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Republic of Strings


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Audio CD, February 24, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Darol Anger's unique vision of venacular, internationall stringband music is fully realized on REPUBLIC OF STRINGS, the debut of The American Fiddle Ensemble. This album seemlessly blends bluegrass, jazz, classical and folk traditions to create a beautifully rich and unique album.

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Darol Anger isn't the sort of musician who stretches musical boundaries; he's the sort of musician who refuses to concede that such boundaries even exist. On Republic of Strings he and his American Fiddle Ensemble use relatively simple tunes such as Irish fiddler Liz Carroll's "Lost in the Loop" or Bill Monroe's "Old Dangerfield" as a starting point to create harmonically complex, rhythmically rich arrangements. The band consists of guitarist Scott Nygaard, the brilliant young fiddler Brittany Haas, cellist Rashad Eggleston, and Natalie Haas, who takes Eggleston's place on three tracks. Guest artists include Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins, who lends vocals to a slightly spooky version of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," and Laurie Lewis, who delivers a bluegrass-tinged take on Joni Mitchell's "Help Me." You might call this improvised Afro-Scandinavian Irish old-time string band music, but it would be equally true, and much simpler, to just say they play great music. --Michael John Simmons

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Lost In The Loop 5:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Higher Ground 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Grigsby's Hornpipe 5:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Old Dangerfield 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Help Me 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Andre De Sabato Nuovo 6:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sneezin' 5:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Ouditarus Rex 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Where To Now? 5:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Evening Prelude 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Evening Prayer Blues 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Dzinomwa Muna Save 6:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Sand10:34$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0001CNQXA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Fans of progressive acoustic music think they know Darol Anger, but they won't know what hit them after they hear this! It seems like most musicians of Darol's generation are content to mine existing veins, settling into a cosy twilight. Not Anger -- here he's paired with two amazing young musicians (cellist Rushad Eggleston and fiddler Brittany Haas) and, along with under-rated flatpicker Scott Nygaard, use the techniques he has developed over years of exploration to enliven a new set of music drawn from all over the world. The guitar and cello are an unexpectedly forceful rhythm section, driving Anger and Haas to new levels of invention and intensity. But this isn't all about flash: the slower, more spacious tunes are amazingly empathetic -- bordering on telepathy. It's great to hear someone like Darol still testing the limits of his music...if you're new to his music, or haven't heard him in a while, here's where you pick up.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on June 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
--those that surround themselves with sycophants and those that associate with their peers or betters.
Darol Anger is distinctly of the latter type. The musicians he has chosen to play with on this altogether remarkable disc are every bit his peers, if not his superiors. The result is a disc of magnificent presence and accomplishment.
Perhaps the standout characteristic of this astounding music is the diversity of material Anger has managed to round up and "break" (as one might a wild bronc) within its purview: everything from Irish traditional ("Lost in the Loop") to Detroit soul ("Higher Ground") to Kentucky bluegrass ("Old Dangerfield") to elay folk-rock ("Help Me" [nearly unrecognizable, it must be said], featuring the eartheral vocals of Laurie Lewis) to Villa-Lobos-like Brazilian-classical ("Andre de Sabato Nuovo") to smart swing ("Sneezin'") to Arabic ("Ouditras Rez") to gospel/blues ("Evening Prayer Blues") to African ("Dzinomwa Muna Save") to Scandinavian fiddle music ("Sand").
Surrounding himself with up-and-coming musicians of the absolute top rank (wildly creative fiddle player Brittany Haas; hugely underregarded flat-picking guitarist Scott Nygard, practically the peer of David Grier; monster cellist Rushad Eggleston), Anger has upped the ante of string-band music almost off the charts, with us, the listeners, being the beneficiaries.
Rhapsodic gloriousness of the first order: You snooze, you lose. Plus, contains a hidden mysterioso track that contextualizes the proceedings with gravitas beyond the call of duty.
Transcendent.
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