Fuzzy Mountain String Band

Summer Oaks and Porch

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This Durham-based old-time string revival group lost guitarist Bobbie Thompson prior to recording this second Rounder album, superior to the first in terms of professional polish. Still, neither album really captures the epic majesty of this group in a live setting. A third banjo player had also been added to the group at this point -- what, three banjos in a group? -- which kind of has to be heard to be believed. The large group breaks down into various smaller combinations for some of the tracks, all of which are traditional numbers as learned from various old-time legends such as Henry Reed and Frank George. One of the best aspects of this group was its archival nature, as it didn't like to stick to tried and true numbers. Quite a bit of dust must have been cleaned off old 78s to have come up with some of this material. The group was also not known for wasting time, as many numbers clock in at under two minutes. Some of these tracks, but not all, were combined with the group's entire first album for Rounder to make up a CD reissue in 1995. Unfortunately that selection omitted some of the best tracks such as the medley of Tommy Jarrell fiddle tunes.

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