John Lowell & Ben Winship | Growling Old Men

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United States - Montana

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Country: Bluegrass Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Growling Old Men

by John Lowell & Ben Winship

Simple old time-bluegrass in the brother duet style; just mandolin, guitar and two great voices covering a selection of traditional gems and old sounding new songs - recommended for Sunday morning.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Lily Green
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3:23 $0.99
2. As Soon As You're Out of my Life
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2:57 $0.99
3. As I Went Out One Morning
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2:52 $0.99
4. Sarah Hogan
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4:56 $0.99
5. Roving Gambler
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3:28 $0.99
6. Further in the Hole
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2:50 $0.99
7. Long Fork of the Buckhorn
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2:40 $0.99
8. Jack Haggerty
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3:38 $0.99
9. Growling Old Man, Grumbling Woman
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3:14 $0.99
10. Rye Whiskey
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3:05 $0.99
11. Blue Ridge Mtn Blues
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3:09 $0.99
12. Goodnight Grampa
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"One of the acoustic music scene's best writers. Sits and contemplates in sleepy little Victor, Idaho. I wonder what Ben is thinking about right now... it's gonna be another great song"
-Tim O'Brien

Ben Winship plays mandolin, bass, old time banjo and sings. He is currently touring with Kane's River. He is also known as a founding member of the neo-bluegrass band Loose Ties (with whom he performed, recorded and toured from 1986-1996) and as a member of the Judith Edelman Band. Ben's songs and playing have been prominently featured on six Loose Ties recordings, two solo projects and the critically acclaimed Fishing Music with David Thompson and the Growling Old Men CD with guitarist John Lowell.

In addition to winning a number of awards with Loose Ties, Winship took second place in the 1989 National Mandolin Championships and was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival's NewFolk contest for his songwriting. In 1990, he was honored with a Performing Arts Fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts for his contribution to the performing arts in Idaho.

"Choosing to become a practitioner of various underground music styles (bluegrass and old time string band music), while raising a family in a remote area (Victor, Idaho in the Tetons), has necessitated a creative and multifaceted approach to my musical survival.

"While the past 14 years were primarily focused on touring, my current objective is to stay closer to home - changing hats between that of freelance mandolin and bass player, studio engineer/producer, songwriter and creator of soundtracks. Performance-wise, Kane's River and The Growling Old Men remain active. Over the years I've also had some great opportunities to make music with the likes of Tony Furtado, Mike Dowling, Peter Rowan, Tish Hinojosa, Sugarbeat, Bryan Bowers, Tom Rush, David Grier and Matt Flinner -- I hope to continue doing this when time and occasion permits."

When not performing or recording, Winship can be found playing bass with a local Rhythm & Blues band or busy at home with his wife Caroline raising two sons, 1/2 acre of garlic and a small flock of chickens.

Ben plays hand built mandolins by: Lawrence Smart, A. Michael Heiden and Ron Oates; using Elixir Strings.

SOUND TRACKS
Ben's original soundtracks have graced a number of documentaries, CD's, educational and nature videos. Most recently, Ben has completed recording for the soundtrack to Arctic Dancea documentary on the legendary conservationist, Mardy Murie (with narration by Harrison Ford). Watch for its release later this year. Complimenting Ben's original music library, is a growing catalog of sound samples, with an emphasis on wildlife and nature recordings made in the greater yellowstone ecosystem. Employing recording techniques learned from bio-acoustic pioneer, Bernie Krause, the sound library is digitally archived and available for licensing . For more info and/ or samples of original music & sound effects contact Ben at: info@BenWinship.com

HENHOUSE STUDIO
The Henhouse studio features 16 and 24 track digital recording, 20-bit ADATs, Protools software, new and vintage Neumann microphones, Grace preamps, Genelec monitors and a host of top notch outboard gear.


Reviews


to write a review

Joe Ross

Neofolk traditionalists with a knack for understanding & harnessing the heart an
Playing Time – 52:56 -- Also known as The Growling Old Men, guitarist John Lowell and mandolinist Ben Winship recorded “Occupational Hazards” over the course of three weekends at Ben’s own backyard studio affectionately called The Henhouse. They noticed that many of their songs had to do with occupations (or avocations) often fraught with risks. Realizing that “peril makes for good song fodder,” this thematic set of traditional and original folkish fare features two-part harmonies backed by mandolin and guitar. Lean settings lend an immediacy to the story songs, whether they be a cover from the Delmore Brothers (“Weary Day”), Lowell’s wistful “Road Agent’s Lament,” or Winship’s affable “Old Black Coat” and “Last Hill Before Home.” Their roots-based and raw-boned folk music makes for a compelling set that emphasizes plaintive story songs. John wrote “Road Agent's Lament” a number of years ago. He’s an avid student of old west history so many of his songs touch on that theme.

Playing bluegrass together in the band Kane’s River for several years has allowed them to understand each other’s muse and vision, but this isn’t bluegrass. No banjo and fiddle here. However, these neofolk traditionalists have a knack for understanding and harnessing the heart and sentiment of the American musical spirit. I especially enjoyed the precise imagery that the duo can create with only 14 strings and two voices. Their straightforward stories or simple declarations about life and work are interweaved with some country blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Callin’ Like the Wild Things Do”), Celtic flavors (“Billy Taylor” and “Crooked Jack”), a lullaby (“Hobo’s Lullaby”), and rootsy picking (“Blackberry Rag”). All in all, the songs have a seductive and relaxed charm, and the two troubadours bring out their soulful beauty.

Winship and Lowell sing with smooth, leisurely phrasing. They pick with precision and carefree excitement. Their rendition of “East Virginia Blues” may be one of the most mellow and restful versions I’ve ever heard. In a handful of tunes, Winship’s octave mandolin imparts an evocative mood. Some trivia about Ben is that he took second place in the 1989 National Mandolin Championships in Winfield, Ks. As one small suggestion for some enhancement on “Occupational Hazards,” it might have been nice for him to pick some of that old-time banjo that he can do so well. And, some trivia about John Lowell from Montana is that he's worked with the bands, Wheel Hoss, Deep River and Loose Ties before joining up with Kane's River.

Although John Lowell’s “Somewhere Down the Road” is a new tune about returning home, it’s the same kind of vivid and resonant music that folks have made for generations on their front porches. The song came out of a particularly fun tour with Kane's River, and John clearly conveys that traveling around and playing music with friends is a good thing. A nice thing about two masters playing stripped-down arrangements is that it gives listeners a set full of understatement, thought, and intimacy. Winship’s Snake River Records label also distributes the albums of Loose Ties (that Ben played with from 1986-96) and his celebrated solo album, One Shoe Left. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

Georgia

I loved it! Great sounds.
The songs on this CD are wonderful. I love the musicianship and the lyrics are sometimes fun, sometimes just plain good. Great buy!

Bob Byrd

Excellent Blend of Bluegrass, Folk and Applachian Music
I was lured to this duo and this album when I heard them on A Prairie Home Companion and they sang Sarah Hogan. They just knocked me out. In writing this review, I must compare this CD to their stellar Growling Old Men CD.

The Growling Old Men duo is a must have for any serious acoustic music collector. Their blend of bluegrass styling with folk themes is unique in my experience. And they add a sort of Appalachian or irish tinge to the music as well. Their voices and harmonies are superbly tuned to this music.

While I don't think it quite achieves the level of excellence that their their Growling Old Men CD achieves overall, this CD is a MUST HAVE because of the song selection, particularly Sarah Hogan.

BUY IT!

Bob Byrd

Excellent Blend of Bluegrass, Folk and Applachian Music
I was lured to this duo and this album when I heard them on A Prairie Home Companion and they sang Sarah Hogan. They just knocked me out. In writing this review, I must compare this CD to their stellar Growling Old Men CD.

The Growling Old Men duo is a must have for any serious acoustic music collector. Their blend of bluegrass styling with folk themes is unique in my experience. And they add a sort of Appalachian or irish tinge to the music as well. Their voices and harmonies are superbly tuned to this music.

While I don't think it quite achieves the level of excellence that their their Growling Old Men CD achieves overall, this CD is a MUST HAVE because of the song selection, particularly Sarah Hogan.

BUY IT!