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Heritage

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Heritage is a unique concept album, which explores the expanse of American Roots music. These folk tunes, which run the gamut from Appalachian gospel to African-American chants to "heart songs" and fiddle tunes from every part of this country, all have the distinction of being crucial to the cultural development of this nation, and still musically relevant: they're so strong as purely musical entities that they can take just about any kind of setting and not lose their meaning and identity. From distilled reportage to pure musical flight, these songs speak directly to matters of deep immediacy and relevance: Love, poverty, despair, joy, death, after-death. Nobody wrote them; Everybody wrote them. Listening to them is experiencing cultural geology.

The vocalists include: Mary- Chapin Carpenter, John Gorka, Willie Nelson, Tim O'Brien, Jane Siberry, Mavis Staples and Dar Williams

Instrumentalists on Heritage include: Phil Aaberg, David Balakrishnan, Russ Barenberg, Sam Bush, Joe Craven, Vassar Clements, Jerry Douglas Michael Doucet, Stuart Duncan,Tony Elman, Bela Fleck, David Grisman John Hartford, Barbara Higbie, John Jennings, David Lindley, Michael Manring, Mike Marshall, Paul McCandless, Edgar Meyer, Andy Narell Barry Phillips, Todd Phillips, Tony Trischka and Victor Wooten;.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Six Degrees
  • ASIN: B0007IO6EQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,765 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
My eariest recollection of Darol Anger as one of the world's most unique fiddlers goes back nearly two decades, with the Windham Hill release of "Live at Montreux," featuring the Darol Anger/Barbara Higbie Quintet. To this day, I still pull this CD out, if only to play "Near Northern," a true classic of its genre. But that album had been released in the early, "good" days of Windham Hill, when the label had been the pet project and unique vision of Will Ackerman and Anne Robinson. Absent their subsequent leadership, the label veered off-base as far as my musical tastes were concerned. And, consequently, I lost track of Darol for more than a decade.

Then, about four years ago, while in the evening "commuter rush," I had the opportunity to hear samples of "Heritage," with commentary by Darol, on NPR's "All Things Considered." With those musical snippets bouncing around in my head, I couldn't find my own copy of the album fast enough. And, once I had my own copy in hand, and had heard it through, I later ended up purchasing the better part of a dozen copies, both for friends in the music industry who had done something similar and for other friends who I also figured would like it. (They all did.)

In a way, this turned out to be a "musical reunion" album for me, with session work by Paul McCandless of Oregon (and formerly the Paul Winter Consort), the best oboist on the planet, Edgar Meyer (now, already, a legend), Béla Fleck (ditto), Mavis Staples (ditto), Willie Nelson (ditto), Michael Doucet (ditto), Mike Marshall (ditto), David Grisman (ditto), Andy Narell (ditto), and on and on...

To me, "Heritage" will always be the ultimate "roots" album, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (OBWAT) and others of its ilk notwithstanding.
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Format: Audio CD
OK, it was by chance only that I came upon this album, but I knew of Darol Anger and Mike Marshall and the San Francisco contingent, including Scott Nygaard, a personal favorite. These are some of the most talented players on the planet, but they all have remained close to home and hearth, carefully picking and choosing in which project to participate.

I am not going to dwell on the who's who on this album. Bob "Z" did an excellent and comprehensive job in his review posted here. This album deserves a wider following. It is comprised of the finest musicians, playing a staggering array of instruments, recorded in an acoustically rich environment. Add to this vocals by some of the most easily identifiable talent in the business and you have the musical palette from which Darol and the others have created a series of masterpieces.

Make no mistake: This is NOT your grandmother's roots music. It started way back when, but the similarity ends there. Each of these tunes has survived because they struck a responsive chord in us, witness the popularity of OBWAT. Darol Anger and the others have taken it to the next level, and it's out of love.

If you have a good sound system and ears, dim the lights, pour yourself a glass of wine (or not) and prepare to enjoy what these musicians have accomplished, now part of our musical heritage.

Stephen Job
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Format: Audio CD
I am not a professional reviewer, but I have seen Darol Anger and Mike Marshall here in St Augustine and they were wonderful. I bought "Heritage" years ago and was impressed by it. I misplaced it and thought I would never hear it again. Thankfully, I found it about 6 months ago. I forgot how freaking great it was. Every time I hear it, I am more impressed. It never gets old. It is a recording that should be more widely heard. Like "Largo", a concept album created by members of the "Hooters" back in 1998 - with the help of the Chieftains, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Taj Mahal, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne and others, this includes a variety of talented artists who all click and seem part of a whole, organic and real. It is beautiful, often stunning music. It never gets old. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves music, especially American music.
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