MICHI | Twisted Path

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Astor Piazzolla Bob Wills Django Reinhardt

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Jazz: Retro Swing Folk: Field Recordings Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Twisted Path


A musical roller coaster: recordings from bluegrass, tango, celtic, slavic, to live sessions - all for a good cause! As of July 2011, all CDBaby income from this album will be donated - to Kiva Loans and local charities in Chicago/Milwaukee region.
Genre: Jazz: Retro Swing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Two Guitars
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1:45 album only
2. Tamlin Swing
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3:58 album only
3. Crested Hen
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3:24 album only
4. Salzedo Tango
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3:12 album only
5. Angelina Baker
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1:45 album only
6. Minor Swing
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2:17 album only
7. Bring It On Down
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2:01 album only
8. La Reina
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1:53 album only
9. Working On A Building
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4:19 album only
10. Carousel Waltz
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4:31 album only
11. Spherical Duck
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4:23 album only
12. If I Was A Blackbird
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3:56 album only
13. Whiskey and Cigarettes
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3:37 album only
14. Blue Butterfly
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1:40 album only
15. Dernier Lamento
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1:49 album only
16. Decarissimo
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2:37 album only
17. Extasis
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1:39 album only
18. Train Songs
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2:43 album only
19. Train Songs Remix
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3:52 album only
20. Grace Raga
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11:53 album only


Album Notes
Dedicated to the memory of sarodiya Stephen James.

Welcome to my favorite kind of house party - great musicians throw down styles from all over the world, stir it up and serve it hot. Bring Your Own Banjo.

The musicians on this album are a few of my muses, gurus, and favorite people.

Every song has a story:

Track 1 - "Two Guitars" - recorded live at my Cafe concert at Swallow Hill Music Association, Denver, CO. It's a traditional Russian piece I learned the playing of 'gypsy violinist' Mary Ann Harbar.

Track 2 - "Tamlin Swing" - recorded live at the "Oregon Trail Wagon Train Festival" (say that three times fast!) in Bayard, Nebraska. Sandy Reay on bass, Armando Zuppa on banjo. Contains Django Reinhardt's 'minor swing' and the Irish tune 'tamlin.' Royalties paid to Henry Mancini for the song most requested in Mexico "La Pantera Rosa" (you'll get it when you hear it).

Track 3 - "Crested Hen" - recorded with Owl Morrison near Austin, TX. It appears on her new album, "Playing with Matches," where she stars on viola and invites a different fiddler for every track.

Track 4 - "Salzedo Tango" - my parts recorded in my living room, for Sarah Marie Mullen's new album "Harper's Bizarre." Liliana Wosko also added her cello parts in my living room, and I take full credit for the creaky chair.

Track 5 -"Angelina Baker" - recorded in the studio at Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, CO. Julie Gussaroff and I played all over Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico, and this is what came out.

Track 6 -"Minor Swing" - recorded in Phoenix, AZ. At that time I played in a group called "Gypsy Waltz" with the owner of Gypsy's Music Shop, Walt Kuhlman, and Phoenix Symphony's mandolinist, Kevin Huang.

Track 7 -"Bring It On Down" - where my pal Julie Gussaroff shows off her fantastic pipes and her love of Bob Wills. With a nod to Blind Willie McTell, who originally wrote the tune as "Fetch it On Down."

Track 8- "La Reina" - composed by Walt Kuhlman, inspired by experiences in Peace Corps - Latin America. The busses of the line "La Reina," to hear him tell it, would race each other down steep ravines on narrow roads to see who could get to the pothole first. One time his bus lost, and he had to stand on the side of the road and wait. I imagine he might have written the song then, staring down the ravine.

Track 9 - "Working On A Building" - in which Armando saves us from being kicked out of Nebraska. See, we had come as "DjypsyGrass," combining eastern european tunes with the bluegrass - but it became apparent that the audience wanted to hear something they knew. So Armando says "let me sing one." And it was good.

Track 10 - "Carousel Waltz" - One of my favorites from "Harper's Bizarre." Sarah wrote it, and Lili plays cello.

Track 11 - "Spherical Duck" - The wierdest track from "Harper's Bizarre." J Bradley Collier sat on my couch and picked guitar, and I traded four's with the fiddle. But that isn't why it's wierd. You'll just have to give a listen.

Track 12 - "If I Was A Blackbird" - traditional celtic tune, sung by dear Kathleen Mullaly Masino of Three Pints Gone. I get to play a little cello under my fiddle on this one.

Track 13 - "Whiskey & Cigarettes" - another show with DjypsyGrass, this time with Sandy Reay on bass and Gary Michaels on guitar. Gary is one of the very few guitarists who can keep up with me and the crazy chords on this tune. "Whiskey" is the irish tune "Whiskey Before Breakfast" - "Cigarettes" is the Russian tune "Papirossen," also collected by Mary Ann Harbar. The title is an apt description of what you need after playing it.

Track 14 - "Blue Butterfly" - originally the Irish tune "Red Admiral Butterfly." I've been jazzing this tune up for years, and Sandy Reay invented a cool bass line for it. She taught it to "The Muses" when they came to Denver for their "LIVE" CD.

Track 15, 16, 17 - tangos by Astor Piazzolla, with Emric Montaño on guitar. At the time of this writing, there are some intense videos on youtube of Piazzolla's band playing these, and other versions with dancers. Look them up.

Track 18 - "Train Songs" - another cigarette-worthy Djypsygrass invention - it's the "Orange Blossom Special" and the "Romanian Train Song." Sandy Reay on bass, Armando Zuppa on banjo. I think Nebraska might have liked this one. They had real trains.

Track 19 - "Train Songs remix" - I asked Jon Baade of Water Street Bridge to do his magic to make this song 'industrial.' He used 'sounds you could find in a trainyard' to make something possibly called 'industrial organic' or 'steampunk.' It's called "Steamtrunk" on his album "Oh Death," and it does not obey speed limits.

Track 20 - "Grace Raga" - an experiment at Fiddler's Dream Coffeehouse in Phoenix, AZ. Stephen James, who was teaching me Indian violin at the time, had this idea to turn "Amazing Grace" into a raga at the end of my show. Daniel Hirtz on tabla and Bruno Bruzzese on violin are musical empaths.

The journey began like Basho's -

"Everything about me was bewitched by the travel gods, and my thoughts were no longer mine to control.
The spirits of the road beckoned, and I could do no work at all."

-Matsuo Basho, translated by Donald Keene

A musician is alone everywhere she goes -

I never tire in my search for solitude;
I wander aimlessly along out-of-the-way trails,
Where I have never been before,
The more I change direction,
The wilder the road becomes.

- Chao Yi (1727-1814)

And finally, the journey is home -

My home’s in the
flowering mountains.
My joy is purest reflection
in a rush hut by a blue grotto,
at the end of a crazy winding path.
At noon I take a simple meal
and when I’m full
I take my staff
and wander to the
mountain top and gaze.

- Yun-K’an Tzu


to write a review

Tom Tuerff

One of 2009's "must-haves"
Michi Regier plays the violin so well, you wonder if she was born with one. Last time I saw her in person was in a store and it threw me for a second that her instrument didn't just connect to her somewhere when she's not using it. Not that she would mind that...

This album compiles performances recorded over the past five years in many different styles. Every track is an adventure that you should definitely take.

Mici's bow work on some of these tracks is nothing show of amazing. She has incredible taste, whether she's following a melody or just improvising her head off.

Standout tracks here include her Django Reinhart workout "Minor Swing," where her appreciation of Reinhart's one-time collaborator Stephane Grappelli is evident. "Train Songs" is a fantastic medley, and the songs featuring banjo player Armando Zuppa stand out as well.

I've been a long-time member of the Michi bandwagon, and you need to hop on if you're not already there. This is the best place I can think of to start!

Robert Suchor

Astonishing versatility, delightful enthusiasm
I saw Michi Regier perform live a few years ago at a renaissance fair. All day long, she popped up here and there with just about everyone else who was performing that day. I was delighted not only with her technical skill and passion for playing, but also with her ability to transition effortlessly from genre to genre.
TWISTED PATH displays both Michi's astonishing versatility and her delightful enthusiasm for the music and for performing. Gypsy Jazz, Celtic, Bluegrass, it's all here and it sizzles!

Chris Boydston-Taub

Twisted Path brilliantly demonstrates Michi’s legendary ability to compliment and revere the work of other musicians while allowing us to enjoy her renowned abilities with a fiddle and a bow. Rather than making Michi the focus of the album, Twisted Path corresponds to a sample of her adventures in the world of music. This album is more than a compilation of Folk and Classical styles; it is a chronicle of her friendships with men and women who share a special passion for life in music.

Twisted Path is a dusty wooden stage with a few chairs scattered around. For musicians, this is the ideal atmosphere for producing unforgettable musical experiences. Michi has invited all of us to sit in and listen to this very special session.