Great Sad River
Though Reid has been most known for his instrumental solo fingerstyle guitar work, he spends much of this record with a flatpick in hand, driving the songs with an authoritative, rootsy edge, reminding the listener of his early years as a bluegrass picker, street musician, and ardent student of traditional American music. Recorded in Reid's trademark live, sparse, purist style, The Great Sad River draws from Reid and Andersen's years of playing bluegrass, but is richly flavored with the celtic and storytelling traditions of the coast of Maine, where they live and record. Reid introduces 4 cuts with the majestic mandocello, and from his pen comes an epic trilogy of songs about the seafaring history of Maine, providing fans of his songwriting some of his best lyrics and vocals ever. Andersen's strong fiddle work and captivating voice are the perfect complement to his guitars, autoharp, banjo, and slashing bottleneck slide work, and her violin and viola swirl and soar with authority and imagination. She takes control of her solo songs with both sweetness and toughness, and brings a welcome contemporary edge to the collaboration.