LIVE at the Freight & Salvage
LIVE AT THE FREIGHT & SALVAGE COFFEE HOUSE
SUSIE GLAZE AND THE HILONESOME BAND
Hilonesome Music - March, 2011
By: Carl Gage, on No DepressionThe traditional “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies,” the intro to this well-crafted collection of songs, lets you know immediately that you are in for a vocal treat from Susie Glaze. Recorded live in July, 2010 at The Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, California the album features five tunes from the Hilonesome Band’s own songwriter and Dobro/guitar player Rob Carlson, three written or arranged by Jean Ritchie and a thoroughly enjoyable rendition of Steve Earle’s “Pilgrim.”
The album ranges from happy, upbeat songs like Carlson’s “Old Dirt Road” and “Albuquerque” to the sad, brooding, even tragic ones like Ritchie’s “Go Dig My Grave” and Rob’s “River Road.” “Old Dirt Road” with guest artist, the inimitable Bill Evans on banjo shows the fun that this group can have with an old-time melody as does the catchy western swing-styled “Albuquerque.”
More Carlson tunes include “Maggie Bailey,” which tells an interesting and humorous story about an elderly bootlegger who really knew her stuff, not only how to produce a fine product but how to avoid prosecution as well, and “Blue-Eyed Darlin’,” which gives us another listen to the outstanding title track from Susie’s highly-rated 2005 album.
Mandolin player and harmonist Steve Rankin sings a fine lead on Earle’s “Pilgrim” and the excellent banjo licks from Evans and Mark Indictor’s fiddle, as well as Steve’s mandolin fill in the blanks.
The instrumentation in this configuration of the band benefits from the addition of Mark’s fine fiddling to Rankin’s always solid mandolin, Rob’s guitar and resonator guitar, and the rock-solid bass of Fred Sanders. Bill adds his mastery to “Maggie Bailey” and “Pilgrim” as well as “Old Dirt Road.”
The vocals also stand out with exceptional harmonies and the beautiful voice that Susie brings to every performance or recording session. And, any praise I can offer is amplified by the fact the album was recorded live, no small feat to do an outstanding job and not to be attempted by the faint of heart.
The fine live recording was masterfully done by Brian Walker of Articulate Audio and very nicely mixed and mastered by Rick Cunha of Rainbow Garage.
Overall this is another fine production by Susie and the band and should find a welcome home in the music collection of all those that have been captivated by the voice and stylings of Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band.
Go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/susieglaze to hear samples or purchase.
Reach Carl Gage for Website design at http://carlgage.com/
"With her band the Hilonesome, her strong heartfelt voice makes each song an engaging story worthy of listening and savoring. This concert recording captures the intimacy and powerful connections that can be made when an audience is in synch with the artist .. The band weaves an intricate web around Susie's vocals and the powerful stories are matched with Rob's dobro and Mark's fiddle. Rob Carlson's instrumental skills on guitar and dobro are powerful propellants in the band's sound but he is also a talented songwriter with an ability to capture vignettes of time and place. Susie Glaze and HiLonesome may be based in California, but this album shows they're ready to take over the country!"
~ Brenda Hough of the California Bluegrass Association's "Breakdown"
"I first saw Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band at the Grand Annex on 6th Street in downtown San Pedro. That evening was filled with great music, laughter and education on the origins of American music throughout Appalachia....Here we have a live recording done in July of 2010, a stellar example of the new and the traditional bluegrass music blending like a sweet high lonesome harmony. The opening track "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" is like a finger sweep aside a lover's temple. The ethereal beauty of Susie Glaze's acappela vocal reaches out across time from an Appalachian hollow. In less than 30 seconds with an empathy that speaks volumes is the warning of the frailty of love, possibly won or loss. The following song is one written by Jean Ritchie titled, "One More Mile." This is an up tempo number that hits like KGJ&E locomotive pulling hard on a heavy load of Kentucky coal....The songs, "Old Dirt Road" and "Maggie Bailey" feature banjo player Bill Evans. The in-demand Evans, a Virginia native (who now resides in San Francisco), sat in for this show in Berkeley. He's probably one of the best banjo players in the world, adding to the evening's excitement...Five of the songs performed during this set are traditional mountain songs written and arranged by Jean Ritchie. Ritchie, a seminal figure during the folk revival of the 50s and 60s was brought up in the Appalachian Mountains. Her family, who has influenced generations of artists, collected the bits and pieces of these songs making them whole....The next three songs are works of Rob Carlson who knows how to write strong acoustic songs tinged in hues of the country. These songs are custom-made vehicles for Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band to shine. Track seven is a dreamy piece taking the listener to a place that sweeps along a "River Road." The next track "Albuquerque" is an acoustic Texas swing number, giving a nod to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. The ninth is the title to the group's 2005 release "Blue Eyed Darlin'," which touches on the Euro-Appalachian vein through contemporary bluegrass - an amazing bit of music...This whole CD is a beautiful collection of traditional and original acoustic music."
SUSIE GLAZE & The Hilonesome Band/Live at the Freight & Salvage:
"Glaze and her high octane traditional music fits right in at the Berkeley muso club house where the mostly organic programs delight adults that can take the BART right to the front door. Obviously a super star of traditional folk, Glaze and her crew are so on the money it's frightening. Not doing the dusty, moldy fig stuff, she's probably a rocker in her heart but wisely chose to use her clear soprano for it's best purpose. A winning set that'll just knock you off your pins, particularly if you re an old, back-to-the-land hippie. Killer stuff."
-- Chris Spector, Midwest Record www.midwestrecord.com