The pandemic pandemonium of twenty-twenty has disrupted all of our lives in so many ways. I’ve seen illness and tragedy all around me since it began. It has created a huge disruption in the lives of many old-time musicians. At its worst, it has delivered the eternal sting of death. Throughout all of it, I’ve been working even harder at the Old-Time Tiki Parlour, refusing to let the virus slow us down. Aside from teaching fiddle and banjo everyday, I’ve immersed myself in helping to create new albums and videos for Tiki Parlour Recordings. And now at the dawn of the new year, we have three new productions officially entering the world this month and four others still in the works. Tragically, one of the artists of an upcoming fiddle release succumbed to COVID earlier this year in Peru. Currently, the liner notes for this posthumous production are being translated into two more languages and we’ll be dedicating a future article to his music and life.
For now, it’s time to celebrate the new year with three new productions from some extraordinary musicians who deserve to have their music out there, no matter the obstacle.JAKE LOEW RETURN OF THE SON OF OLD TIME FIDDLE CD
This is the debut album of traditional musician/avant-garde genius Jake Loew AND the first official Tiki Parlour novelty “party” album. In the early history of recorded sound, “party” records like the Okeh Laughing Record from the 1920s were all the rage. This CD is Tiki Parlour’s answer to those historic releases. Imagine Old-Time Fiddle meets Bill Monroe meets Nintendo meets ‘70s Gameshow Soundtracks meets Clockwork Orange.
After hearing one of his arrangements that went viral online, I reached out and offered him a chance to develop his old-time MIDI arrangements into a full-length album for Tiki Parlour Recordings. After playing the early mixes for old-time musician and brilliant animator Nick Bachman (Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Sony, etc.) he put a pod of animators together and created this amazing “digital crankie” music video for Cider. This is your first chance to see and hear a video game-style music video of an electronic version of Tommy Jarrell’s classic fiddle tune Cider. ENJOY!
BRAD LEFTWICH & LINDA HIGGINBOTHAM AT HOME IN THE PARLOUR CD & DVD SET
“Brad has been one of my very favorite players since we met decades ago. His tone and timing, his expression on fiddle and banjo, and of course his old time music scholarship are like none other. And Linda’s solid and strong banjo and banjo-uke playing make this wonderful recording incredibly special!”-Bruce Molsky
Brad Leftwich has long been considered a gold standard for traditional old-time fiddling, and a highly regarded banjo player and singer as well. He grew up in Oklahoma and took up the banjo and fiddle as a teenager, inspired by the banjo/fiddle duets of his grandfather and great-uncle and the guitar-playing and singing of his father. He learned directly from such legendary masters as Tommy Jarrell, Melvin Wine, Violet Hensley, and the Hammonds family. In more than 40 years as a performer, he has released 12 feature recordings, appeared on dozens of anthologies, and created teaching materials that define the genre. He has entertained at the White House, backed up Doc Watson on stage, and counts the late Buck Owens and John Hartford among his admirers.
Linda Higginbotham is best known for her musical collaboration with Brad, beginning in the early 1980s when they traveled extensively, learning traditional music from the last surviving practitioners of the art and performing at major folk festivals. Linda grew up in a musical home and learned to play guitar from her father, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter. She began playing clawhammer banjo and banjo ukulele after meeting Brad and is widely known for popularizing the banjo-uke in old-time music.
THE HORSENECKS STARTED OUT IN TOWN CD
The Horsenecks play hard-hitting and heartfelt Old-Time and classic Bluegrass music. Their sound is centered around the pairing of the signature rhythmic Appalachian fiddle style of Oregonian Gabrielle Macrae and the driving yet subtle banjo playing of Liverpudlian Barry Southern. Gabrielle’s playing style is the result of being raised in the Old Time music hotbed of Portland, OR and being exposed to the fiddle traditions of the Southeast through years of traveling to festivals and learning from some of the greatest players in the genre. Her love of traditional music brought her to North Carolina as a teenager where she fully immersed herself in the music of the region. She became a sought-after clawhammer banjo player after releasing an album with the Macrae Sisters that received glowing reviews in both Sing Out! and The Old Time Herald.
Barry’s banjo playing ranges from thrilling and high-octane to moody and captivating, and his versatility shines whether playing clawhammer or driving three-finger banjo. Also a great guitarist, adept in many styles of playing he has been consistently active in the UK Old Time and Bluegrass scene for the last decade playing with multiple groups.
Whether they are singing centuries-old ballads, their own songs, or getting you up and dancing with a barn-burning fiddle tune, they remain firmly rooted in tradition, paying homage to the depth and richness of the music. Whether performing as a duo or as a four piece The Horsenecks continue to set a new standard in today’s traditional music scene with years of touring under their belts and appearances at major festivals in the USA and the UK.
THREE MUSICAL DIAMONDS RISE FROM THE ASHES OF PANDEMIA:
The Horsenecks, Brad Leftwich & Linda Higginbotham
and Jake Loew's Electronic Folk Album