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900 Miles

Bethany & RufusAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 2007 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 30, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: HYENA Records
  • ASIN: B000ICLTP0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,154 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 900 Miles
2. East Virginia
3. Linin' Track
4. The Swallow
5. St. James Infirmary
6. Isn't That So
7. If I Had My Way
8. No More Songs
9. Forgiveness
10. Asturiana

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia manage to get quite a bit out of not much at all. Their spare collaboration on 900 Miles references a wide swath of folk and jazz, but the nocturnal smokiness of Yarrow's haunted alto and Cappadocia's cello combine for a sound that's slightly outside of the usual music universe. There's some Cowboy Junkies here, a dash of Tuck & Patti there and an overall otherworldliness more akin to a David Lynch movie. Yarrow doesn't just vamp for the whole record though; her range careens from hushed to strident, and she even does a pretty fair PJ Harvey wail (circa 4-Track Demos) on "Linin' Track," and "Isn't That So?" Meanwhile, Cappadocia often puts down his bow, extracting some funk out of "If I Had My Way," or leading off "East Virginia" with a little Latin guitar flavor. But the heart of the record is in the ballads, as the duo stretches out with long, dark adagio passages filled with dust and desire. Bethany & Rufus successfully transcend their limited instrumentation, coming up with a debut that gets better and better with each listen. –Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Souful performances. March 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Bethany & Rufus are an incredible cello and voice duo that slides elegantly between groove, jazz and psychedelic folk.

Their new CD makes it obvious why these indie artists are capturing national attention.

It is a stunningly simple and beautiful work, a magical blend of Bethany's electrifying voice (a combination of the husky power of Nina Simone and the open-hearted sweetness of a tiny sparrow) and the mind-blowing, genre-bending cello playing of Rufus Cappadocia.

With a deeply soulful sound Bethany (daughter of folk legend Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary) and Rufus have transformed timeless songs such as "900 Miles", "East Virginia", and "St. James Infirmary" -- pushing the boundaries of American folk far into the territory of groove and sweet soul.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Music March 12, 2007
By kenshi
Format:Audio CD
First of all I have to admit to a bit of bias as I know Rufus personally. Many times these Amazon reviews are slated with friends and family of the artists or authors as well as those who have vested interest in seeing these projects succeed. For me its best I say it out front as I want to give a personal tribute to a good family friend and superb musician.

With all that said, Rufus Cappadocia is a highly unique cellist. Although he is classically trained, he had long since abandoned that traditional approach to music and instead adapted a highly unorthodox style in which he uses his fingers to tap the strings. If you are familiar with the guitar style of Stanley Jordan, then you know what I referring to. The result is a highly percussive and bass-like sound that is far more richer and expressive. This is not to say he has totally abandoned the use of the bow but this does he free him up to play other styles of music such as jazz, african, indian, funk, flamenco and much more. On this CD we see both Bethany and him give wonderful space and expression to each other's talent.

I am not a musician and so my review of his technique would not do him justice but overall I think this is a CD worth listening to. Hopefully you will have a chance to hear more of him.

Best Regards to Che, Zack and Louise :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb! November 6, 2010
By Michael
Format:Audio CD
Hearing recordings is one thing, but seeing Bethany and Rufus in a live setting adds another dimension. I had the great fortune to see them play a house concert this month in Portland, Oregon. The sheer musicianship and physicality of their performance floored me. The power of Bethany's voice; her vocal drama, presence and control, and clearly, the musical intuition and exposure which informs that voice, tinged with gospel/R&B/World Music elements. Along with Rufus's very unorthodox cello style; not only finger tapping as mentioned in another review, but a combo of slap bass and "slap bow" - percussively and rhythmically slapping the bow in concert with the left hand fingering and tapping technique. And of course, beautifully executed traditional technique. Poetry in motion. Rufus also plays a modified baritone-like guitar with four double strings which he created himself from a standard guitar, and has outfitted the neck in such a way that he can explore Middle Eastern-influenced quarter tone intervals. Bethany and Rufus are each one of a kind, truly immersed in their craft. I highly recommend their music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a refreshing sound March 14, 2007
By Donald
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Brings back the days of folk singing with a brilliant and new style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Voice and Cello Groove Songs: Bethany & Rufus July 16, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Bethany Yarrow's rich vocals alternately soar, then wail, as she breathes life into the melancholy folk songs found on this captivating disc. The grooves created by Rufus Cappadocia, playing 5 string cello much like a bass, are intricate, bold, and hard driving throughout. Although 900 Miles is their first recording endeavor together, one gets the immediate impression that they have lived and loved this music for a long time.

"If I had My Way," the seventh cut on 900 Miles, speaks of the frustrations of living in an imperfect world and wanting to take matters into one's own hands. "If I had my way, If I had my way, If I had my way in this wicked world, I'd tear this building down." (liner notes) As Bethany "tears it down," Rufus "builds it up." With the assistance of percussionist Gaston "Bonga" Jean Baptiste, Rufus pours a funk driven foundation, starting with sparsely delivered cello riffs, building into a fully furnished two story rhythmic mansion, nicely appointed with luxurious drumming provided by Baptiste.

Throughout 900 Miles, Bethany and Rufus contrast and compliment one another continuously: The calm serenity of the vocal, and the intensity of the cello groove; her flowing lyric and his relentless pulse; the song, and the groove; Bethany & Rufus 900 Miles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing September 13, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I had the pleasure - no, the privilege - of hearing Bethany and Rufus in a very small club in Sacramento just last night (9/12/07). A voice such as Bethany's is rare - her range is phenomenal. There is a haunting quality to her voice that is difficult to describe, and time after time, I felt chills run up my spine as I thrilled to her vocals and to Rufus' gifted cello playing. The miraculous range of music Rufus executes is as difficult to describe as Bethany's voice. There was one non-vocal piece, "Lament for Iraq" which I assume Rufus wrote that left me near tears, it was THAT evocative of sorrow, of a mournful wail. I bought both their CDs, both the "900 Miles" and Rufus' solo cd.

What a treat it was to see them. If you get the chance to see them in performance, DO! And while you're at it, check out the CDs. I am not associated with Bethany/Rufus by friendship (wish I were!), I'm just a new and very excited/devoted fan.
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