Review Archive

Old Buck - red-hot interpretations of old time traditions

(September 02, 2013)

There’s a distinctive 'oneness' that emanates from red-hot interpretations of old time traditions, it’s an old buckalmost spiritual experience as the eternal tunes find new life. Listen to the self-titled album from Old Buck and you’re right there in an instant.

Described as “… a kickin' stringband with lots of good singing and pickin,” Old Buck is Emily Schaad (fiddle) Riley Baugus (clawhammer banjo) Debra Clifford (guitar) and Sabra Guzman (string bass) and this partnership truly does fit that description. If this music doesn’t reach the part of you that hankers after old-time tradition and thrives on reliving the reach of heritage then you will have no idea what I’m talking about. For those that do, this album will be a treat.

The passion and drive inherent in American roots music flows through the songs and tunes. There’s so many influences - Appalachian mountain mixed with bluegrass and traditional folk; there’s mournful attention-grabbing vocals, scintillating fiddle and rock-solid bass lines. The combination is innovative, inspirational and anything but predictable.

The standout tracks are many. For me, when Old Buck take on tunes like ‘Highlander’s Farewell’, ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’ and ‘Black Jack Grove’ they breathe a fresh essence into classic tunes, while their versions of songs like ‘Chilly Winds’ and ‘False Hearted Lover’s Blues’ simply reach out and give the heartstrings a good hard tug.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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