Mike Seeger

Music from True Vine

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It was a big move for traditional folk scholar Mike Seeger to have a solo album on a label the size of Mercury, and needless to say it happened at a time when all manner of roots music seemed vaguely commercial. Turnover must have been not quite what was expected, because much of the pressing wound up being sold back to Seeger. As such, it turned out to be a perfect merchandise item at this artist's many solo concerts. He plays extremely well on at least a half dozen different instruments here, doing the sorts of striking solos that often were highlights of releases by his old group, the New Lost City Ramblers. His "Buckdancer's Choice" on autoharp is a marvel, as are the solo pieces sung with fiddle accompaniment, such as "Roving Cowboy." He also comes up with some sharp guitar flatpicking, kicking things into high gear on the album's opening track, "Birmingham Tickle." There is also a healthy selection of banjo solos, some bluesy resonator guitar, and "Old Blind Drunk John," performed on the strange Jew's harp or rook. All in all, anyone who has enjoyed a Seeger solo gig should feel confident that this album will not be a letdown, while listeners that are looking for an eclectic mix of traditional music played solo also have a winner here.

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