‘Skipping Rocks’ from Ken and Brad Kolodner - unperturbed peace(October 07, 2013)
There’s a warm glow that comes from some music. It offers an enveloping calm that makes life just that little bit easier. The frenetic rush slides away. The stress fades. A feeling of unperturbed peace ensues. Listen to ‘Skipping Rocks’ the latest album from Ken and Brad Kolodner and it will take but a few seconds to hear precisely what I mean. In truth, the title ‘Skipping Rocks’ pretty much sums up what you get - for if you’re relaxed enough to skip rocks across a lake then there ain’t much wrong with your world.
Having said all that, make no mistake, this is no sleep-inducing, somnolent album. It’s a dynamic entity created by two accomplished musicians totally at home with their skills and enjoying what they do. And as it’s literally recorded in their house the ‘at home in the front room’ feel is real not manufactured. The result is a flawless blending of traditional and original Appalachian old-time music that in its magical way offers something rather special.
Kick back with ‘The Orchard’, absorb the stately ‘John Brown’s March’ or slide with the verve and vivacity of ‘The Reunion’ and ‘Skipping Rocks’ and you’re hooked. My stand-out favourite is the gorgeous ‘Caspian’s Dream’. With their amply evident father and son empathy, Ken and Brad have created an album that offers you a chance to share a moment with two masters of their art.
On ‘Skipping Rocks’ there’s Ken Kolodner (hammered dulcimer, fiddle) and Brad Kolodner (clawhammer banjo, banjola, gourd (viola, fiddle) and along with them across various tracks are Robin Bullock (guitar, mandolin, cittern) Alex Lacquement (bass) Elke Baker (viola, fiddle) and Kagey Parrish (vocals).
Reviewer: Tom Franks