Have you ever had one of those experiences which you knew could not be repeated? For example, the first time you ate at a particular restaurant and everything was just right, but when you returned later, it just wasn't the same. Oh it was good, but the first time cannot be topped. Well such is NOT the case with the latest CD from Notorious -- Elkins.
When I first received this CD from Larry Unger I was a little leery upon noticing the duo had become a quartet. Their previous CD (review) simply amazed and astounded me with their fine musicianship, original tunes, and overall professionalism and quality. The sound Notorious puts out as a duo is just amazing. Really I saw no need to expand the band. So upon putting Elkins in the player, my fingers were crossed hoping they had not "fixed what was not broken."
Wow! The magic is still there and even more! With the addition of Sam Bartlett and Mark Hellenberg, new dimensions of music have opened for Notorious. You will be pleasantly whisked away by this quartet on another great collection of original and traditional tunes of various sorts, from swing to blues, to old timey and Eastern European, with some very masterful playing by all, including some beautiful vocals by Eden. I'll not elaborate on each and every tune. You as a listener can take the journey of discovery yourself. But the Larry Unger original Rodeo Clown Rag is one of my favorites. And again, as before, Notorious has ended this project with a soothing fiddle and guitar duo of Snow On Deer Mountain, composed by Eden and Larry. What a great way to end another exquisite experience with Notorious. Thank you Larry, Eden, Sam, and Mark! I look forward to see what is next.
by Nathan Sanders, Stringband.com
Quite outstanding American string band music led by exciting fiddle player and vocalist Eden MacAdam-Somer. She is joined amongst others by Larry Unger on guitar and banjo who, like Somer, contributes original songs and tunes to the mix. Superbly played, and even the new tunes sound
deliciously old. ( f roots magazine)
Michael Huebner -- The Birmingham News
As fine a tunesmith, banjoist and guitarist as Larry Unger is, the other half of Notorious stole the show at the duo's set at Music Oasis.
Eden MacAdam-Somer is a remarkable musician. Violinist, fiddler (there's a difference), Appalachian flat-footed clogger and vocalist, she bowed, plucked and danced up a storm, Unger contributing harmony, rhythm, musical ambiance and style.
And style there was -- in abundance. A Scots-Irish jig, ragtime, blues, klezmer -- you name it, MacAdam-Somer has mastered it, and Unger hung on for the ride. Heartrending vocals poured through "All Night Long" and a Jewish wedding song. Singing and fiddling at the sametime is her specialty, but her rendition of a Vaughan-Williams piece for soprano and violin was truly extraordinary.
by Nathan Sanders, Stringband.com
Notoriously exquisite music would be my initial reaction to the music of Notorious, otherwise known as Larry Unger and Eden MacAdam-Somer....
If performing with any lesser musician, Eden's fiery and florid pyrotechnics might well threaten to overwhelm the exciting guitar fretwork, but this never happens with Larry and Notorious.
Florida concert booker:
Together, they put on a performance unlike any other. Highly recommended, three thumbs up............
Hartford CT reviewer:
Larry Unger and Eden MacAdam-Somer demonstrated themselves to be musicians and entertainers of the highest caliber. I hope that we'll see more of these guys.
Notorisch ist an dieser Band aus Boston, Massachussetts
vor allem ihre Mischung aus Swing und Old-Time, keltischer und ost-europäischer Musik. Das klingt wie eine Gemischtwarenhandlung, ist aber durchaus kohärent.
Eine gute, alte Gemischtwarenhandlung hat ja auch Qualitätsprodukte und kein billiges Junkfood.
Das Quartett Notorious besteht aus Eden MacAdam-Somer (Fiddle, Gesang), Lary Unger (Gitarre, Banjo, Bass),
Sam Bartlett (Mandolin) und Mark Hellenberg (Percussion).
Das aktuelle Album wurde nach dem Augusta Festival in Elkins, WV, benannt, und beinhaltet traditionalle und originale Stücke aus dem amerikanischen Folkkanon,
sowie ein jiddisches Hochzeitslied und rumänische Stücke wie z.B. die Roma-Hymne "Jelem, Jelem". Aber auch die selbstverfassten Stücke können sich sehen lassen. Als Larry Unger "Pickin' the Berries" komponierte, klingelte ein zufällig des Weges kommender Passant an der Tür und fragte,
wie dieser Tune hieße, er sei gut.
Und das gilt auch für die anderen Titel auf dieser CD.
FolkWorld Ausgabe 38 03/2009 FolkWorld CD Kritiken