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Contrarians | Balance and Shout

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Balance and Shout

by Contrarians

With roots in Celtic and Appalachian music, the Contrarians have inspired dancers from NY to Atlanta to St.Louis and points in between with genre bending grooves featuring sax, fiddle, mandolin, electric guitar, stick bass, and foot percussion.
Genre: Folk: Contra Dance
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Reel Saxy Jig
4:01 $0.99
2. Lincoln Freed the Slaves / Little Monk / Pleasant Beggar
7:00 $0.99
3. Julia Delaney / Sidewinder
5:07 $0.99
4. Clifftopia / Sawdust
4:41 $0.99
5. Smiths Reel / Glory in the Meeting House / Up and Around the Bend
6:38 $0.99
6. Going for Gold / Balance and Shout
6:29 $0.99
7. Spyglass
4:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
1. Reel Saxy Jig is an original by Contrarians', Paul Epstein. Though it has the feel of a jazz ballad, underlying it is an original Irish jig that Paul reveals in the last couple times through. The two melodies weave together to form a counterpoint that drives it home.
2. Lincoln Freed the Slaves - Little Monk - Pleasant Beggar opens with a traditional fiddle tune, whose original name, Booth Shot Lincoln, we felt was inappropriate for such a happy melody! Little Monk and Pleasant Beggar are two of our favorite tunes from Russ Barenberg's album, "When at Last".
3. Julia Delaney - Sidewinder starts with a rock guitar groove that we take turns improvising over before revealing the Celtic melody that we learned from the Bothy Band, a band that revolutionized Celtic music. Sidewinder was written by the Contrarians' former guitar player, Gary Reynolds. Yes, that's a quote from a famous George Harrison song you hear Paul play with his gently weeping fiddle.
4. Clifftopia - Sawdust are two swingy tunes penned by Contrarians' multi-instrumentalist, John Longwell. They reflect the influence of the many hours we've spent on the road listening to various CDs of Dave Grisman and others who play Dawg.
5. Smith's Reel - Glory in the Meeting House - Up and Around the Bend: John and Paul have been double fiddling on Smith's Reel since their days in the late '70s with Booger Hole Revival. Our version of GITMH is a bit more minor and driving than most. UAATB is one of Bela Fleck's more traditional sounding melodies.
6. Going for Gold - Balance and Shout are originals by Paul inspired by the Great Bear Trio, one of contra dancing's hottest young bands, which has a knack for genre bending arrangements. This track has echoes of early rock and soul before veering off into Reggae.
7. Spyglass is a jazzy waltz by Rodney Miller from his album of waltzes by the same name.
Will Carter: bass
Paul Epstein: fiddle and foot percussion
John Longwell: mandolin, saxophone, fiddle on Smith's Reel
Andy Park: acoustic and electric guitars

Balance and Shout! is the Contrarians' 2nd CD and first with guitar player, Andy Park. Individual band members also have CD's, solo and with other bands. The album was produced and recorded by Paul Epstein except that Andy Park recorded guitars. Paul Flaherty mixed the tracks, and they were mastered by SoundLab. All arrangements are collaborations of the Contrarians.

The Contrarians have been touring the contra dance circuit since 1999, playing from New York to Atlanta, Ann Arbor to St. Louis, and most places in between. They evolved from the former Trusty House Band, local favorites of FOOTMAD's dance community in Charleston, WV in 1990's. Since their first dance weekend appearance at Pigtown Fling (Cincinnati) in 2001, their dance music has brought rave reviews. They've become in important part of the regional dance calendar and at many special dances and weekends, also performing in concert settings which showcase their wide ranging talents including singing and songwriting.

The Contrarians are comfortable in a variety of styles and traditions: Celtic, New England, swing, and of course, old-time (Appalachian). They also write original material. With rhythmic variety, occasional glimpses of ethnic music, and unique improvisations, dancers let loose and never lose interest in the music. The recent addition of Andy Park on electric and acoustic guitar, well versed in the grooves of world music beats from his years with Charleston, WV's Voodoo Katz, has kept them current with new trends in contra dance music.

A Contrarians event delivers dazzling melody - including some great original tunes - along with a solid yet imaginative approach to rhythm. The band has consistently "wowed the crowd" at dances and dance weekends throughout Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia and beyond. Their self-titled CD, released in late 2007, shows "why the band is in great demand at Contradances from Washington DC to Cleveland...." according to Paul Gartner of the Charleston Gazette.



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