A review for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
Fasten your seat belt! John McEuen's "Acoustic Traveller" is a journey through acoustic music from points all over to parts unknown. In his third Vanguard release, McEuen plays banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel, dulcimer and koto in an eclectic collection of compositions chronicling his life on the road over the years. Woven through this collection of original pieces are traditional pieces that form the fabric of John McEuen's music.
This is a collection of music that is not easily categorized, for its a mix of instruments, cultures, rhythms and experiences that come from travels all over the world. If ever there was a fitting title for an album, this would be it.
Personal favorites on the album are: Turki innastra - Sound it out, for the title just has a new look. This traditional string tune comes alive when McEuen picks up his banjo.
Keep Walking - This song, titled from changing planes from the B to C concourse at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, has a rambling style that provides fuel for a mental vacation.
Back N 4th In Pahrump, Nevada - An upbeat piece featuring John and Jonathan McEuen, Phil Salazar's swinging fiddle and Mike Mullin on mandolin.
I Am A Pilgrim - John learned this song from Merle Travis during the recording of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." Mr. Bojangles- No chronicle of McEuen's traveling days would be complete without including this breakthrough hit from his NGDB days. Arranged as an instrumental suite, it gives the song a wistful feel. "Acoustic Traveller" is a collection of music for those who recognize that the beauty of music is in its diversity. After all the films, tours, and scores, John McEuen continues to bring together music from all parts of his nomadic world.
I can't wait to see what he does next!
Edited by Rona Edwards