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Various Artists - Six Strings North of the Border Vol. 2

Six Strings North
of the Border Vol. 2

Various Artists

BCD 142

The Borealis Recording Company Ltd.
225 Sterling Road, Unit 19,
Toronto, ON M6R 2B2 Canada

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

The acoustic guitar has a wide range of sounds and rhythms that many people find appealing. If you like blues, rag, Celtic, jazz or anything in between Six Strings North of the Border - Vol. 2 should appeal to you. This album is a collection of fine guitar work by sixteen great Canadian musicians (or groups) well recorded and tastefully understated as far as production (no electric harmonica backgrounds).

Trying to describe the musical content beyond superlatives is rather difficult. There are many styles here and the album as a work itself should bring any guitar aficionado joy. Some of the pieces that stood out for me were: Dorval's Descent by Terry Tufts a bottleneck blues number, Dallas Rag by David Rogers you guessed it - rag time, The Green Mountain Boys a lovely set of Cape Breton jigs by Dave MacIsaac, and Rose of Allendale, a Celtic tapestry by Bob MacLean.

There aren't any clinkers in the set of sixteen, so I could go on chosing favorites. Some tunes defy simple categorization so I think of them in terms like "soft composition" or "acoustic painting". You'll have to get the album to see what I am talking about. Here is the tune list along with artist names and a small description or impression:

  • Dorval's Descent by Terry Tufts - slide blues
  • Frederic's Closet by Mark Atkinson Trio - South of the Border (i.e hot chi hau hua)
  • Invitation To Circumstance by Art Turner - acoustic painting with recorder added
  • Wedding Song by Zubot & Dawson - high energy country with fiddle added
  • Dear Peace by Alex Houghton - soft composition, easy listening
  • Dallas Rag by David Rogers - classic rag
  • Reverie by Jon Park Wheeler - soft composition, easy listening
  • The Green Mountain Boys by Dave MacIssac - Cape Breton jig set
  • New England Rag by D'Arcy Wickham - contemporary rag
  • In the Deep Field by Colin Linden - soft slide guitar
  • The Wind by James Cohen - flemenco flavor
  • Django Townshend by Martin Posen - acoustic painting with 12 strings
  • Steeplechase Lane by Craig Brown - familiar tune finger picked
  • Hermetica by Kristen Sweetland - acoustic painting with bass added
  • Guitar Mama by Michael Jerome Browne - blues with added vocal
  • Rose of Allendale by Bob MacLean - Celtic with recorder added
You will probably have to hunt for this album or contact the website to find it. But it will be worth the effort. You might also try Six Strings North of the Border Vol 1. From the sound of this one, the original must also be great.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2004, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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