Intimate, pure, beautiful-MIDWINTER.
The second new release in 2004 from the award-winning, acoustic, americana band Misty River, MIDWINTER-SONGS OF CHRISTMAS is a stunning collection of traditional favorites, little known classics, and original songs. The result is a fresh yet intimate celebration of the holiday season, with Misty River’s “spine-tingling” voices, tasteful song selection and creative instrumentation setting MIDWINTER apart from the run-of-the-mill Christmas release.
Although often compared to the neo-bluegrass sound of Alison Krauss, this “indie” band from the Pacific Northwest has a sound all its own. The four women of Misty River are most well known for their compelling vocal harmony. For Misty River fans, MIDWINTER lives up to that expectation. But the 12-song album is also graced with exquisite lead vocals and distinctive combinations of accordion, fiddle, guitar, banjo, piano, ukulele and upright bass. Grammy award-winning guitarist Doug Smith lends his talents to two of the tracks.
From their humble beginnings at an open mic in 1997, Misty River has built a large and enthusiastic following and become one of the most popular bands from the region. After seven years together, 2004 has marked a monumental year for the band. Misty River was selected to represent Americana music at the 2004 Shanghai International Music Festival in China, then returned home to release its third album, WILLOW, to widespread local and international acclaim. The independent band hit the 25,000 mark in CD sales and has been a top seller on CDBaby.com.
Misty River has also met challenges this year. In March, guitarist/vocalist Carol Harley was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a life-threatening disease of the blood and bone marrow. Despite this setback, Misty River has made 2004 its most prolific recording year to date, with the release of the band’s fourth album, MIDWINTER-SONGS OF CHRISTMAS.
MIDWINTER has yet to hit review publications, but reviewers have had plenty to say about Misty River’s other CDs: RISING (2000), LIVE AT THE BACKGATE STAGE (2002) and WILLOW (2004).
* “From its seamless sound, the sharing of the spotlight and the pitch-perfect harmonies, it is clear that Misty River’s impressive flow comes from individual talents streaming together with purpose and grace.” - Scott Lewis, The Oregonian.
* “…goose-bumpy good music.”- Paul Denison, The Register-Guard.
* “Four, phenomenal female musicians…”-Melissa Bearns, The Source
* “If you’ve been looking for fresh female voices in bluegrass-infused music…check out…Misty River [with] abilities to select and write an interesting variety of tradition-based music and create beautiful, soaring harmonies…each member [has] a chance to shine vocally and instrumentally. The results are wonderfully enchanting.” - Linda Paulson, Dirty Linen
* “[Misty River puts] their voices together for lovely harmony, but the real payoff is their emotional commitment [to the music].”-R.L., Sing Out!
* “…one of the Pacific Northwest’s finest groups…Misty River creates a sound that is both traditional-based and all their own. Misty River’s voices will grab you, and keep you locked in until the last song on the disc is gone.” -Allen Price, Victory Review
Misty River consists of Carol Harley of Vancouver, Washington on guitar, banjo and ukulele; Chris Kokesh of Portland, Oregon on fiddle and guitar; Dana Abel of Eugene, Oregon on accordion; and Laura Quigley of Portland, Oregon on acoustic bass. MIDWINTER was recorded by Justin King at Blackberry Hill Studios in Eugene, Oregon.
For more information about Misty River visit www.mistyriverband.com.
For more CD reviews, read on:
* “ a chorus of angelic harmonies…Misty River is a four-woman collective of songstresses who have an incredible talent for precision layering of live voices…this is music which is heavily steeped in the bluegrass, folk and country traditions. But there's also a modern edge to the music which resembles the neo-bluegrass style of Alison Krauss or EmmyLou Harris.” -Minor7th.com (Acoustic Guitar’s Webzine)
* “The world would be a much better place if we all bought into the concept of harmony singing. There is nothing quite as mollifying as a multitude of sweet voices laced tightly together with perfect pitch and the harmonies of emotion. [Rising has] 10 songs rooted in the depth and breadth of American acoustic music and informed by the tenderness of Celtic and Irish music…the album is angelic in the way only the high-lonesome sounds of bluegrass and folk music can be.” -Don Campbell, The Oregonian
* “…if you are in the mood for something outside the bluegrass mainstream, you could hardly do better than this very attractive album…the four women are excellent singers and their voices blend like milk and honey.” -RA, Bluegrass Unlimited
* “Beautiful and tight, this live performance is filled to the seams with expression and exacting musicianship. The songs can fire you up or calm you down."-Pamela Rooney, CD Baby Magazine
* “The vocal versatility of these women is astounding, so much so that the rich, earthy, harmonies could stand alone on several of the tunes…These women have a gift to share that is rare and fine indeed, and Rising will definitely be among the ‘well worn’ CD's in our collection.”-Jane Collier & Gary Cook, www.BluegrassRules.com
SELECTED LIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
* “When these four women weave their lovely harmonies, it is spine tingling. OREGON ART BEAT broadcast a segment on MISTY RIVER, and the response was amazing. Our phones and web site were jammed with requests to know where they were playing and how to buy their CDs.” - Jeff Douglas, Executive Producer, Oregon Art Beat, Oregon Public Broadcasting
* “An unforgettable experience…I had tears streaming down my cheeks…the walloping charisma…their good humor and jocular stage patter, their laughter and kinship…We clapped and cheered and stomped and jumped to our feet in a rousing, enthusiastic standing ovation for the combined talents of the Misty River band.” - Diane Schulstad, Victory Review
* “…Misty River…a must see band...holds audiences spellbound with glistening harmonies and fresh enthusiasm….”-Karolyn Laster, Portland Songwriter’s Association
* “Every song is like Gatorade for the soul; a soft compelling and delicious concoction that you didn’t know you needed…. The sound in person is as pure and wonderful as the sound the CD makes coming out of your speakers at home.” -Rae Gordon, Positively Entertainment
* “The trademark of their sound on the CD and in performance is lush, pitch-perfect harmonies and gentle, tasteful arrangements, with a fresh interpretation of songs…” -Heidi Muller, Victory Review