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Ben Winship & David Thompson - Fishing Music II

Fishing Music II

Ben Winship & David Thompson

Snake River Records - SSR123

Available from Snake River Records

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Fishermen are a breed apart. I used to do a little angling myself as a kid in Massachusetts because there was a lake across the street from my parents' house: perch, bass, that kinda thing, but true fishermnen (and women!) are 'mild zealots'. That is, they're laid back, mellow, easygoing, but not a whit less fanatical than the most righteous heavenly-minded fundamentalist. I mean, who else, after a work week of getting up early and trudging off to the factory, looks forward to getting up even earlier and hitting the water to sit, wait, and fish?

Oh wait, I forgot about the drinkin' part.

Well, that goes pretty much missing here, too, but just the idea of dedicating an entire CD to the subject of fishing is a great one...and this is the second time around for the project. Every song's madly in love with the urban / suburban navigator and his hook, line, and sinker affair with ichthyan sport. The very first tune has no trouble whatsoever with substituting Little Miss Cutthroat for the singer's human love affairs. From there, it's a cavalcade of trysts between fish and man, track to track. The writer-organizers of the entire affair appear in every cut (both play stringed instruments, sing, and wrangle a bit of percussion) accompanied by top-notch sessioneers, including Tim and Mollie O'Brien in a coolio call-and-response vocal interchange during Gone Fishin'. Then there are instrumentals like The Eel's Nephew, clean as a whistle and as enticing as that trout shining down at the bottom of Angling Heaven River.

Now, don't get me wrong, there's proper reverence here…well, as proper as such things get with fisherfolk anyway. Church in the Wandering Stream is both tongue-in-cheek and existentially spiritual, extolling the Thoreauvian holiness of Nature...which produces those sleek yummy piscines slipping by while I'm typing this sentence. So, if you've a hankering for the outdoors, the fishing ways, or just damn great folk music, Fishing Music II is your rod and reel, brothers and sisters, and I suggest you lay hold of it to tide you over until the weekend and that seductive rivulet just over the horizon.

Track List:

  • Little Miss Cuttthroat (David A. Thompson)
  • Mayfly (Jeffrey Foucault)
  • Gone Fishin' (Kenney / Kenney)
  • The Eel's Nephew (Bud Freeman)
  • Waiting on the Evening Rise (Ben Winship)
  • Wade in the Water (traditional)
  • Fishin' in the Wind (Mike Dowling)
  • Old Bamboo (David A. Thompson)
  • I Caught a Keeper (Mike Dowling)
  • Lost River (Chris Coole)
  • Church of the Wandering Stream (David A. Thompson)
  • Fishing in the Dark (traditional)
  • Opening Day (David A. Thompson)
  • The Winding Stream (A.P. Cater)
  • The Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon / Jeff Sturgeon (Lalonde / Alexander / Claypool)
  • Everybody's Fishin' (traditional)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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