In order to get this review out quickly to readers who may be interested in listening to or purchasing this sampler before the April 30 deadline, I’ve copied and/or paraphrased some of this information from the project’s Bandcamp page.
This is a sampler collection for the complete Dolceola Records album “Just Behind the Creek: Field Recording at Kickin’ It on the Creek 2019”, to be released in September 2020. The sampler offers 17 tracks played by as many different artists. All tracks were newly recorded on September 20-21, 2019, just behind the stage of Kickin’ It On The Creek.
KIOTC is one of the best music festivals in Appalachia and is organized by Byron Roberts of Wolfpen Productions and staged in Ross’s Creek, Kentucky, at Byron’s farm. It features local and regional bands in the mountains of Estill and Lee County Kentucky, as well as practitioners of traditional music styles from all over the country. These recordings show a wide variety of music with renowned and talented musicians playing traditional tunes as well as their own beautiful original songs.
This digital sampler is currently available only as a download from Bandcamp through April 30th for a suggested price of $10. 100% of the proceeds go to musicians to help support them during the current COVID-19 crisis. I have added links to artists’ webpages, where I could find them. Please consider visiting the merchandise sections there and perhaps purchase an item or two to help out further.
I contacted Dan Torigoe of Dolceola Recordings (based in Japan) via email about this effort and he responded, “I first heard about KIOTC from a friend of mine…..while we recorded a banjo master Jack Bunch in London KY. I was very interested in this unique fest as it was focused on showcasing current mountain music with local artists. It perfectly fitted our mission, to document current situation of community-based music in the United States.
We did the recording sessions at Byron’s bar room just behind the stage. We usually use Ampex 601 and RCA 77DX, which are same ones Alan Lomax loved to use for his recording sessions back in ’50s and ’60s.”
I also spoke to Byron Roberts about this project and he could not be more proud to have these recordings as a testament to just how wonderful the current music scene is in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.
Interestingly, these recordings were not planned in advance! Dan simply showed up at the gate and asked if he could make field recordings of some old time music using his 1950’s vintage microphone and tube equipment. Eventually he and Byron got together and turned the Roberts’ living room into a temporary recording studio. Byron started spreading the word among the musicians present at the festival and before long there was backstage buzz about it. They ended up with 35-40 performances from which the final album will be culled.
Byron wants to thank Dan for coming from the other side of the world to record music from this Eastern Kentucky festival, and sharing the music with the world. Further, he is thankful to Dan for offering to give all proceeds from the sale of this sampler back to the music community in the Eastern Kentucky area.
Music truly is a worldwide family, community, and uniting force. I personally could not give this collection a higher recommendation.
1. Bobby Britt Music (from Town Mountain): Improvisation / Little Pine Siskin / Out of the Woods- enjoyable and expertly played improvised medley by Grammy nominated Town Mountain fiddler
2. Teresa Prince (from Luna and the Mountain Jets): Pepsi Girl- LATMJ vocalist/guitarist and “Honey” from the Laid Back Country Picker band performs a self penned pop tune acoustically, giving it a whole new Appalachian feel
3. Brett Ratliff: Pass Around the Bottle-Eastern Kentucky musician plays banjo and sings a very old tune made popular by The Skillet Lickers. This performance would not be out of place on a Ralph Stanley album
4. Blakeley Burger: Glory in the Meeting House-University of Louisville student and Kentucky Folk School fiddle teacher shines on this traditional classic
5. Don Rogers: Greek Medley- one of my current favorite musicians picks up the fiddle and kicks it into gear. Check out his work as a solo country/rock artist, his bands The Apostlebillies, Bluegrass Collective, The Green Genes and probably about 15 others he sits in with
6. Montana Hobbs (from The Local Honeys): I Love My Honey- Eastern Kentucky musician and member of traditional Appalachian band The Local Honeys plays banjo and sings this sweet tune
7. John Thomas: Ashokan Farewell-23 old fiddler for Padre Paul Handelman on tour plays the beautiful theme from the 1990 PBS miniseries “The Civil War”
8. Walter DeBarr: Oceans-Buckhannon, West Virginia folk singer/guitarist plays the self-penned haunting neo-classic “Oceans” from his first EP
9. Ritch Henderson: If It’s Only for Tonight- Alabama singer/songwriter/ guitarist performs his brand new tune
10. Joe Macheret (from The Tillers & Joe’s Truck Stop): Red Mountain Wine- super talented fiddle player and singer performs the Gib Guilbeau song from 1972
11. Sean Geil (from The Tillers): I Saw a Man at the Close of Day- like Macharet, he is also a Tiller. The singer/songwriter/guitarist pulls out a Grayson and Whitter classic from the 1920’s and makes it his own.
12. Chris Shouse (from Hancock & Shouse): Don’t Have a Clue- Irvine, Kentucky school music teacher and Appalachian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist plays a blistering version of this original song
13. Crownover: Alive (somehow)-Kyle Crownover is a very young, very likable, and very talented singer songwriter here performing one of his original tunes. Never seen without a big smile on this face, you may have seen him on tour as Tyler Childers’ road manager
14. Jesse Wells: Muddy Creek- speaking of Tyler Childers, this fella plays in his band, The Food Stamps, and formerly (and still sometimes) a member of The Wooks. This guy plays about 15 different instruments and if he’s in someone’s band, he’s the secret weapon.
15. Abe Partridge: Appalachian Farewell- Alabama native and multi-talented singer/songwriter plays his original ode to Appalachia. He’s also a supremely talented folk artist and I highly recommend checking out webpage to see his original paintings.
16. Padre Paul Handelman: Gypsy Home- Former army ranger/rancher and current singer/songwriter and restless soul plays a great version of “Gypsy Home”
17. Senora May: All of My Love- Eastern Kentucky singer/songwriter playing a great original tune here. I highly recommend going to see her live if she plays in your neck of the woods.