Oscar Jenkins

Stay All Night...and Don't Go Home

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Stay All Night. . .And Don't Go Home, a collection of songs recorded between 1967-71, has a wonderful, timeless quality to it. Oscar Jenkins, Fred Cockerham, and Tommy Jarrell had been high-quality performers of old-timey music for a number of years and this project gave them a chance to shine once again. The beauty of the project is its authenticity, a quality (or, some would say, a feeling) that's difficult to define in print. Here, one might describe recordings of "Sally Ann" and "Ground Hog" as giving the impression that the producers just set up the microphones in the studio and let the tape roll. "Policeman," wild and loose, sounds live and in the moment, and no one has bothered to ask the singer to remove the unpleasant racial epitaphs. The working aesthetic then is folk, not pop, so the use of normal studio trickery -- overdubbing, reverb, and compression -- seems non-existent. This leaves very little between the listener and Jarrell's fiddle and vocal on "Old 97," and his performance probably isn't much different than it would've been at a local dance. This alone, however, wouldn't "make" Stay All Night as successful as it is. The high energy performances of songs like "June Apple" have seeped down into the vinyl -- and now been transferred into the CD's bytes -- and reveal a group of performers very much in their element. For lovers of old-timey music, Stay All Night and its companion piece Down to the Cider Mill are the real deal.

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