The Stone Hill All-Stars 'Live' - Self-Release

This is a live recording from a 2012 gig in Baltimore, Maryland and features a coterie of eight musicians who paint impressive colours in and around the fifteen original songs on display here. Paul Margolis is the song-writing inspiration on all tracks, with shared credits on seven songs from other band members. The guitar playing of Tim Pruitt and Paul Margolis is full of interesting fills and twists, while John Shock on piano and accordion, contributes plenty of counter-balance in the arrangements.

The songs are well arranged and played with an enthusiasm that comes across in the crystal clear recording of the concert. Mixed and produced by the band, the ease of playing and the comfortable slide of the individual songs channel everything that is attractive in folk, rhythm & blues and loose jazz.

The fine saxophone playing by Dan Naiman on a selection of tracks is given an added groove by the excellent trombone of Craig Considine. This is never more evident than on the superb He’s the Weatherman which swings with a reggae/salsa feel and leaves you wanting more. Hoppy Hopkins on drums grounds the entire set with a light touch and serves the song arrangements in an understated and impressive display throughout.

The Match Shaking is a fine song with a stream of consciousness vocal delivery that adds to the atmospheric interplay of the guitar and piano parts, not unlike the famous, but forgotten, Stan Ridgeway. An interesting listen and a swamp groove feel that leaves an overall happy glow. Recommended.