A reissue of John McCutcheon's classic 1981 album, featuring his first recording with the group Trapezoid. Long considered one of the world's finest hammer dulcimer players, McCutcheon takes us through a feast of wonderful music, adding his driving old-time fiddle, as well.
He blends well-known pieces ("Sally Anne", "Fine Times at Our House", "O'Carolan's Farewell to Music") with music he collected directly from traditional sources and are being heard on record for the first time ("Nancy Ann", "Hey, John D, Where'd You Get Your Britches", "Grandpa's Waltz", "Back Side of Albany", "Times Are Not What They Used to Be"). He introduced the world to Bob McQuillen's gorgeous "Amelia's", now a standard in contra dance waltzes. One of McCutcheon's great gifts is his ability to create interesting pairings of songs. The album kicks off with the Si Kahn original, "Wild Rose of the Mountain", and then morphs into the traditional fiddle tune that inspired the title. Similarly, Tommy Jarrell's "I Am the Bravest Cowboy" is linked with the wonderful "Cowboy's Dream." The shape note hymn, "Samanthra", shifts elegantly into a hammer dulcimer quartet based on the same melody.
John McCutcheon has, for nearly forty years, been a driving force in American folk music. Here's a snapshot of what this innovative artist was doing in the field of almost-strictly traditional music thirty years ago.