Sixteen songs, four musicians; fiddle, clawhammer banjo, guitars, mandolin and string bass combining to deliver enough old time music to stop a train.
Old Buck just keep it pure and simple with vocal harmonies to lose yourself in and playing that honours the memory of a time honoured, stripped down, country influence.
The link with Irish traditional music is always on the edge of this recording with ‘Nancy Ann’; ‘Highlander’s Farewell’; ‘Free State Hornpipe’ & ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’ (obviously) displaying the close connection between the influence of Irish, Scottish and Appalachian music traditions.
The wonderful ‘False Hearted Lover’s Blues’ with lead vocal from Riley Baugus (Cold Mountain/ Krauss & Plant “Raising Sand”) evokes a time long past but no less vital, in the delivery of love gone bad.
This string-band is comprised of Emily Schaad, Debra Clifford, Sabra Guzmán and Riley Baugus and all musicians display an impressive mastery of their craft. This style of music is rustic and rural with a tint of something long lost in the values that we held as a society. Perhaps it is just purity in the playing or maybe a hint of how things may yet return to; either way the joy of a recording like Old Buck should not be underestimated in its power to deliver a feeling of harmony in the world.
The closing track ‘You Win Again’ by Hank Williams, with Debra and Sabra singing it pure and simple is the perfect statement in closing this fine recording of heartfelt tunes.
For lovers of swing-band sounds it does not get better than this.