Foot in the Air is a cheerful, toe tapping, old-timey string band based out of Ironton, OH, featuring Bob Toothman on hammered dulcimer, Larry Wood on mandolin and guitar, Charlie Cook also on guitar, Stew Schneider on autoharp, and Jim Miller on bass. All songs are performed instrumentally and acoustically. There's a ragtime influence to their arrangement of "Marching Through Georgia" and their selections range from hornpipes to waltzes to polkas -- in fact, it's kind of humorous to hear the "Clarinet Polka" performed by all strings, but then this band clearly has a lively sense of good old strumming fun. "Over the Waterfall" is particularly ear-catching, and they have an unusual arrangement of "Star of the County Down" that is slow, melodic, and quite pleasingly distinctive. If you want to hear old-time Appalachian string music done right -- with skill, heart, and zest -- this is the album to get. Anybody who enjoys contradancing will find lots to appreciate here, particularly "Ragtime Annie," "Staten Island Hornpipe," and "Mississippi Sawyer." Definitely an encouraging debut.
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