A Remarkable CD by an amazing Band!
Big Blow and the Bushwackers
Independent Review by Conrad Bladey
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A CD with all of the spectrum of moods of the musical
palette going way beyond eclectic and a few pages further than simply innovative.
This recording is tempered by a clever understanding of the complex dynamics of any listening audience. The band makes clever use of transition, interlude and introduction as it goes from place to place within the musical minds of a diverse audience.
The music is presented as a personal gift rather than simple recitation. The band does not merely play in styles, they live them and subtly flavor the music with their own living essence. Innovative musical textures created by exotic and invented instruments makes this recording a crisp and refreshing contribution to the musical world. Click here for more...
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Track by Track:
In the list below I refer to styles broadly. The expert mastery of style and tradition is one thing accomplished here. The second is a personalization of that style through adaptation and enthusiasm. This takes the listener well beyond style as narrowly defined into new work.
The Bushwackers are:
Tim Whittemore:tuba, didjiridus,vocals
Ted Porter: vocals, mandolin, banjo-mandolin, wooden flute, bombard, dohkla, frame drum, trash set, marracas.
Don Plehn: vocals,accordion,trombone,
Scott Morrison:trap set, bodhran,congas,klon yaw,
Be Cubed- A brassy polyphonic introduction as if composed by a collaboration of Kurt Weill and Gabrelli- a people's magnificent entry. This entrance lays out the textures of the experience to come.
Cubist State of Mind- A song which would make Sponge Bob smile! Reflecting contemporary British folk rock at its best this song energizes the crowd with absolute whimsy done to wild perfection. Minds boggle with the shared eternal truths of the computer age. Listen to this via real audio: click it here
Stranger- The scene gently shifts to a prayer gathering around a campfire in the Australian out back. You can sort of hear the billy boiling and the Koala bear munching on a Eucalyptus leaf. The Bushwackers here provide a thoughtful song spiritual in a style which reflects a mastery of Australian folk music such as that of the Ragged Band. Yet....it is still quite their own. Click here for an mp3 exerpt!
I Don't Care- The free spirit of the crowd is suddenly unleashed. Where there are children we find the adults singing it to them where there are only adults one is suddenly in a room full of children. A wonderful song about getting along and a mastery of the Children's song as typified by groups like Hot Soup. The high energy of the Bushwackers has no equal.
Swallowtail Jig and the Rakes of Kildare- A wonderful interlude. An opportunity for conversations and a filling of glasses....make mine Guinness! I have never heard Celtic music be played any better. This is a refreshing indicator of wonder for a band that plays in many styles. Full of energy yet precision and excellence. Never sloppy, always crisp and clear. The Bushwackers have convinced me though, that....More Irish Bands really do need to have tubas!
Hound Dog- A piece of Americana which brings out spirit and fun. Again the child in us all will light up the glasses will be raised and all will join in with a song that most will know and relate to. If there is not singing there will be joy transferred by eye contact all around the room and of course foot tapping,clapping and swaying may very well occur!
Lazy Bones- Slow down a bit....Pass the cornbread and ribs! This classic blues standard is a song everyone will know. A few simple lines and slow tempo bring everyone in the room together. It is easy to perform a classic piece...."as sung by"....but not here. The pace is that of a slow southern river and the feeling conveyed is heartfelt and personal. A pause for abstract contemplation and thorough relaxation Listen via real audo- click it right here
Landlord- Every gathering needs at least one Calypsonian and this interlude is it. This is a didgi Calypso experience. A mastery of the genre combined with a unique texture of sounds conveyed in the highly emotive style as is common to the spirit of the Calypsonian. You are not just hearing Calypso you are becoming Calypso. Another degree of relaxation and inspiration. Listen via real audio clicket right here.
Money Song- Has Tubby Checker entered the room....well not very Elvis but a spirited interlude of screaming sax highlighted rock and roll. Clever lyrics and a great hopping tuba part. And the room rocks...Cha...Cha...Cha!
Blow Below the Blow- Somehow I feel a procession starting .A plane like excursion into windblown possibilities as everyone processes around the house. The wonder develops. A contemplative interlude. Smallpipes skillfully articulate a mysterious chant. The electricity of the didge like lightening energizes the clouds of incense.
Spirit of Christmas- At the end of our procession we all gather at a simple stage whereupon a medieval peasant sings out of the universality of the spirit of Christmas. A great folk inspired piece which touches the heart and could well become a seasonal classic. Whistle, Didge and tuba make it echo through the ages. It could be a classic for the whole year too.
Raunon Valssi- We move into the Nordic woods which is invoked in sublime majesty in this abstract interlude of discovery, dance and chase. A powerful didge entrance is followed by wonderful folk accordion. Dogs bark in the background all dervishly whirl around as the piece ends with the didge triumphant. Listen to this in real audio clickit right here.
Mabel- Pure unadulterated polka whimsy created by a popping tuba. Everyone is energized again. I shall never look upon a label on a bottle in the same way again. I have never heard a more inspired Polka-nor one played with such feeling precision
Muriel C. Begonia- A berserk crazy mastery of the "a-ha"-capella. The Bushwackers get everyone rocking. Great use of stereo. They are all around the room singing over your shoulder . She's more than half way there I say! I see everyone in the room shaking each other up with sheer chaos on their minds.
La Porte en Arrier- Some folks can perform Cajun but others....kick it up another notch! Yeah baby! One expects to see Emerl Lagasse come out of a corner of the room with a great pot of creole gumbo. And the tuba bubbling up through it. Bam! This is a great example of how the Bushwackers are able to master a genre and then add their own spirit and feeling. All of the textures the Cajun experience.
16 Is it a big fly, a bee or a plane? As the party winds down the didge takes off in a flight of fancy. The mind wanders explores and awaits the secrets of sound.
Where were you-The didge continues the journey until all are engulfed in the rich majesty of this most ancient of tribal instruments. As grand a polyphonic didge piece as the brass selection which began this wonderful experience. Truly a virtuoso piece.
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To obtain this wonderful CD click here to send me an e.mail. The price is $15.00 each with your choice of postal shipping. Let me know your name address and zip code and some idea of how fast you want it shipped....choices are generally: First Class, Priority Mail or Book Rate (which does just fine usually as fast as first class...) I can accept checks or money orders in U.S. Dollars made out to Conrad Bladey. I will send you the address when we have figured out shipping etc. via e.mail.(I make no profit from this service.) This handcrafted Web page is by Hutman Productions
You can also obtain the CD direct from the Big Blow and the Bushwackers.
Same cost etc. They may be able to accept credit cards. Click
here to go to their official page.
Even Handria is on the CD!
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