Grey Cat on the Tennessee Farm[CD]
A collection of 14 songs and tunes associated with Uncle Dave Macon, 'The Dixie Dewdrop', first star of the Grand Ol' Opry. Performed by Peter with Byron Berline - fiddle, Dan Crary - guitar, Dennis Caplinger - banjo, Wayne Shrusball - banjo, and Bill Bryson - bass. NEWS FLASH! - 'Grey Cat' ranked #5 in the TOP TEN Bluegrass CDs for 2005 by the Chicago Tribune - Dave Royko, columnist. 'YOU'VE DONE IT! ... Great sound, great job, great layout! .. high quality workmanship, both visually and audio.' - Dave Macon (Uncle Dave's grandson) 'The impact of this extraordinary CD just takes your breath away.' - Al Shusterman, KCBL, Sacramento 'What a wonderful recording ... exceptional!' - David Holt 'A unique idea! .. well produced by excellent musciains...' - Mike Seeger While Uncle Dave was an 'old time' musician, we've arranged and adapted these songs into bluegrass format, often with two banjos, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar. Singing ranges from solo vocals to four and five-part harmonies. The musicians here are all top notch, with 3 time National fiddle champion Byron Berline, Dennis Caplinger of 'Bluegrass Etc.' on banjo, Dan Crary, king of the flatpick guitar players, Bill Bryson of 'Desert Rose' on bass, and Banjo Newsletter columnist Wayne Shrubsall on clawhammer banjo. Peter Feldmann is a long-time bluegrass favorite in California; founder of the Santa Barbara Fiddlers' Convention, the famous Bluebird Cafe (Santa Barbara), with more than 21 years' of experience on radio, television, and recordings. He can also be heard with his band 'Peter Feldmann & The Very Lonesome Boys', based in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. == Review May 15, 2007 ==== The impact of this extraordinary CD just takes your breath away. I have been an Uncle Dave (The Dixie Dewdrop) fan since the late 50s. Every record I had by him was worn completely out. I just couldn't get enough!! There were some shows that showed the old time footage, & that is where it really rocked. Your project was superb. Everything about it was first class: the singing, & the beautiful instrumental work that pulsated throughout the project. All of the recordings I have heard of Uncle Dave suggests that he was having a good time. I definitely got that feeling while I was listening to this project. The personnel on this project are in the 'Who's Who of bluegrass music'. It doesn't get any better than this. This project was entirely too short. I had to play this CD 3 times in a row to fully appreciate the lyrics & the music for this project. You can't just hear this CD once & be satisfied. The song selection was also first rate. I played the entire CD & received many requests to play many of the songs over again. This CD will be my companion for many weeks to come. Thank you for sharing your fine project with us. Cordially, Al Shusterman KCBL == *** December 2, 2005 ===== 'When Peter Feldmann's 'Grey Cat on the Tennessee Farm - Songs of Uncle Dave Macon arrived in my mailbox, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. After all, Uncle Dave brought a powerful and unique personality to the stage along with his vast banjo tune and minstrel show repetoire. I was afraid I was in for yet another folk revivalist rehash of Mr. Macon's greatest hits. Instead, Peter Feldmann has put together a very entertaining 'concept album' that combines spoken word and some of the West Coast's best instrumentalists in an imaginative yet sympathetic updating of some very tuneful Old Time music. This is truly an album that has 'something for everyone'. Feldmann serves as lead vocalist and 'master of ceremonies' for what is essentially what you might expect to hear if you were lucky enough to attend one of Uncle Dave Macon's tent shows in the 1930's but presented with the musical sophistication demanded by present day audiences. Though it's accessible enough for the uninitiated, Bluegrass afficianados will marvel at Fiddler Byron Berline and Guitarist 'Deacon' Dan Crary breaks and backup-flawless without being stale-they still manage not to overshadow Peter Feldmann's warm vocals. Berline is featured on two fiddle tunes which are worth the price of the album on their own merit. Feldmann provides some good solid Monroe style mandolin and Dennis Caplinger plays impeccable three finger banjo - he neatly combines the melodic and rhythmic content of Dave Macon's banjo with the sparkling drive of Bluegrass style picking and is worth a listen by any student of the five-string. Old Timey banjoist Wayne Shrubsall pops in briefly on a couple of tunes to remind us that there was a fully developed banjo tradition before Scruggs put the banjo into overdrive and his duet work with Caplinger is exquisite. Most importantly however, this album is a true 'family' fare-something both adults and children can listen to without annoying one another. Respectful without being precious, plain spoken with being condescending, these guys obviously had a lot of fun making this album-and you'll have fun listening to it.' - Emily Salisbury Keene ================.
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