Michael Cleveland - Flame Keeper

Flame Keeper

Michael Cleveland

ROUNDER 821610494-2

Rounder Records Corp.
One Camp St
Cambridge, Ma 02140

A review written for Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Jim Zimmerschied

Michael Cleveland is a powerful bluegrass and traditional music fiddle player. Flame Keeper is recorded proof of that statement. An album of both instrumentals and vocals, Flame Keeper should delight any die hard bluegrasser as well as anyone fond of traditional music. Micheal's playing is strong but also melodic. Even on the vocals, his accompanying licks are noticed and fill out the song. The other musicians on the CD have worked with Michael in various bluegrass band associations, and the overall sound is tight and cohesive. I was impressed by Tom Adam's banjo playing which interweaves with Cleveland's fiddle playing very well.. The vocals are by the guitar player, Audie Blaylock and mandolin player, Jeff Brock. While the vocals are not the main event, they are well done.

The album has fifteen selections. Eight are instrumentals and the rest vocals. The play list is as follows:
  • Dance Around Molly
  • Six Feet Under the Ground
  • North Carolina Breakdown
  • Lost Indian
  • Prayer Bells of Heaven
  • Blue Violet Waltz
  • Rye Straw
  • Too Late to Walk the Floor
  • Virginia Darling
  • Will You Be Satisfied that Way
  • Bear Creek Hop
  • Goodbye Old Pal
  • Two O'Clock in the Morning
  • Shanandoah Waltz
  • Lee Highway Blues

As you can see this is a very traditional mix of bluegrass and old time music. Well performed and lively. This is a second album for Mr. Cleveland and from the quality and solid production, it will not be his last.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2002, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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