Bob Michel's second CD, like 'The Oystermen's Ball' (2004), is both an acoustic tour de force and a memorable piece of original Americana. Bob's original songs reflect on a lifetime of playing traditional music, and they draw on many influences-blues, oldtime country, early Tin Pan Alley and Celtic music. But they're rooted in a unique landscape: the little towns and marshlands of southwestern New Jersey, and the maritime life of the Delaware Bay. These are songs that straddle past and present, topical and personal. They range from the wry satire of 'Back Where You Belong,' through the wistfulness of 'The Hocking Hills' and the quiet anger of 'To the Glasshouse,' the poignant family history of 'Far Clare Mountains' and the loopy fun of 'County Line,' to the powerful antiwar song 'Flying to Dover' which closes the CD. Along the way Bob pays tribute to musical heroes from Uncle Dave Macon ('Banjo Tramp') to Phil Ochs ('Song for Phil') to Robert Burns ('The Farther Shore'). Comprising twelve unforgettable vignettes from a unique American songwriter, self-accompanied on guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and whistle, 'The Farther Shore' is unlike any other 'roots' recording you're likely to hear.
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