Rafe and Clelia Steffanini 'Lady On THe Green' Old Willow Tree

Getting this album set me on a quest to find out a bit more about a name that I have seen continuously since I first became interested in Bluegrass and Old Time Americana but had not really followed up on. Rafe Steffanini is a Philadlephia based, Italian national, and multi-instrumentalist whose skills on fiddle, banjo, mandolin etc etc are most often to be heard in the company of such high end acoustic idols as Bruce Molsky or Dirk Powell. On this fine collection he is accompanied by his daughter Clelia on fiddle, guitar and vocals.Throw in Nikki Lee on Guitar, Carl Jones on mandolin and Eric Frey on bass and vocals and you are on your way to a 13 track trip to another stage of your Old Timey history education. The liner notes on this one are just about right to inform while listening to some of the best instrumental music I have heard recently.

There is no chance to get bored on a full listen to the whole CD as the stlyes vary from track to track. The instrumentals feature some exquisite twin fiddle and stunningly clear old time banjo playing, while the guitar in simple Carter Family feel is just perfect in "I Never Will Marry".  Father and daughter feature some fine family harmony on "Blues Stay From Me" and "The Cowboy Trail" is yet another gem.

The title tune "Lady On The Green" has been haunting me since I heard it and I'm still trying to find out the original celtic name that I may have heard it played as at some time in the past. Emails of assistance would be appreciated on this one. The only problem I have with this CD is that I'm now going to have to set out and collect some more of the music of this excellent Old Time musician who once again shows that Europe can still give as good as it gets when it comes to Old Time or Bluegrass music. In the company of Beppe Gambetta or Red Wine, or The Kruger Brotherts, Rafe Steffanini does us proud.

The whole package is produced in longtime Lonesome Highway favourite, Joel Savoy's studio in Eunice, Louisianna which was the home of Rafe's previous CD "Never Seen The Like" This is a project that will sit well in your collection for regular visits when you need just a bit of grit and authenticity in your musical diet.