So rarely does any disc hold up under repeated listening these days. Two, three, maybe four spins before the dullness and sameness seep in. The niche and demographic intent are no longer encrypted in the bytes and bits.
Except, 'This Train.'
Matt Glaser's spacious and victorious vision of bluegrass opens the horizon like no other. Where heavy metallers will drop in a banjo solo and call itself country, and rockers will drop a beat and call reggae, the Wayfaring Strangers bring their many musics to a fervent fruition. Free roaming the world music map, Glaser - violin, piano; Tracy ('Bitch') Bonham - vocals; Ruth Unger -vocals; 20 year old siren Aoife O'Donovan -vocals; Tony Trischka-banjo, slide guitar; John McGann-octave mandolin, guitar; Laszio Gardony-piano; and James Haddad-drums, percussion, create a gratifying and enriching listening experience over and over again.
Opening with the gospel/free-jazz-swing title track, the engine is stoked and the ride is on.
Up the mountain, Columbus Stockade Blues. Round the mountain, Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky and When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall.Down the mountain to the church, Sit Down Servant; then past the church to secular side When You Go Walking After Midnight to the stellar twin closers Bill Monroe's revitalizing Don't Put Off Til Tomorrow and the aching revelation of the Unger/O'Donovan duet Who'll Sing For Me.
This is music many search their whole lives to hear and experience. The search for intelligent musical life on Earth is over.
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