Title - 'Coal Rabbit' (Fine One Music)
Artist - Copper Kettle
Incorporating the three finger style of banjo playing - a sound far and away associated with Earl Scruggs - Fred Skellenger and Co. have brought to the fore 'Coal Rabbit,' a truly gratifying collection that solidly proves that Bluegrass still grows mighty tall in NYC!
True that the movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' had an awful lot to do with relighting the beloved bluegrass flame that had long since died in the hearts of a new generation, but all these years on since then and the genre has thankfully never had to bid another sadly-lamented farewell.
Skellenger's new band Copper Kettle and their debut CD 'Coal Rabbit' is one fine example of this musical genre and gets to the point from the off with 'Blacktop Highway.' With Nancy Hunt's honest and harmonious vocals allowed to permeate throughout, alongside Andrew T. Hunt's perfect guitar playing, songs such as 'Darlin' Girl,' 'That Letter,' 'No Sweeter Lover' and both 'Rock Me Gently' and 'When Two Worlds Collide' couldn't sound any sweeter.
Indeed, all the selections on this CD are well balanced in that they keep light listeners interested while also providing keen observers a good showcase for their raw talent.
As mentioned, Copper Kettle constantly, almost effortlessly adhere to the high-lonesome sound of pure bluegrass on this exceptional 14 track debut. Seemingly whether playing old standards or original tunes the band together with their fine harmonies are a dreamboat of an ensemble. Indeed, with your eyes shut on a hot Summers day you could quite clearly sense the aura of live one takes, the complete lack of overdubs that so break down and wash away the purity of an original recording in today's musical society a welcome respite.
In short, 'Coal Rabbit' serves as a wondrous show case for Copper Kettle, allowing all that is good about bluegrass for this millennium to shine brightly. And if, like me, you are not yet a true aficionado of traditional bluegrass music, buy this CD and fast become one! The full track-listing is as follows: Blacktop Highway / Coal Rabbit / Darlin' Girl / That Letter / Don't Care If It Rains / I'm No Fool / No Love Sweeter / One Drop At A Time / Rock Me Gently / Fast Train / When Two Worlds Collide / Paradise / Willow Garden (Traditional) / The Cuckoo (Traditional)
Russell A. Trunk