It’s been in Frank’s repertoire for many years. Find Frank’s tabs on our website under “Funky Frailing with Frank,” episode 1.

8. Sandy Boys
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Nylon string fretless banjo dBEAB
Allie Burbrink: Steel string banjo f#DGCD capo 4
Modal tune commonly played on the fiddle and popularized by West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons.

9. Arkansas Sheik
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Vocals & guitar
Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & guitar
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
A cautionary song recorded in Atlanta by Riley Puckett and Clayton McMitcheon in 1928, warning Missouri girls not to get involved with boys from Arkansas.

10. Stagger Lee
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Vocals & steel string banjo gDGBD
Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & guitar
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
This murder ballad describes the altercation between “Stag” Lee and Billy Lyons in St. Louis, MO in 1895. First recorded by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians in 1924 under the title “Stack O’ Lee Blues”. We print t-shirts of the Black Patti label version by Long Cleve Reed and Little Harvey Hull. Our version is based on the Pine Ridge Boys’ from southwest Virginia.

11. Reuben’s Train
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Vocals & nylon string fretless banjo d#BD#F#B Allie Burbrink: Harmony vocals & harmonica
Another popular piece in both bluegrass and old time circles, this melody is also called “Train 45”.

12. Can’t Nobody Hide From God
(Willie Johnson & Angeline Johnson, © Alpha Music, Inc.)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & guitar
Frank Lee: Harmony vocals & National Duolian resonator guitar (open D)
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
Blind Willie Johnson’s 1930 recording is the source for this spiritual song. One of the first songs we started singing together.

13. Roll and Tumble
(Willie Newbern, © Music Sales Corp. Obo St. James Music)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & harmonica
Frank Lee: Harmony vocals & nylon string fretless banjo d#BD#F#B
Learned from Rosa Lee Hill, this piece comes from the northern Mississippi blues tradition. Find Frank’s tabs on our website under “Funky Frailing with Frank”, episode 6.

14. Sugar Babe
(Traditional)
Frank Lee: Nylon string banjo eBEAB
Allie Burbrink: Steel string banjo eDGBD capo 7
Learned from the playing of Joe Birchfield and adapted to the banjo. Find Frank’s tabs on our website under “Funky Frailing with Frank”, episode 2.

15. Let the Sun Shine Down on Me
(Jean Ritchie, © Jonathan B. Pickow Trust)
Allie Burbrink: Vocals & steel string banjo f#DGCD capo 4
Frank Lee: Nylon string banjo eBEAB
Bruce Lang: Upright bass
Recorded by Jean Ritchie in 1965, this piece appears on the album “Mountain Hearth and Home: Jean Ritchie Sings the Songs of her Kentucky Mountain Family.”

All songs arranged by Frank Lee and Allie Burbrink © 2018
www.frankleeandallieburbrink.com
Recorded at Big Creek Studios in Barnardsville, NC
Mixed and mastered by Bruce Lang
Photographs by Terri Clark Photography
Design by Karl Eggers Design

Thanks to all who preordered this album to fund the recording process, especially Connie Burbrink and Dorothy Kendall.
Thanks to Bruce for his patience, good humor, and skill.
Thanks to all who have stood by us through the sunshine and through the clouds.
Thanks to Sam, Little Kitty, Eensteen, and Sadie for entertaining us.

For Willow

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Vocal harmonies, banjo harmonies. Blues harmonica, blues banjo. Reso guitar, fingerpicked guitar. Old favorites, a few surprises. Sweet, spirited, soulful. Recorded in North Carolina, ROLL ON, CLOUDS is a collection of the swath of music Frank & Allie love to share in their live shows.

Roll On, Clouds might be tucked under the bluegrass umbrella, but you won’t hear any banjo rolls or any fiddles. The banjos are hit, not picked, in a style called clawhammer that predates the rolls so commonly heard in bluegrass music. Frank and Allie both have bluegrass music in their musical backgrounds, but their banjo approach here, attention to source recordings, and placement of the beat would cause a more attuned listener to stow this CD on the Contemporary Old Time shelf alongside releases from their band The Freight Hoppers. But at the same time, the blues is a heavy influence on this record, with slide banjo, slide guitar, and Allie’s vocals packing a bluesy punch on those tracks. Though the influences are wide, this collection of songs has a coherent feel – confidence from years of playing together, yet freshness of trying some new things in the safety of the studio. This isn’t a record that’s been worked over with all the tools of modern studios, though. You’ll hear rawness, imperfections, and the feeling you’re watching the music be made in front of you. With its natural feel and its lyrics of heartbreak and hope, ROLL ON, CLOUDS is for anyone waiting for hard times to pass and for the sun to shine down again.

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