The full title of the album is Acoustic Duets from High in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The CD is a collection of 12 tunes/songs that are performed by the duet of Amy White and Al Petteway. They play a variety of instruments: guitar, banjo, Celtic harp, mandolin, piano, dulcimer and probably a lot of other stringed instruments—and they play all of these things very well. In addition, Amy adds a clear and mellow vocal to two of the CD's songs.
There are a number of traditional tunes such as Wildwood Flower and Banish Misfortune. There are also a number of tunes that were written by the artists. In reading the jacket liner notes you will see that they relate to the Blue Ridge Hills where they live. For example Bend Creek tries to mimic the sound of a flowing creek. Catamount (mountain lion in my area of the country) has images of a stalking cat.
The term "Duet" usually means two people playing or singing the same tune or song together. In High in the Blue Ridge there is also an element of inter-twined flow of music and sound. It provides a very soothing sort of album.
The style here is very eclectic: clawhammer banjo to jazzy piano. Celtic harp to mandolin leads. Every tune has a different feel and style so it would be hard to call it Celtic or Folk or Old Timey but it has some of those attributes. You won't get bored with a repetitious droning that might fit some other albums. Even with a standard like: Wildwood Flower, the delivery and phrasing is unlike the norm. It creates a gentle blend of harmony between Amy's voice and Al's guitar playing.
Of the tunes and songs on the album I liked best Craggy Pinacle with its interplay of banjo and guitar. Also The Last Waltz is very nice. There is a lot of variety so you might have a different favorite.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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