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Still Crooked

17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 24, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Review

"The most cohesive of the Boston dark-folk/bluegrass band's three excellent albums -- chilling and otherworldly, what fantasy writers like to call 'eldritch.'" -- USA Today

1. Undone In Sorrow
2. The Absentee
3. Captain, Captain
4. Tell Her To Come Back Home
5. Low Down and Dirty
6. Oh, Agamemnon
7. Pharoah
8. Florence
9. Did You Sleep Well?
10. Poor Ellen Smith
11. Theme From 'The Absentee'
12. Wading Deep Waters
13. Baby, What's Wrong With You?

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Signature Sounds
  • ASIN: B00187PNGK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This, the third CD from a somewhat different contemporary-style bluegrass group, is their best thus far. Having unusual sonority achieved through both cello and bass, which contrasts nicely with the banjo, fiddle, and the soft breathy vocals of Aoife O'Donovan, the group offers traditional songs influenced by named artists and, now, a couple of their own. Including more ballads and storytelling than rousing dances, the CD is fine for the late evening or after dinner relaxation. The musicianship is excellent. I happen to be a cello freak and appreciate that instrument's contributions to the sound. I recommend listening to the CD with a good stereo system that allows a brighter, clearer sound, as on lesser equipment the recording, oddly, seems energetically flat and dry in tone, perhaps the fault of a too efficient sound-absorbing studio.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Woland on July 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I discovered Crooked Still entirely by accident at the Grey Fox bluegrass festival two years ago. After enjoying a few sets of traditional bluegrass music played by well-established bands that have been together for decades, this ragtag group of 20-somethings came on the stage -- one with a double bass and another with a cello -- and blew the audience away. I've been hooked ever since.

Still Crooked is the perfect name their latest album, since it's the first since the departure of their wildly spectacular (and spectacularly wild) original cellist Rushad Eggleston. As a great fan of their first two CDs -- Hop High and Shaken by a Low Sound -- I know I wasn't the only one who was worried about the future direction and quality of the band. But from the very first track it's clear that there's no need for concern. The new incarnation of Crooked Still is very much Still Crooked and still creating music of the highest order.

While the album has a few fun up-tempo tunes (Poor Ellen Smith is a blast all the way to the very end, with its surprise final violin flourish), overall it's definitely quieter and more intense than their other CDs. It opens with the extraordinary Undone in Sorrow, a heartbreakingly plaintive song that showcases the entire band's strengths, from Aoife O'Donovan's breathy vocals to the fine playing of new cellist Tristan Clarridge and new violinist Brittany Haas. Another real standout is Low Down and Dirty, an original song of painful love, vengeful murder, and a touch of cowardice written by O'Donovan that brings visions of Tim Burton's movies to mind. Two of the finest songs on the CD are almost lullabies -- Captain Captain and Florence -- and honestly, there isn't a weak song on the entire CD.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fearless Heart on August 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
OK, imagine, if you will, an old wooden railroad bridge across a deep chasm somewhere in the wilderness. Two trains approach from the opposite directions: one is carrying a brilliant string quartet of the finest young classical musicians from the most demanding music schools. The other train is bearing a fantastic bluegrass band with one of the greatest banjo players of the time.

They collide head-on.

And yet miraculously and mysteriously, out of the inferno strides five young survivors. Somehow spared by a higher power of both darkness and light to create a sound greater than the sum of the parts.

That's Crooked Still.

Think about this-- when The Boss was putting together his Seeger Sessions band, he called Greg Liszt to play banjo. Aoife O'Donovan is the daughter of Brian O'Donovan. Guests include Tim O'Brien and Casey Driessen.

My favorite track is the very VERY scary "Did You Sleep Well?" "Murdergrass" at it's finest (Hmmmn, or is it?)

I grant you, some people won't get it. OK, the title is too precious (It should really be called "Undone in Sorrow" a GREAT song from Olla Belle Reed, a GREAT American musician)

These cats are in the very forefront of the incredible revival of world class stringbands such as the Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Duhks, Uncle Earl and Old Crow medicine Show.

Yes, they recently have some new members, but they didn't rebuild, they reloaded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Schulte on June 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I agree- this is the best CD yet released by this group. and it's awesome. nuff said.

stellar musicianship-
amazing arrangements-
great track selection-
and more notably- this CD flows much fore smoothly from song to song than do the other two crooked still releases.

highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Pang on July 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Their latest album has pumped up some traditional american music. This time they did it with two new members. A new cellist replacing the old one. And a new fiddler Ms. Haas. She gives the Crooked Still so much more sounds and variations. Her solo part on the tunes are just amazing. Fans love it.

Quality of sound is up to the standard like the previous two albums. The songs that they've chosen on this album is not what i've anticipated. It's always a 'growing' thing. You've to listen to it a few more times to understand the composition of the songs. But it's for sure that the variety of tunes are very limited on this album. I'm giving a four star rating because of that. It's worth listening and a great introduction to the new generation of bluegrass music!
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