Over the Mountain
Elkville String Band plays genuine American rural music. They go back to a day when musicians didn't care whether what they were playing was called old-time, bluegrass, gospel, or country; it was just music. The members of Elkville String Band powerfully convey the joy of playing music together. Dock Walsh's (RCA recording pioneer of the 1920's & 1930's) son, Drake Walsh, continues the tradition, playing mandolin and fiddle with Wilkes County's best early 21st Century such outfit, the Elkville String Band. Besides original tunes like 'Drake's Waltz', he added a verse to his dad's 'Bring Me A leaf From The Sea'. The quartet also includes Herb Key, well known for playing bass with National Heritage Award laureate Wayne Henderson, who joins the Elkville String Band on four cuts. As a member of Elkville, Key shines as a six-string stylist and vocalist in his own right. On banjo, Jeff Michael demonstrates a wonderful facility with both rolls and old-time banjo styles. He also plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar and offers powerful vocals on this project. Bill Williams anchors the ensemble on stand up bass. The Elkville String Band immediately announces that they are by no means confined to old-time music with a cover of Paul Roberts and Shelby Darnell's World war II classic, 'There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere'. Songs and tunes range from the familiar ('Cindy'. 'Jesse James') to the classic (Riley Puckett's 'The Freight Wreck At Altoona) to the obscure ('Suicide Blues' sung by Drake's father in the 1920's, 'Where The Roases Bever Fade') to the CD's four original tunes 'Drake's Waltz', 'The Elkville Shuffle','Indian Princess', and 'Cat Call Waltz'. Rooted and original, joyous, creative and down to earth, the Elkville String Band's album is not just enjoyable but quite important. They represent one of a very few living, authentic representatives of a significant slice of southern Appalachian musical heritage best known for Roy Acuff, Hall, and Snuffy Jenkins. Put this in your CD player and experience the pure truth of real folks playing real American music... Art Menius, Director, Appalshop, Whitesburg, Kentucky.