An interview with Sepiachord

2010.11.06

Jordan from Sepiachord was kind enough to do an interview with me, we talk banjos, recording and itchy feet:

http://www.sepiachord.com/hunterint.htm

Hunter

Tags :   

Old Time News Review

2010.09.19

A nice review of If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed in the last Old Time News, from FOAOTMAD:

By Ray Banks

This is a collection of fiddle-banjo duets with some singing from two musicians whose names are relatively new to me, but whom I’m looking forward to hearing more from at this year’s Sweet Sunny South festival in September, where they will perform along with the New Deal String Band.

The recordings, on John Herrman’s Yodel-Ay-Hee label, were made in the performers’ homes, and have a raw, unengineered sound of the kind we’re all used to in modern field recordings, with creaking chairs and floorboards. The instruments are played loudly and enthusiastically with a good swing, and at a pace I’ve come to expect from some of the younger American players. The title of the CD is a quote from the Round Peak pioneer Charlie Lowe of Mount Airy NC who apparently liked his music fast.

The tunes on the CD are largely the session standards most of us have come to know and love, played tightly with a lot of both technique and energy. They play a lovely driving “Last Chance” and I like the fact that they play Bill Stepp’s version of “Bonaparte’s Retreat” (“that’s the boney part”) and not the usual one with the terrible sand dance. Their “Sandy River Belle” is a very different tune to the one I know, while their “June Apple” is good and wild.

The balance, unusually, is slightly in the banjo player’s favour; this unfortunately makes the fiddling on some of the tunes, whilst very good, a little less prominent than usual. There’s some singing on a few of the tracks from Robertson whose voice has a gritty quality that reminds me of gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson. The sleeve notes, by Hunter Robertson, give all the tunings used on banjo and fiddle, with some source information for the selected tunes.

Tags :   

Sing Out! Magazine CD Review

2010.05.26

A great review of my last CD with Casey Joe Abair, If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed, just out in the new issue of Sing Out! Magazine:

The title of this wonderful 17-song collection of traditional tunes comes from long-gone Round Peak banjoist Charlie Lowe, who preferred up-tempo songs. The album is aptly titled, a delight to listen to and explore. “Explore” because nearly all the songs, though familiar (“Devil’s Dream,” “The Coo Coo,” “Ducks on the Millpond,” etc.), are based on versions that are a bit more obscure. These small differences add a great deal of interest to the recording. For instance, “Bonaparte’s Retreat” is based on Bill Stepp’s version, rather than the more well-known melody.

The liner notes state that the album was recorded “direct to stereo, over the course of a few months in our homes, not always under the most sanitary of sound conditions, the sirens on ‘Sugar Baby’ for example” – there’s definitely an old-time aesthetic to the recording. These guys are well versed in the repertoire, but even more important, they deliver it with fresh abandon. They don’t sound like they’re scared to make a mistake, which is an even greater homage to the old songs.

Hunter Robertson previously released a solo CD, Sings Songs for the Masses, to good reviews, and this is Casey Joe Abair’s first recording. A word might be said about Robertson’s vocals, which tend toward the gravelly side. I like his voice, but it’s a tone more on the bluesy side of old-time. Still, we don’t all have to sound alike, and his style is unaffected. A highlight is “Hog Eyed Man,” with amazing lyrics that come from the dark underbelly of old-time.

Terrific packaging and liner notes, with brief historical sources on each song and banjo tunings. A highly engaging selection, well played. — CS for Sing Out! Magazine

More on the album, including sound files, here: www.hunterrobertson.com/ifyouframe.html

Acoustic Magazine “If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed” CD Review

2010.05.12

Another great review of If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed from Britain, this time from Acoustic Magazine (issue 38):

Named after a favorite saying of banjo player Charlie Lowe, Abair and Robertson present a collection of old time material. The vocals are surprising, as Robertson, featured on the cover, doesn’t look like that sort whiskey-and-cigarettes voice should come out of, and are addictive, especially on I Truly Understand and the well known but speedy version of Old Joe Clark. The real charm in this album is that although the musicians work tightly together, it sounds like it was recorded in someone’s back yard. There’s nothing not to like here; the musicianship is excellent, the rhythm infectious and the style abundant. As the title suggests, it’s not for the tired. http://hunterrobertson.com/ifyouframe.html

Kate Lewis

New CD Review – Maverick Magazine

2010.04.14

A great review of If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed came out recently in Maverick Magazine.

Fast-paced picking carried off in such a confident and prolific way that simply leaves you gob smacked.
This being his second release, the Californian-born but now French native Hunter Robertson really is something. Consisting of seventeen songs, it is evident from this raw and unadulterated beauty that what we have here, ladies and gentleman, are some ultra fine musicians playing their hearts out. This type of music is at its finest when played live and untouched, and I suspect that this was the case here as, after Hunter’s superlative efforts on banjo and Casey’s fine fiddling, they just played it until they got it right and pressed it onto disc.
The finest track has to be The Devil’s Dream. Perfect for The Louisiana Hayride when it was in full swing, this relatively short track of less than two and a half minutes is perfect in every sense. Whether it be the excellent banjo or superb fiddling, there is nothing to dislike about this track. The same can certainly be said about June Apple. A moderate fiddling pace, this tune has a relaxed bluegrass sound which I’m sure allows the crowd to show their appreciation in rapturous applause; a track which is not one to dance to as when Casey and Hunter play like this such an occasion has to be watched.
An experience to relish, listening to this album sure was a most enjoyable time. A highly recommended album which I strongly urge you to try and track down.” Russell Hill

Listen: The Devil’s Dream

2 New Reviews of “If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed”

2010.03.01

A couple of reviews of If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed have come out recently, always nice to see:

- “…Casey Joe Abair and Hunter Robertson take it a totally different way. Their music on banjo, violin and vocals is energetic and raw. The banjo sounds occasionally like a wild storm and impresses in combination with Robertson’s raw and heavy voice. I like the way this duo totally give themselves to the music. They keep the ancient soul of the compositions and force me to listen to their music with superb music and compositions in which the musicians search for the outer limits of their possibilities and have the guts to ignore standard conventions. I appreciate that and the result is an album with good old banjo/violin music that both sounds like it’s decades old and modern at the same time.”  -  Eelco Schilder for FolkWorld

- “Casey Joe Abair & Hunter Robertson, If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (hunterrobertson.com). Hot old-timey fiddle and banjo. Seventeen knock-yer-socks-off numbers. These guys are not kidding around!”  -  Mitch Finley, Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association’s Bluegrass Blabber


Tags :   

Magazine Ads

2010.01.15

Been working on magazine ads the last couple of days.

Hunter Robertson "If You Want to Go to Sleep..." Ad

Tags :

Recent CD Reviews from the European Press

2009.12.29

There’s been a minor spate of reviews recently in the European press for my last CD, If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed. I’ve translated the French ones. The German and Dutch reviewers seem to like the record but you’ll have to take my word for it (that’s worth more than my translation of them would be!).

From the French Trad Magazine (No. 129, Jan-Feb 2010), by Claude Vue:

“« Si vous voulez dormir, allez au lit » était la réponse que faisait le banjoïste Charlie Lowe à ceux qui trouvaient qu’il jouait trop vite. J’avais adoré le premier CD de Hunter Robertson, “Song For The Masses”, j’aime encore plus celui-ci. C’est un exercice difficile et dangereux que de jouer dans cette combinaison, uniquement un violon et un banjo. Hunter et Casey réussissent magnifiquement. Les deux instruments s’emmêlent, s’interpellent. Un vrai plaisir. On ne peut s’empêcher de penser au duo Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham. Le choix des morceaux est excellent : des classiques (June Apple, Old Joe Clark, Sail Away Ladies) et des surprises, des versions inconnues ou peu connues (telles Fort Smith Breakdown ou Hog Eyed Man). Hunter chante avec une voix râpeuse à souhait, secondée par la voix très pure de sa femme Féréale sur trois morceaux, dont le très beau I Truly Understand. Un superbe album, conseillé aux amateurs de musique old time français.”

“Le second opus d’Hunter Robertson, cette fois-ci en compagnie d’un fiddler pour revisiter le répertoire à banjo et violon. Sûrement l’un des meilleurs CDs de musique old time du moment.”

“‘If you want to go to sleep, go to bed’ was banjo player Charlie Lowe’s reply to those who found that he played too fast. I loved Hunter Robertson’s first CD, Songs for the Masses, I like this one even more. Playing in this combination of just fiddle and banjo is a difficult and dangerous exercise. Hunter and Casey succeed magnificently. The two instruments intertwine and respond to each other. A real pleasure. You can’t help but think of the duo of Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham. The choice of pieces is excellent: classics (June Apple, Old Joe Clark, Sail Away Ladies) and some surprises, unknown or little known versions (like Fort Smith Breakdown or Hog Eyed Man). Hunter sings with a voice as rough as you could wish for, supported by the very pure voice of his wife Féréale on three pieces, including the very beautiful “I Truly Understand”. A superb album, recommended to French old-time music fans.”

Claude also included the album in his Trad Magazine list of the 5 best albums of the year (Thanks a lot Claude!). “Hunter Robertson’s second opus, this time in the company of a fiddler, revisiting the banjo/fiddle repertory. Certainly one of the best current CDs of old-time music.” (my translation)

- Claude Vue for Trad Magazine

Here’s another French one from the magazine Le Cri du Coyote (No. 114):

“Casey Joe ABAIR et Hunter ROBERTSON sont respectivement originaires du Vermont et de Californie (Robertson réside actuellement en France) mais ils jouent de la musique old time des Appalaches. Pour les 17 morceaux traditionnels qui composent If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (Yodel-Ay-Hee 074), ils citent les artistes qui les leur ont fait connaître (Hobart Smith, Wade Ward, Tommy Jarrell, New Lost City Ramblers, Elizabeth Cotton et beaucoup d’autres). Tout est interprété en duo fiddle/banjo. Hunter Robertson (bjo) chante 7 morceaux d’une voix grave, gutturale et râpeuse. Une harmonie vocale et des choeurs adoucissent quelque peu le chant sur I Truly Understand et Sail Away Ladies qui figurent parmi les titres les plus réussis. Robertson alterne le clawhammer et un style mixte qui intègre du picking (I Truly Understand). Il a un jeu qui respecte et met en valeur la mélodie et sur certains instrumentaux c’est d’avantage le fiddle qui accompagne le banjo plutôt que l’inverse (Last Chance, Sugar Baby). Robertson joue plusieurs titres sur un banjo fretless et quelque fois à des tempos très rapides (Run Slave Run, Lonesome John). Il utilise une syncope originale, apparemment accompagnée de notes tirées sur The Devil’s Dream et Sandy River Belles. Le style de CJ Abair au fiddle est plus classique, avec une mélodie un peu tronquée quand le banjo est en avant. Mon morceau favori est cependant June Apple mené par le fiddle, comme le sont Old Joe Clark et Lonesome John, également assez réussis. Il faut une ou deux écoutes pour se faire a la voix d’Hunter Robertson mais cet album n’est pas forcement réservé aux amateurs de old time hard-core!”

Casey Joe Abair and Hunter Robertson are from, respectively, Vermont and California (Robertson currently lives in France) but they play old-time music from the Appalachians. For the 17 traditional pieces that make up If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (Yodel-Ay-Hee 074) they list the artists that they learned from (Hobart Smith, Wade Ward, Tommy Jarrell, The New Lost City Ramblers, Elizabeth Cotton and lots of others). All are played as a fiddle/banjo duet. Hunter Robertson (banjo) sings seven pieces in a deep, rough, guttural voice. Harmony and backing vocals soften the singing somewhat on ‘I Truly Understand’ and ‘Sail Away Ladies’, which are among some of the most successful pieces. Robertson switches between clawhammer and a mixed style which includes fingerpicking (‘I Truly Understand’). His playing respects and highlights the melody and on some instrumentals it’s more the fiddle that accompanies the banjo than the other way around (‘Last Chance’, ‘Sugar Baby’). Robertson plays several tunes on a fretless banjo, sometimes at a very fast pace (‘Run Slave Run’, ‘Lonesome John’) and has an original sense of syncopation. CJ Abair’s style on the fiddle is more classic, with the melody slightly abbreviated when the banjo is up front. My favorite piece though is ‘June Apple’ led by the fiddle, as are ‘Old Joe Clark’ and ‘Lonesome John’, also fairly well done. It takes a listen or two to get used to Robertson’s voice but this album isn’t necessarily limited to hardcore old-time fans! (my translation)

Cri du Coyote

Going back to August, there was one in Germany’s Country Home:

“Dem primitiven, unnachahmlichen Stil der Appalachen haben sich diese zwei Interpreten hier angenommen. Und genauso primitiv wirkt der Gesang auf ihrem Tonträger. Gerade deshalb verdienen die zwei aber uneingeschränkte Aufmerksamkeit. Denn Simplizität kann nie gleichgesetzt werden mit Anspruchlosigkeit. Was die beiden hier bieten, ist vom Feinsten, auch wenn viele Zuhörer damit wahrscheinlich nichts anfangen können. Nur wenige begreifen, wie unglaublich sensibel das Gefiddle von Casey Joe Abair neben dem Clawhammer-Banjo von Hunter Robertson ist. Und wie gut sich die beiden Musiker ergänzen. Mit von der Partie sind so bekannte Stücke wie „Bonaparte’s Retreat“ oder „Old Joe Clark“. Und jetzt weiss ich auch, wie mein einfacher, aber raffinierter Blues-Song „Sugar Baby“ im Appalachen-Stil klingt. Ebenso genial, nämlich.”

- Country Home

From this month in MazzMusikaS, written by Fred Schmale.

Hunter Robertson / Sings Songs For The Masses / Eigen Beheer Casey Joe Abair & Hunter Robertson / If You Want To Go To Sleep, Go To Bed / Yodel-Ay-Hee 074 (www.hunterrobertson.com) Hunter Robertson (1972) is geboren in California, verhuisde met zijn van origine Schotse vader in 1986 naar de Haute Savoie in Frankrijk en begon weer een paar jaar later interesse te krijgen in gitaarspelen. Pa kocht een 6-snarige Epiphone voor hem en leerde hem de eerste beginselen van het spel, compleet met Carter Family tokkelwerk. Uiteindelijk kreeg hij een 12-snarige gitaar van zijn vader en die gitaar is nog altijd zijn belangrijkste gitaar. Het echte instrument van zijn vader was de banjo, die hij bespeelde in de ‘clawhammer’ stijl. Hunter raakte op den duur geïnteresseerd in dit instrument en de clawhammer speelstijl en dat instrument bespeelt hij op de meeste nummers van de bovenstaande twee cd’s. De eerste cd, Sings Songs For The Masses, bevat solo-opnamen uit de jaren 2001-2007. Hunter bespeelt naast de banjo een keur aan andere instrumenten, uiteraard ook zijn 12-snarige gitaar. Van de 14 nummers zijn er 7 traditionals (waaronder bekende nummers als Pretty Polly, Soldier’s Joy en Bonaparte’s Retreat), 6 van de hand van Hunter en het nummer Red Wing van Mills/Chattaway. De muziek is traditioneel, lees begin 20e eeuw, Hunter’s zang is heel apart en past wonderwel goed bij zijn muziek. Een geluid dat diep uit zijn keel komt en klinkt alsof hij te lang onder de grond heeft gezeten in een kolenmijn, behoorlijk gruizig dus. Maar o zo passend. Hunter, die sinds mei van dit jaar (na een verblijf op Kreta om een oud dorpshuis te restaureren en vervolgens in Vermont in de USA) weer een onderkomen in Frankrijk heeft (dicht bij de Zwitserse grens) heeft afgelopen september een duet cd uitgebracht met de fiddler Casey Joe Abair, die hij tijdens zijn verblijf in Vermont had leren kennen. Abair is behalve fiddler ook een goede bluesgitarist en een uitstekend vertolker van Ierse muziek op fiddle en melodeon. Op deze in de eigen huiskamers van de heren in Vermont opgenomen cd staan 17 traditionals die allen in duetvorm worden gespeeld, old-timey fiddle/banjo duets, zoals men dat in de Appalachians placht (en ook pleegt) te doen. Op een paar nummers is er hulp van buitenaf, Hunters Franse vrouw Féréale (is dat zo?) zingt op een drietal nummers mee en ene Josh Neilson doet ‘stomping’ in Ducks On The Millpond. Ook deze cd ademt de sfeer van ruim een eeuw terug en kent een aantal bekende nummers: wederom Bonaparte’s Retreat, maar ook The Coo Coo, Old Joe Clark, Sail Away Ladies, In The Pines en Lonesome John. Het is verrassend originele muziek die is te horen op beide cd’s. Ga eens luisteren naar deze sympathieke Schots/Amerikaanse Fransman of Schots/Franse Amerikaan Beide cd-verpakkingen zijn voorzien van technische informatie over de instrumenten en de gebruikte stemming (FS)

- Fred Schmale for MazzMusikaS

And finally, from Bluegrass Bühne – Old-Time & Bluegrass Magazine (Dec./Jan. 2009/10, No. 174), written by Eberhard Finke. (The same issue also had a separate article on me. Thanks guys!)

Hunter ist mit seinem Old Time Banjo solo in Voorthuizen und in La Roche-sur-Foron aufgetreten, er lebt jetzt in Frankreich; diese CD hat er in den USA mit einem befreundeten Old Time Fiddler aus Vermont aufgenommen. Die meisten Titel kennen wir aus dem üblichen Repertoire dieses Genres, sie einzeln aufzuführen ist nicht immer sinnvoll, denn zu manchen Titeln gibt es mehrere Melodien und die gleiche Melodie hat mehrere Titel, nennen wir hier “Sail away Ladies”, anderswo heißt das auch “Sally Ann”, “Don’t you rock me daddy-o” usw. Der “Devil’s dream,” hier hat nicht die von Bill Keith u. a. bekannte Melodie, “Run slave run” war vor der Erfindung der political correctness “Run nigger run”, “Coo coo” ist nicht das Lied mit “She’s a pretty bird… ”. Andererseits haben sie oft ihre Individualität, man kann viele leicht wiedererkennen. Die Quelle ist immer angegeben, ebenso die jeweilige Stimmung von Banjo und Geige, teilweise spielt er ein bundloses Fivestring. Hunter singt auch mit einer ungewöhnlich tiefen, rauen Stimme, manchmal begleitet von seiner Frau Féréale. Was jedem ins Ohr fällt, sind Tempo und Temperament der Interpretation, die beiden schaffen zu zweit einen überraschend kompakten Klang und meistens eine halsbrecherische Geschwindigkeit, die so nicht sein muss, aber kann und darf. Wir finden Authentizität, Verständnis für und Respekt vor der Musik, die sie spielen. Kontakt: www.hunterrobertson.com

- Bluegrass Bühne

New CD Reviews

2009.11.12

Several reviews have come out recently on my new album with Casey Joe Abair If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (Yodel-Ay-Hee 074):

From Tony Spadaro, aka Old Woodchuck, over at Rocket Science Banjo:

“If You Want To Go To Sleep, Go To Bed”. Is the title of the new cd by banjoist Hunter Robertson and fiddler Casey Joe Abair. And it is obviously a work that involved a lot of late nights for a long time before any recording equipment was ever set up. When the players know each other well, and have put in many hours together, fiddle and banjo duets can catch fire, producing an event that is more than the sum of the two instruments. Abiar and Robertson obviously know each other well and know how to throw ideas back and forth in a way that brings the listener a new insight into the music. If that all sounds a bit “classical”, well perhaps it is. The banjo fiddle combination is does not have the full sound of a string band, it is more like a chamber group, where the communication between instruments and players is more important than a full group sound. Listeners can really hear the two instruments because they differ in range, timbre, attack, sustain, and so many other ways. It is almost as if the fiddle and banjo go so well together because they have so little in common.

Banjo and fiddle is also one of the most exacting and dangerous combinations to record. Unlike a full band, fiddle and banjo will not cover mistakes for each other. Each player is fully responsible for every note he produces. This is not music for players who need the safety net of guitar and bass.

The selection of tunes is heavily weighted toward the old tunes played with the fire and enthusiasm they really deserve but seldom get these days, but there are some less common tunes that work beautifully in the duet setting. their “The Devil’s Dream” is from Hobart Smith and very different than the one I play. It is actually considerably more “band” friendly and the tune is closer to John Brown’s Dream.

“Fort Smith Breakdown” doesn’t show up on many jam lists but is a super tune from a 1920s recording by Luke Highnight’s Ozark Strutters. Here Robertson is playing a fretless Harmony ResoTone in Old G (gDGDE) tuning. “Run Slave Run” uses the same tuning and probably the same banjo.

“Hog Eye Man” aka “Sally In The Garden” is frequently played crooked, but Abair and Thompson seem to have found a whole new crooked way to do it. I’m going to try it out, but I won’t attempt to show it to my jam groups.

Some of the selections are great “trance” tunes where the two instruments seem to float around the melody passing it back and forth until you feel it has been the background music to your entire life. I was very surprised to read that “Tater Patch” and “Sandy River Belle” were each only about four minutes, as was their rendition of “Sail Away Ladies”

The album is Yodel-Ay-Hee number 74, and you can order it direct from Hunter Robertson’s website: http://www.hunterrobertson.com, where you can also watch videos of Abair and Robertson, and even buy a copy of Robertson’s solo album “Hunter Robertson Sings Songs For The Masses.”

From Gadaya over at Times ain’t like they used to be:

“Here’s a quick review for an excellent new cd i received a few days ago. Under the evocative title “If you want to sleep, go to bed” (A saying by banjo-player Charlie Lowe, who was a major figure of the Round Peak old-time musical tradition and who liked his music fast…) it contains almost exclusively fiddle and banjo duets by two young musicans, Casey Joe Abair and Hunter Robertson. The fine art of fiddle and banjo duets is the core of american old-time music and the two musicians gives us an excellent and energetic selections of instrumental tunes, some well-known, some more obscure, along with a few old-timey songs sung in the expressive and rough vocal style of banjo player Hunter Robertson. The contrast with the delicate voice of his wife Fereale who join him on three numbers makes a delightful combination (it reminds me of some Blind Willie Johnson numbers where the rough street singer sings with a woman).

An elegant and tasty packaging along with some fine liner notes (the source and tunings are provided for each track) to boot makes this cd a must-have for every fan of authentic and deep appalachian old-time music.

Go to Hunter Robertson’s website to hear some samples of it. You can order the cd directly from the website or from various places like ITUNES, AMAZON, ELDERLY…”

And from Rambles.NET, by the ever astute Jerome Clark:

“The title quotes the wisdom of old-time banjo player Charlie Lowe of North Carolina. The message: if you don’t like lively music, get lost. Though Lowe is long gone, Casey Joe Abair (fiddle) and Hunter Robertson (banjo, lead vocals) carry on the fiery tradition of Southern mountain music. Neither man, however, is a Southern musician. Abair hails from Vermont, where the California-born Robertson was living when this was recorded. Since this past May he has resided in France.

Robertson’s music came into my life with his striking Songs for the Masses (a tongue-in-cheek title if ever there was one). I reviewed it in this space on 5 July 2008. Masses was not just another accomplished oldtime-revival album but something that sounded as if delivered intact (but for the rare electric guitar) from some remote provincial outpost in the 19th century. I marveled at what I called its “almost skinless sound.” The vocals conjured up “a 200-year-old ghost … accidentally captured on the tape as, otherwise inaudible, it sang to Robertson’s playing of an old tune.” This was the sound of American folk music, one surmises (we can’t know for sure, of course), as it was before the advent of recording equipment.

If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed is not that sort of album, except perhaps on those occasions when Robertson sings in the sort of choked rasp that made Masses feel so eerily out of its era. Abair & Robertson’s atmospheric reading of “In the Pines” (accompanied by Fereale Robertson’s disembodied harmony singing) captures something of the not-of-this-earth sensibility of Robertson’s previous disc, and it owes nothing to the Louvin Brothers, Bill Monroe or Lead Belly. Mostly, though, the two have moved the music into the 20th century: not the fiddle/banjo duet itself, which goes back to what the antique song calls “the good old colony times,” but to the precision and tonality of more — relatively — modern approaches. Some of this survives in its native form in Appalachia, and you can still hear it on stages of Southern fiddle and folk festivals.

Abair & Robertson do what they do very well. The 17 cuts consist of genre standards (“Old Joe Clark,” “Ducks on the Millpond,” “Bonaparte’s Retreat” and the like), but the arrangements are distinctive and the melodies are not always the familiar ones. From the evidence of Masses it was clear that Robertson’s knowledge of traditional music is encyclopedic, and I presume Abair’s boasts comparable pagination. Their music is bright, vivid and lovely. If you find yourself nodding off through Sleep, see your doctor.”

New CD Release

2009.11.12

July 25 2009 (pre blog, thus the date)

New CD from Hunter Robertson and Casey Joe Abair

New CD from Hunter Robertson and Casey Joe Abair

I’m pleased to announce the release of a new album, Casey Joe Abair & Hunter Robertson If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed (Yodel-Ay-Hee 074), an album of old-timey banjo & fiddle duets – traditional American music from the Appalachians. It comprises 17 traditional songs and tunes, learnt from a variety of sources – mainly musicians long gone. Follow the link to listen to some tracks, get more information and of course, to buy it. You can also get it from CDBaby or Menzies Stringed Instruments. Elderly Instruments and County Sales will also have it in stock shortly, as well as iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and other purveyors of fine mp3s.