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John Reischman & the Jaybirds | On a Winter's Night

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Bluegrass Moods: Mood: Christmas
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On a Winter's Night

by John Reischman & the Jaybirds

An acoustic, traditional collection of songs of winter and the Christmas season.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Heard from Heaven Today
2:56 $0.99
2. Breaking Up Christmas
3:41 $0.99
3. Oh Mary, Where Is Your Baby?
2:34 $0.99
4. Oh, Watch the Stars
2:38 $0.99
5. Christmas Eve
2:06 $0.99
6. Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)
2:54 $0.99
7. A Roving On a Winters Night
4:20 $0.99
8. Shine Like a Star in the Morning
2:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
To celebrate the deepening of winter and the coming of the holiday season, all-star West Coast bluegrass/roots ensemble John Reischman & The Jaybirds are releasing their new EP, On A Winter’s Night. It’s a lovely romp through the snowy backwoods of American roots music, inspired in part by the classic American Folk Songs for Christmas by composer Ruth Crawford Seeger (stepmom to Pete Seeger). First a book, then an LP and CD, the music Seeger compiled has inspired generations of musicians, but it also gave John Reischman a focal point for a new recording. It was a chance for John to showcase the talents of his stellar band, breaking The Jaybirds into different small ensembles for each track and giving each vocalist and instrumentalist a chance to shine. Staffed by some of the best acoustic musicians in North America, The Jaybirds weave an acoustic music tapestry behind these wintry songs and tunes.

On a Winter’s Night features John Reischman & The Jaybirds in fine form, each member clearly relishing the opportunity to turn in a new vision of these beautiful and evocative old songs. Bassist and vocalist Trisha Gagnon, a well-known solo roots artist in Canada, opens the album with her stunning take on the old spiritual “I Heard It From Heaven Today,” and continues with the Child Ballad The Cherry Tree Carol (“Joseph and Mary”). Respected bluegrass guitarist Jim Nunally brings his vocals to the Doc Watson classic “A Roving On A Winter’s Night.” Ace fiddler Greg Spatz and masterful banjo picker Nick Hornbuckle clearly delight in one of the album’s instrumentals (“Breaking Up Christmas”), spinning banjo and fiddle lines around each other. The Jaybirds break into a quartet–inspired by the old Bill Monroe gospel quartets–to close the album with John shining on mandolin for “Shine Like A Star in the Morning.” With so much talent, The Jaybirds operate as an incredibly tight unit, while John Reischman’s clear, cool playing on mandolin, mandola, and octave mandolin rings out as a beacon.

In a marketplace flooded with virtuosic ensembles, John Reischman & The Jaybirds have found a recipe to stand out from the rest: they go back to the roots of bluegrass and old-time music for their inspiration, then spin these roots into a new sound.

John Reischman is one of the premier mandolinists of his generation. He’s a master instrumentalist capable of swinging between re-inventions of traditional old-time tunes, deconstructions from the bluegrass repertoire, and compelling original tunes. He’s also a powerful bandleader, touring his band the Jaybirds all over Canada and the United States. But most of all, he’s an understated visionary, the kind of master craftsman whose music is virtuosic without ever being flashy and who is renowned for his impeccable taste and tone as an artist. John Reischman embodies the true spirit of bluegrass in the 21st century.

“A thoroughly professional ensemble with a rare ability to produce music that is simultaneously traditional and contemporary...the Jaybirds are a band that continues to hit on all cylinders.”

“John Reischman and the Jaybirds know the best new Bluegrass grows from classic roots.”
-Tim O'Brien



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