Jody Stecher

Going Up on the Mountain: The Classic First Recordings

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Going up on the Mountain is a wonderful re-release full of traditional music recorded by Jody Stecher and friends in the mid-'70s. It is comprised on selections from Stecher's first album, Snake Baked a Hoecake, and his entire second album, Going Up on the Mountain. Along with other contemporary singers presenting traditional music, like Hazel Dickens and Dirk Powell, Stecher's music runs deep while remaining in the here and now. His performance of Jean Ritchie's "Black Waters" creates an environmental anthem worthy of John Prine's "Paradise," while the lovely "the Hills of Isle Au Haut" -- performed twice on this album -- sketches the simple pleasures of rural living. Stecher's old-time vocals are a real plus on this album, and the tasteful harmony accompanying him present this material in the best possible light. Stecher's version of "Wild Bill Jones" proves radically different, more old-time and less joyous, than other contemporary versions of this song. This gravity seems appropriate for a song about the murder of a rival over a sweetheart. The most familiar song here is the country music hit "Amanda," here performed in old-time country fashion, complete with Dobro and fiddle. The overall effect of this material is that of a group of friends having a good time, while still remaining professional. Going up on the Mountain also contains the first recordings of Stecher performing with his future wife and singing partner, Kate Brislin. This is a lovely album of old-time music, perfectly sung and played.

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