The Abagadasset String Band has a tongue-twisting mouthful of a name and an easy listening sound. From instrumentals like the banjo strumming, spoons percussive "Terry's Tune" to the cheerful, lively "Raggin' on the Fourth," this trio from Richmond, ME, offers an enjoyable debut album. Topics for the vocals vary greatly. "We're Out to Save the Union" is a Civil War-based song about a youth who runs away to join the Army, and it takes a realistic look at war's hazards -- illness, death, and "the price we paid for pride." The tune is somewhat cheery, and thus a bit at odds with the lyrics, yet it makes its point. They admit in their notes that the lyrics to "My Mother's Words" are corny; yet there's room in the genre for that, and sentimentalists will probably like it. The title song, "Fiddlin', Strummin', Hummin' and Howlin'," is one of those humorous tongue-in-cheek numbers that can be taken two ways, sexual innuendoes and all, yet it's good natured about it, and easy to sing along with. So put it on, grab a cold drink, sit on the porch swing, and settle in for the evening's listening of good old-timey bluegrass songs.
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