The Ephemeral Stringband with Tatiana Hargreaves. Land of Rest.
This is a lovely little disc of old-time tunes and songs from Massachusetts-based The Ephemeral Stringband. It helps, of course, that they’ve enlisted the help of amazing old-time fiddle prodigy Tatiana Hargreaves (even as a very young kid she was eerily chanelling Bruce Molsky), but Ephemeral banjo player Maggie Shar can more than hold her own with Tatiana and their interplay, the core of any old-time stringband, is a delight. Nice singing from Maggie, Tim Dolan, and Molly Merrett as well and they’ve got interesting harmonies throughout. Shouts to Tim’s mandolin playing which had a lot of earthy soul in it. It’s also great that the band draws from a lot of diverse sources to pull forth their songs and tunes. “Weeping Mary” is a particularly lovely track, close to a version I’d heard from Sam Amidon, but pulled from the Sacred Harp tradition. “The Cradle, The Coffin, the Cross on the Hill” comes from Dirk Powell, one of the best old-time songwriters. Nice to see love for key elder fiddlers as well, from Charlie Acuff to Lester McCumbers and Clyde Davenport. This is a great album of New England old-time with delightfully interesting takes on the Appalachian traditions.
By: Devon Leger