Reviewed by Shaun
If any band in the field of Americana deserves the approbation
"supergroup," it has to be NewGrange. Anyone with a passing familiarity
with folk, country or bluegrass music is bound to recognize at least
some of the six names that make up the group. Originally called
together by Mike Marshall (guitar, mandolin) and Darol Anger (fiddle,
octave mandolin), for a 1998 Christmas album, the lineup includes Philip
Aaberg (piano, accordion), Alison Brown (banjo, mandolin), Tim O'Brien
(vocals, bouzuki, mandolin, banjo) and Todd Phillips (bass, mandolin).
This ultimate string band plus has put together a wonderful collection
of traditional and original tunes, covering a wide range of styles.
They fully exploit the possibilities inherent in having a half a dozen
multi-instrumentalists offering more than a dozen instruments and a
range of combinations that, well, I'm not going to do the math, but they
have enough to do damn near anything they want damn near any way they
want. And they do most of it someplace within these 12 tracks.
With every member of the band deserving a featured role, one of the most
amazing things about NewGrange is their ability to play as a cohesive
unit. It's a mark of mutual respect and appreciation for one another,
and the result is pure pleasure for the listener.
The band may have started out as a holiday one-off project, but it's
fast become a year-round present to the musical world.
Handsome Molly * Sally Ann * Under The Hood * Rock In A
Weary Land * Cabin Waltz * Goin' To Boston * Weetabix * Round Trip *
Stone Coal West Virginia * Shoot The Moon * Land's End * Music Tree
© 2000 - Shaun Dale