Molasses Creek

Best of Molasses Creek

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When a band has been together for seven or eight years, recorded four albums, and just appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, it can only mean one thing: It's time to issue a "best-of" collection. In 2001, Molasses Creek decided to do just that, collecting songs from previous albums, re-recording a few favorites, and adding several new pieces. The result is a fine introduction to the band's catchy blend of bluegrass, newgrass, and folk. Kitty and Gary Mitchell along with David Tweedie (or Fiddler Dave) hail from Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they formed Molasses Creek in the early '90s. While The Best of Molasses Creek offers a snapshot of the band's history, all of the songs -- as of 2002 -- could still be found in the group's live repertoire. Highlights of this collection include the band's radical rearrangement of John Prine's "Paradise," a version that unfurls at a relaxed pace, allowing the listener to fully drink in the poignant lyrics. "Nana's Song," from the band's first album, is a tender ballad, full of melody and beautiful harmony, while the instrumental "Exploding Flounder" gives everyone a chance to cut loose for some heavy-duty picking. One wouldn't want to miss the concert favorite "Cedar Island Ferry," a song that qualifies as a prime example of that little-known genre, "middle-class road epic." The Best of Molasses Creek, like the best of any island band worth its salt, doesn't replace the group's other lovely albums. It is, nonetheless, a good place to get your feet wet.

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