Martin Stephenson

The Haint of the Budded Rose

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

If you like your roots music performed among friends, on the back porch or in the kitchen, you are in for quite a treat. This two-CD set (97 minutes in total duration) chronicles Martin Stephenson's musical journey through North Carolina in July 2000. Invited by Dolph Ramseur, a fan, Stephenson crossed the Atlantic to meet sung and unsung heroes of American roots music. The journey revolves around the figure of Charlie Poole. Stephenson meets fiddlers, banjo players, and singers in their homes, trading tunes and stories with them while Ramseur keeps a mini-disc recorder close by, capturing the warmth of each exchange. The album itself is a collection of traditional bluegrass and Piedmont blues tunes, stories about Charlie Poole, and snippets of conversation. Among the featured musicians are Ned Mullins, slide guitarist Etta Baker, Sammy Walker, David Childers, and Kinney Rorrer (nephew of Poole's violinist, Posey Rorrer, and North Carolina Ramblers revivalist). The recordings are ambient and spontaneous; it means that trucks pass by, children play, and mistakes happen. But if such elements sound like flaws on paper, they actually add to the listening experience, giving the whole project authenticity and credibility. There is a lot of musical friendship running through these 46 tracks, and a lot of moving music. Highlights include a beautiful "Weary Blues," Etta Baker's rendition of "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad," and Sammy Walker's rendition of "Green, Green, Grass of Home." Very different from Stephenson's regular output, this album is both tribute and travel literature.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:59
3 1:15
4 1:49
5 3:16
6 1:39
7 1:46
8 3:19
9
feat: Etta Baker
1:58
10 0:36
11
feat: Kirk Sutphin
1:14
12
feat: Toby Weaver
1:50
13
feat: Ian McBeth
2:03
14 1:16
15 3:20
16
feat: Sammy Walker
3:41
17 1:36
18 3:19
19 1:11
20 2:53
21
feat: Tom Burrell
1:22

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:18
2 0:37
3
3:23
4
feat: Ken Linker
2:18
5
feat: Ned Mullis
1:04
6
feat: Ned Mullis
2:31
7 1:24
8 4:09
9
feat: David George
3:31
10 1:39
11
feat: David Cook
1:20
12 3:06
13
feat: Jim Brown
0:56
14 0:51
15
feat: Jim Brown
0:39
16
feat: Sammy Walker
0:31
17
feat: Sammy Walker
2:44
18
feat: Etta Baker
1:14
19
feat: Etta Baker
1:25
20 3:14
21
3:23
22 2:12
23 1:42
24 2:05
25 4:07
blue highlight denotes track pick