The Mutineers | Coal Creek

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United States - Maine

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Folk: Traditional Folk Country: Bluegrass Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Coal Creek

by The Mutineers

Traditional (and original) string band music with touches of the blues, folk and early country music.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Little Maggie
4:26 album only
2. Cocaine Blues
5:00 album only
3. Coal Creek
4:36 album only
4. East Virginia Blues
4:03 album only
5. Barbara Allen
6:16 album only
6. Cuckoo
5:01 album only
7. Love Devine
3:28 album only
8. Prism
5:51 album only
9. Diamond Joe
4:36 album only
10. Nora Fair
6:05 album only
11. Whiskey Road
3:42 album only
12. Lonesome Road
6:22 album only


Album Notes
The Mutineers, an acoustic music trio which has been in the thick of the traditionalist revival in southern Maine for a
number of years, have released their second CD, called "Coal Creek." This record is a mix of traditional and original songs ranging from a unique and soulful arrangement of “Barbara Allen” to contemporary pieces which deal frankly with the heartache of loss as well as the redemptions of love and family.
The Mutineers’ founder and lead vocalist, Stuart MacDonald, demonstrates an uncanny knack for taking the
basic idea of an old tune – “The Cuckoo,” for example – and giving it a transfusion through new lyrics and fresh arrangement.
MacDonald commented on his approach to songwriting:
“The depth and beauty in traditional folk music is what got me playing and singing in the first place. This
music can’t fade away and it informs everything I do as a musician. It’s natural that it would start to inform and inspire me when dabbling in writing as well. Both to add to something old and to create something new within that tradition; that’s the goal.”
Many of the songs on the album, though, are entirely original. The title cut, “Coal Creek,” is a good example
of MacDonald’s songwriting, and “Whiskey Road,” a collaborative effort from MacDonald and band mate Jeff Trippe, is one
man’s hard-headed look back at his checkered past. Guest artist Charlie Gaylord’s classic-country Telecaster guitar solo gives the song just the right amount of grit.
As far as instrumentation on the rest of the record, it is – as the band likes to say – “100 percent acoustic.”
Trippe handles most of the lead work on guitar, mandolin, banjo, and fiddle, while MacDonald’s vocals, intertwined with his blues-based mouth-harp playing, is alternately gruff or mournful, blunt or mellifluous. Upright bassist Rod Pervier’s impeccable timing is the heartbeat of the project, and both Trippe and Pervier add harmony vocals.
In addition to Gaylord, guest artists include fiddler Hope Hoffman, slide player Kevin Midgley, dobroist
Ben MacDonald, and Kim and Alan Bean.



to write a review

Kevin Midgley

Cruel Creak
First off, I play on a song on this record - so maybe I'm biased. I love the title cut, but the bastards wouldn't let me play on that one. Let me repeat: I love the title cut. All you have to do is preview the cuts and your decision is made. The fireworks here are the kind you see through the trees or the mist, while driving too fast to get someplace on a summer's eve: they sneak up on you later and you wish you had turned off and chased after them. Stuart's harp and Jeff's mandolin shine live if you get the chance you should check 'em out.

dave donahue

so much good music so little time
ordering my copy of coal creek now, expecting another gem (down east maine variety)

The Maine Switch

A SOLID GROOVE - William Earl
Although Southern Maine is sometimes dismissed by those
upstate as an extended arm of big-city Boston, one of the
state’s most tightest down-home roots groups is
headquartered in this region. The Mutineers, an acoustic trio
of seasoned musicians who consistently maintain a tight,
clean sound, have come roaring back from their sparkling
2005 debut “Where Mockingbirds Roam” with “Coal Creek,” a
blend of wisely arranged traditionals and moving originals.
Comprised of guitarist Stuart MacDonald, acoustic bassist Rod
Pervier and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Trippe, the group is
studied enough in its strings to confidently tackle some true
bluegrass milestones. The album begins with “Little Maggie,”
which has previously been covered by a bevy of heavyweights
ranging from Ricky Skaggs to Bob Dylan. But the men more than hold their own during effortless
runs and adept solos. Anchoring the group are MacDonald’s pristine vocals, which lift the listener
to the é0s golden era of bluegrass, retaining sunny melody to spare. Furthermore, the song’s
inventive arrangement allows for a well-paced instrumental outro which brings another level of
understanding to the mechanics of the tune.
Although three other standards are well played, the real gems are originals, primarily penned by
MacDonald. Lyrically, the material fits the bluegrass custom of gentle clichés and universal
truths. But within the good-natured scheme of the music, even potentially hackneyed ideas
sound genuine. In “Love Devine,” the understanding that “The hardships of life melt away /
When her hand is wrapped up tight in mine,” is not revelatory. But thanks to the emotion with
which MacDonald sings and a swelling fiddle line, courtesy of guest Hope Hoffman, the track
remains one of the most nuanced and lovely moments on the disc.
Every song here shimmers with a unique vivacity. A take on “Diamond Joe” features a soulful
acoustic guitar solo with just the right touches of harmonica interspersed. “Cuckoo,” a drastic
rewrite of the classic “The Cuckoo,” is welcomingly menacing, adding some unexpected grit to
the proceedings. The album’s title track is also among the strongest, offering a downtempo
reflection which takes its time to burn through a tale of economic and spiritual woe.
Although an abundance of slow songs can often kill the pacing of an album, “Coal Creek”
rewards listeners patient enough to enjoy it with true throwback magic. Credit taut musicianship,
where every note matters and instruments are wrangled in ways that only true artists could