I didn't know quite what to expect when first coming across this title. Would it be a greatest hits album from Billy Bass, the mechanical fish so many of us purchased as a gag gift for our fathers a few years ago? Would it be 62 minutes of a stream running? Or is this a play on words for either Phish or Country Joe and the Fish?
To my relief, none of those possibilities were the case. Fishing Music is the brainchild of Ben Winship and David Thompson. They have chosen songs from sources as diverse as Duke Ellington and the Andy Griffith Show, either loosely or closely related to fishing. They are joined by the likes of Tim and Mollie O'Brien, Rob Ickes, David Grier, Mike Dowling and Matt Flinner, but this is clearly Winship's and Thompson's project.
Mike Dowling, known as a great songwriter, shows one and all some serious jazz guitar chops on Django Reinhardt's Fly Fishing. He then sings and plays some fingerstyle blues on Deep River Blues. The most memorable vocals of the disc come from Mollie O'Brien, both on The Important Part of Fishing and the theme from the Andy Griffith TV show, Fishin' Hole. Who knew there were lyrics to that theme?
Fishing Music is a terrific collection of music, whether your tastes run to folk, blues, swing or all of the above. I've been playing it nonstop ever since it arrived. I'm even thinking of taking up fishing.
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