Ivan Rosenberg & The Foggy Hogtown Boys | The Hogtown Sessions

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The Foggy Hogtown Boys Ivan Rosenberg Official Website Andrew Collins Chris Coole John Showman

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Country: Bluegrass Country: Traditional Bluegrass Moods: Mood: Fun
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The Hogtown Sessions

by Ivan Rosenberg & The Foggy Hogtown Boys

Bluegrass music that recalls the energetic, vinyl-era sounds of Joe Val, Flatt & Scruggs, Country Gazette, Buzz Busby, and Cliff Waldron & the New Shades of Grass.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
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1. Lost
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2:53 $0.99
2. New York Town
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3:32 $0.99
3. Reno Bound
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2:17 $0.99
4. Ishler's Waltz
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4:12 $0.99
5. Cold Creek
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2:21 $0.99
6. Busted
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7. Low and Lonesome Sea
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3:30 $0.99
8. River Underground
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3:50 $0.99
9. Up This Hill and Down
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3:49 $0.99
10. Day Dreamin'
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11. Honey Buckets
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Almost all of the bluegrass LPs in my record collection, even the more experimental ones, still sound like “timeless” bluegrass decades later—and the longer I play this kind of music, the more I feel nostalgia for the bluegrass sounds of the past. I was fortunate that my good friends The Foggy Hogtown Boys were interested in making an album of “pre-modern” bluegrass with me, and I made the 2,600 mile trip to their hometown of Toronto, Ontario in April 2011 to record The Hogtown Sessions.

We settled on some rarely-covered bluegrass and country classic plus a few originals, aiming generally for a 1970s medium-traditional Yankee-grass aesthetic. In record bin terms, that’s between the “Late-Suit” and “Mid-late-Polyester-Shirt” eras, when bands were occasionally taking liberties with the structure and content of bluegrass songs, but the results were still firmly in the genre. They sang in their own unique voices, were in touch with the lyrics, favored melody-based solos, and sounded like they were playing a form of folk music that’s rooted in a long tradition (whereas modern bluegrass sometimes sounds a little more like Keith Urban than Flatt & Scruggs).

We incorporated the following in the hopes of recapturing a vinyl-era bluegrass vibe: unpredictable bass lines that walk when you least expect it; rhythm guitar G chords with the B strings open; creative fiddling that channels the excitement of pioneers such as Tommy Hunter and Curly Ray Cline; lyrical banjo backup and solos in the tradition of Sonny Osborne, Don Stover, and of course J.D. and Earl; and syncopated, aggressive mandolin picking with ample tremolo/double-stop melody lines and barking chop chords. With all of that in place, I was free to use a mostly traditional Dobro approach that rarely exceeded 1978 slide technology.

“Hogtown” is a nickname for Toronto that harkens back to its early history as a leading pork-processing hub. These days, Toronto is also an important acoustic music hub where some tasty bluegrass is being processed—and I couldn’t be happier to present The Foggy Hogtown Boys to a wider audience with The Hogtown Sessions.

Ivan Rosenberg – 7/15/2011
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

The Hogtown Sessions:
Andrew Collins: mandolin, guitar, lead vocals, harmony vocals
Chris Coole: guitar, clawhammer banjo, lead vocals, harmony vocals
Max Heineman: bass, lead vocals and harmony vocals
Chris Quinn: banjo, lead vocals, harmony vocals
Ivan Rosenberg: Dobro, lead vocals
John Showman: fiddle, lead vocals, harmony vocals

Recorded and Mixed by Andrew Collins at Sytesounds in Toronto, Ontario
Mastered by David Travers-Smith at Found Sound in Toronto, Ontario
Produced by Ivan Rosenberg
Co-Produced by Andrew Collins
Graphic Design by Chris Coole
Photos by Andrew Johnson
Vole-O-Tone logo by Jason Laudadio
Liner notes by Ivan Rosenberg

Pick up a copy of the CD for detailed song notes!




Reviews


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The Record Depot

a charming album of early bluegrass
Dobro whiz Ivan Rosenberg teams up with the Toronto, ON band The Foggy Hogtown Boys to create a charming album of early bluegrass, The Hogtown Sessions. It is clear these collaborators strive for authenticity, mining bluegrass rarities, creating original arrangements faithful to the pre-modern style, and even taking on the nickname of Toronto in its bygone days when it was an international pork processing center. The Hogtown Sessions are a lively and enjoyable set of eleven songs that celebrate this distinctly Americana sound. – Written by SMarx

Oliver di Place

this album is no museum piece. the music sounds lively and fresh...
I am talking about musical traditions that have their origins in the American South. So it makes sense to begin our journey in Toronto, Canada. Actually, that only makes sense in the company of Ivan Rosenberg and the Foggy Hogtown Boys. Rosenberg and the Boys have set out to make an album of bluegrass as played in the 1970s, before many of the musical innovations that so muddy the waters today. But this album is no museum piece. The music sounds lively and fresh, because the musicians clearly love what they are doing, and they have the talent to back it up. The Hogtown Sessions is a mix of originals and covers. The new songs sound right at home with songs by the Osborne Brothers and Ralph Stanley. There are also old country songs here, quite successfully reimagined as bluegrass. Low and Lonesome Sea is a reminder that this music evolved from the traditional ballads that were brought to Appalachia by the areas original European settlers. The song is an old English ballad that I first heard as The Golden Vanity.

TheRecord.com

When the right combination of players gets together, there is always a good chan
Much like jazz, the foundation of bluegrass has always been collaboration. When the right combination of players gets together, there is always a good chance that something special will happen. That was certainly the case when Toronto bluegrass outfit the Foggy Hogtown Boys recorded with Portland, Oregon dobro master Ivan Rosenberg this past spring, available now on the new album, The Hogtown Sessions.

Its 11 tracks range from covers of Woody Guthrie and Ralph Stanley to originals written by individual band members, with the goal being to produce an album in the classic bluegrass tradition, right down to the retro album cover artwork.

Hearth Music

a stellar collaboration
Northwest Dobro wiz Ivan Rosenberg has a thing for old bluegrass LPs. He’s scoured the record bins for years looking for vintage vinyl, and his own music has followed the muse of his favorite decades in bluegrass history: the 1960s and 70s. So when he found out that his friends and musical partners, The Foggy Hogtown Boys, had a distinct appreciation for this era as well, he decided to go all in, flying out to Toronto to record a dream project: an homage to a golden era of bluegrass that’s oft-been neglected. The Hogtown Sessions is the result: a stellar collaboration between Rosenberg, a master of the bluegrass Dobro, and The Foggy Hogtown Boys, one of the hottest bluegrass bands in Canada. Though the early Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs golden age (mostly 1950s) gets plenty of press and is seen as the defining age of the genre, Rosenberg sees the next two decades as a time when artists began experimenting with the form, creating an innovative sound that was at once tied to the earlier tradition but also looked to the future. But this is no exercise in genre nostalgia, it’s a cutting-edge album that draws rare songs out of a lost bluegrass past and transforms them through hard work and virtuosic musicianship.

Exclaim.ca

Foggy Hogtown Boys joined forces with American dobro virtuoso Ivan Rosenberg for
Toronto, ON bluegrass heroes the Foggy Hogtown Boys joined forces with American dobro virtuoso Ivan Rosenberg for this charming disc. The sextet reportedly aimed for a '70s Yankee-grass aesthetic, and their slightly retro take on the form includes some old-time country and folk elements. All members take lead vocals on different tracks, ensuring a nice variety. Tunes given the fresh Foggy treatment include Harlan Howard's great "Busted" (a highlight), Woody Guthrie's "New York Town," Ralph Stanley's dark "River Underground" and traditional English folk ballad "Low And Lonesome Sea." Guitarist Chris Coole wrote "bluegrass thriller" tale "Cold Creek," while Rosenberg contributed a couple of original tunes (including pretty instrumental "Ishler's Waltz") and informative liner notes. The vocal and instrumental work throughout adheres to the very high FHB standards....

AcousticMusic.com FAME review

welding past and present to create a bellwether for the future
Whew!, it's a good thing I swore off benzedrine and methamphetamine long ago in the 70s, cause I'd'a had a coronary as Ivan Rosenberg & the Foggy Hogtown Boys opened this CD with an adrenaline-charged kick. Rosenberg's a connoisseur of vintage bluegrass, searches high and low for 60s and 70s vinyl, but is also well known as a master of the bluegrass dobro and a rather awesome authentician who nonetheless manages to put a glistening new edge on whatever he does. Here, that means taking what was already superb and pushing it up yet one more notch, welding past and present to create a bellwether for the future.

To say precisely where the gloss and glory of the originals leaves off and Rosenberg's craftings begin is well nigh impossible, but as you listen, riveted by pristine renditions from all concerned (and these guys are righteous whizbangs), you also slowly become aware that there are sizable ingredients that never occurred back in the day, modernisms slyly linking smoothly into the joie de vivre of the Appalachian spirit and hot meadow byways. The group puts such a fresh aspect to decades-old gems and then Rosenberg trots out a mellifluously decorous self-penned gem like Ishler's Waltz, reversing the formula, putting great age into a brand new piece. One is left dazzled by it all.

So doff that damn Brooks Bros. suit, Jeremiah, put on a pair o' these patched denim britches, and let's mosey on down to the moonshine shed back of Bairnson's Hollow to lift a jug 'r two with the folk from Hogtown. Cain't hardly think of a better way to pass an summer's eve, 'cause all this cellophane newfangled silicon music on the radio jes' gets up in mah grill 'n we all needs us some roothawggin' git-down, I do declare! From the lightnin' charged heel-kickin' of the cain't-control-my-feets shindigs to the lonesome ridgetop crooning of five slickered-up gents pinin' fer Ellie Mae 'n Sweet Marie as the moon holds water, ya ain't a-gonna find a better disc of the ol' time than The Hogtown Sessions.