Full Sail

Chesapeake

SH 3841
Sugar Hill

A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Al Price (banjoman@pop.seanet.com)

Baseball legends speak of the sophomore jinx, by which players sensational rookie seasons are followed by mediocre second efforts. The recording industry at times has drawn parallels to this phenomenon.

This is not the case with Chesapeake. Its second release, "Full Sail", picks up where its first release ("Rising Tide") left off. Chesapeake's album titles have a nautical theme that fits well, as each song flows smoothly from one track to the next. Much of the material in this album is familiar because it comes from traditional acoustic sources. Yet, it sounds fresh and new given Chesapeake's clean, precise arrangements.

Moondi Klein's lead vocals are a perfect fit for these arrangements. His voice has great range and strength that is heard in "Sweet Melinda" and "Let It Roll". Jimmy Gaudreau's backup and solo licks weave in and out of each song to help provide the up tempo sound for which Chesapeake is already well known. T. Michael Coleman provides the bass to keep everything moving at the proper pace.

Mike Auldridge continues to be one of the greats on the resophonic guitar. His subtle fills give "One Way Track, the great Ricky Skaggs song, the flavor of riding the rails. This expert work is punctuated at the end by a strong solo finish. Perfect. This album also provides the opportunity to hear Auldridge play the lap and pedal steel guitars.

Highlights on this album include:
* One Way Track- As previously mentioned, this is a great piece of musicianship, fronted by Klein's vocal presence. A real toe tapper.
* Let It Roll- Little Feat's classic gets the Chesapeake treatment.
* Are You Tired Of Me My Darling- While it sounds fresh, this song pays homage to the Carter Family arrangement at the same time.
* Sweet Melinda- This song is a perfect showcase for Klein's vocals and is a memorable tune. This cut could become the "Summer Wages" of this album.

Chesapeake draws from a broad range of musical sources that includes Norman Blake, Tim O'Brian, Little Feat and Bela Fleck. These sources are a large part of the album's appeal. The contemporary arrangements of the traditional songs on the album underscore their timelessness. The album's a keeper. I love it.

[Edited by Lee Rademacher <fromage@calumet.purdue.edu>]

Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior written permission and attribution.

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