David Naiditch | Bluegrass in the Backwoods

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Bluegrass in the Backwoods

by David Naiditch

David Naiditch plays bluegrass and swing instrumentals on chromatic harmonica with Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Sierra Hull (mandolin), Dennis Caplinger (banjo), Ron Block (banjo), Christian Ward (fiddle), Jake Workman (guitar), & others
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bluegrass in the Backwoods (feat. Dennis Caplinger, Christian Ward & Austin Ward)
4:05 $0.99
2. Gardenia Waltz (feat. Randy Landas, Rob Ickes, Christian Ward & Jake Workman)
5:24 $0.99
3. New Camptown Races (feat. Sierra Hull, Dennis Caplinger, Jake Workman, Austin Ward, Rob Ickes & Stuart Duncan)
5:18 $0.99
4. Lonesome Moonlight Waltz (feat. Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes & Austin Ward)
5:25 $0.99
5. Little Rock Getaway (feat. Sierra Hull, Dennis Caplinger, Jake Workman, Christian Ward, Rob Ickes & Austin Ward)
3:13 $0.99
6. Jerusalem Ridge (feat. Christian Ward, Ron Block, Jake Workman & Austin Ward)
4:34 $0.99
7. Old Dangerfield (feat. Sierra Hull, Jake Workman, Christian Ward, Dennis Caplinger, Austin Ward & Rob Ickes)
5:49 $0.99
8. The Smooch On the Porch / Bus Stop Reel (feat. Sierra Hull, Jake Workman & Austin Ward)
3:31 $0.99
9. Dead Cedar Waltz (feat. Christian Ward, Steve Trovato & Austin Ward)
3:14 $0.99
10. Jamboree (feat. Dennis Caplinger, Sierra Hull, Rob Ickes, Christian Ward, Jake Workman & Austin Ward)
3:59 $0.99
11. Montana Skies (feat. Steve Trovato & Randy Landas)
4:04 $0.99
12. Road to Columbus (feat. Ron Block, Christian Ward, Rob Ickes, Eric Uglum & Austin Ward)
3:52 $0.99
13. Coquette (feat. Jon Kip & Jeff Radaich)
3:49 $0.99
14. Faded Love (feat. Christian Ward, Steve Trovato & Randy Landas)
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I once half-jokingly remarked that harmonica players are about as welcome at bluegrass festivals as the mosquitoes that come out to feast.  Indeed, many bluegrass folks consider the harmonica a questionable instrument, although it is certainly better established in bluegrass than instruments such as the clarinet or saxophone.  Harmonica players have recorded with top bluegrass musicians such as Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Flatt and Scruggs, Bryan Sutton, Aubrey Haynie, Ron Block, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, and the Del McCoury Band.

What makes my approach different is that, unlike other bluegrass harmonica players who use diatonic harmonicas, I exclusively use the chromatic harmonica, an instrument typically chosen for playing jazz, classical, and some pop music.  Diatonic harmonicas often produce a raw, bluesy sound because one must bend the reeds to obtain otherwise missing notes.  The chromatic harmonica, however, has a slide that enables one to produce all the notes.  When played properly, the chromatic harmonica can produce a sweet, fiddle-like sound and handle fast, intricate melodies.  Since I use a C chromatic to play in all keys, I can deal with tricky chord changes and key transitions without fumbling through a case of harmonicas to quickly find one best suited to handle the change.

I want to thank all the superb musicians who agreed to record with me.  It was a real honor, and forced me to play my very best to keep up.

Hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I did recording it.
David Naiditch, July 2014



to write a review

Joe Ross (Roots Music Report)

Jaunty, bouncy, pleasing instrumental album
Harmonica is not one of your standard bluegrass instruments. However, in the hands of a masterful harmonicat like David Naiditch, he proves that the instrument has great potential within the bluegrass genre. When properly played, fully chromatic instruments (capable of playing in all keys) like Naiditch's Seydel Saxony or Hohner CX-12 jazz models produce a bouncy lilt that can handle even the most intricate melody.
David Naiditch is well known in the Los Angeles music scene, and he's equally comfortable with blues, country, swing, and gypsy jazz as he is with bluegrass. Legendary bluesman Sonny Terry’s playing got him motivated to take up the instrument during his teen years. By the 1960s, Naiditch was teaching and performing throughout southern California. Fast forward to the mid-1990s, and we find David focusing on the chromatic harmonica, playing in all keys and improvising many styles of music. In 2005, he produced an eclectic album with 36 tunes called "Harmonica and Guitar Duets." His highly-acclaimed 2008 CD was "High Desert Bluegrass Sessions," and his lively 2011 release was "Bluegrass Harmonica."
When sweetly blown with Naiditch’s feeling and emotion, the chromatic harmonica blends nicely with fiddle, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, guitar and bass. Like on his previous releases, we hear some twin harmonica offering both melody and harmony on “Faded Love.” He introduces a second harmonica player (Jon Kip) at track 13 for the jazzy standard “Coquette,” originally recorded by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians in 1928. Naiditch and Kip trade some tasty licks.
Naidtich selects both favorite and less oft-heard tunes. His bluegrass offerings come from Kenny Baker, Frank Wakefield, Bill Monroe, Andy Hall, and Doug Dillard. We also hear some delectable flavorings of Western, Swing and its offshoot Western Swing music (Gardenia Waltz, Little Rock Getaway, Montana Skies, Faded Love). “Montana Skies” is a contemporary Western Swing tune written by guitarist Raul Reynoso who plays with a band called New West. One track that incorporates some essences of new old-time music is the medley of Anita Anderson’s tunes, a hornpipe called “The Smooch on the Porch” followed by “Bus Stop Reel.”
As with his previous releases, Naidtich enlists many masterful instrumentalists to contribute on the project. For example, on a difficult tune like Doug Dillard’s “Jamboree,” we hear Rob Ickes’ Dobro, Christian Ward’s fiddle, Dennis Caplinger’s banjo, Sierra Hull’s mandolin, Jake Workman’s guitar, and Austin Ward’s bass.
“Bluegrass in the Backwoods” is a jaunty, bouncy and pleasing instrumental album with a varied repertoire and presentation. What a treat to hear chromatic harmonica within the bluegrass context! I always look forward to hearing what David Naiditch comes up with next. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)