Old School Freight Train | Old School Freight Train

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Country: Bluegrass Jazz: Latin Jazz Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Old School Freight Train

by Old School Freight Train

45th Grammy Entry for "Best Bluegrass Album." 2003 Independent Music Awards finalist. Original acoustic music -- jazz, bluegrass, newgrass, Latin, and Classical played with Bluegrass instrumentation.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Horizon Line
2:47 $0.99
2. Waterveil
3:55 $0.99
3. Long Journey Back
2:32 $0.99
4. Beginner's Mind
5:55 $0.99
5. Armageddon
4:12 $0.99
6. Beaver Creek Showdown
2:52 $0.99
7. A Few More Rails
2:58 $0.99
8. Yeah Buddy
3:26 $0.99
9. Rock Valley Prison
2:31 $0.99
10. Tango Chutney
6:39 $0.99
11. Dog And Pony Show
4:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Pointing to such acts as Old School Freight Train, Melanie Cannon and Alecia Nugent, he [Ricky Skaggs]says, "There's all kinds of bluegrass out there now, with new faces and images that I think it needs."

"You can think of the band [OSFT] as central Virginia's answer to Nickel Creek..." - Richmond Times Dispatch

"Every member is capable of lightening-fast, blazing leads, and they pass them around in a call and response not easy to keep up with." - Richmond Music Journal

"Old School Freight Train plays original tunes with a style that combines many styles, the end result being a sound all their own. They might call themselves Old School, but it sounds brand new to me." - Victory Music Review

Old School Freight Train (OSFT) has been creating new sounds in acoustic music since September 2000. Conceived as an outlet for the diverse musical interests of its members, OSFT explores bluegrass, jazz, classical, Latin, and funk.
After several months working up original material, OSFT hit the local music scene around the start of 2001. By the end of the year they began recording their debut album at Doobie Shea Studios. This self-titled album, released in February 2002, features 11 original compositions.
OSFT is beginning to make ripples in the national acoustic music scene. Since early 2002 the band has performed alongside top national acts such as Bruce Hornsby, Del McCoury Band, Earl Scruggs, The Lonesome River Band, the Lynn Morris Band, Ronnie Bowman, Wyatt Rice, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Leftover Salmon, Larry Keel Experience, and the Disco Biscuits.
In addition, OSFT has placed 2nd at two prestigious band contests, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival (Rockygrass). Banjo player Ben Krakauer followed up a second place finish at the Merlefest banjo contest with a first place victory at the Rockygrass banjo competition. OSFT fiddler Ann Marie Calhoun placed 1st at the Rockygrass fiddle contest, and mandolinist Pete Frostic placed 2nd in the Rockygrass mandolin contest.
Old School Freight Train is the new band to watch, as they continue to gain exposure and win new audiences with their original sound and diverse repertoire. On the horizon is a second recording project of original material followed by a full-time, national touring schedule in the summer of 2003.



to write a review

stefan kling

amazing, shockingly talented musicianship and teamwork
i first got this cd at the richmond bluegrass festival, and it absolutely blew me away. The songs blend bluegrass, jazz, and latin beats beautifully.

Bluegrass Now Magazine

"Whether traditional or improvisational, the music on Old School Freight Train
" Four musicians, with influences ranging among blues, classical, folk, and jazz moved to Richmond, Virginia and formed a bluegrass band. Young, eager, and hungry, they wood-shedded for six months, honing their sound until they deem it worthy for public performance. Six
months later, they take runner-up honors at the Telluride band competition. Then they add a classically trained violinist.
It may not be the typical genesis of a bluegrass and acoustic string band, but one thing’s for certain: Old School Freight Train has left the station with a brilliant self-titled debut CD. Pete Frostic (mandolin), Jesse Harper (guitar, light percussion, vocals), Ben Krakauer (banjo), Darrell Muller (upright bass, vocals) and Ann Marie Simpson (fiddle, vocals) offer 11 gorgeous originals, consisting mostly of straight ahead bluegrass flavored with a few eclectic pieces.
Bluegrass standouts “Horizon Line” and “Long Journey Back” feature tight musicianship, powerful vocals, and lush harmonies. Instrumentals “Beginner’s Mind” and “Tango Chutney” afford the quintet opportunities to stretch and explore jazz, Latin, and Dawg music. Whether traditional or improvisational, the music on Old School Freight Train is a stunning set, rich in beauty, depth and texture.
There’s no doubt about it. Old School Freight Train is on the right track!" (TAW)

Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

Bluegrass is changing, no doubt about it, and Old
School Freight Train is one of the hottest examples of
this "new" approach to come across my desk in ages.
Part Eagles-style harmonies, part Nickel Creek
instrumental prowess, a fair amount of jazz
syncopation, and a healthy dose of bluegrass glue
holding it together, OSFT's self-titled debut
album (recorded at Doobie Shea Studios) grabbed my
attention on the opening cut and held it throughout.
All 11 tunes are band originals, displaying an
excitingly broad range of styles. Tracks include
hard-driving bluegrass instrumentals and equally
bluegrassy vocals. There are some late-night Latin
jazz sounds("Beginner's Mind" and "Tango
Chutney"-extra points for the snappy title), and
there's the dynamic and progressive "Waterveil" with
its bright mandolin melody and matching guitar lines.
"Horizon Line", a bluegrass/acoustic rock hybrid,
opens the album with strong, full-bodied vocal
harmonies, while a swingy, jazzy tune, "Dog and Pony
Show," brings the disc to a close.
OSFT band members are not only skilled with their
instruments but obviously comfortable with them as
well, and they're not afraid to use them. Jesse
Harper's guitar playing, both steel- and nylon-string,
is strong and clear whether the tune is bluegrass or
jazz. Darrell Muller's bass is often given the
spotlight, most often on the jazz tunes, and even when
it's not, the mixing allows it to be heard in a
solidifying way. Ben Krakauer's banjo can be
hard-driving or subtle, depending on the tune, while
Pete Frostic's mandolin chops and Ann Marie Simpson's
fiddle play beautifully off each other throughout the
OSFT should be a huge hit with younger audiences
and those with more eclectic tastes. A great blending
of traditional and modern styles. JK (Julie Koehler)

Pow\'r Pickin\' - Colorado Bluegrass Music Society

"What is impressive is how comfortable the musicianship is..."
"Ain't no high lonesome sound here, but this young quintet plays an acoustic blend of traditional bluegrass, Latin, and Dawg styles on this their debut album, and add jazz influences and covers to their live shows. What is impressive is how comfortable the musicianship is, even with 'newcomer' Ann Marie [Simpson-Calhoun], a band member for only a few months. She contributes mightily with her fiddle and sings backup on the last tune. This role will probably expand with time.
The band is currently based out of Richmond, VA hometown of Rebecca Hogan, who has migrated locally. Their instrumentals stretch out and show intriguing melodies and Mozartian deviations from these simple beginnings. This is why I compare them to Dawg music. Pete Frostic won third on mandolin at Rocky Grass (2000) and the band placed second in the band contest at Telluride (2001); both festivals show remarkably good taste.
My favorite song is the last on the disc. 'The Dog and Pony Show,' an almost Disney-esque tune which uses dog and pony show dialogue to describe men and women at a bar. Complete with wonderfully campy singing and blithe references to what is actually going on, Walt Disney would be proud.
Ben's banjo deserves a special mention because of his single note playing. In some tunes it brings a flamingo sound and in others a counter-punctual force to the melody. With all of the songs written within the band, all of these musicians deserve kudos for their blending of different styles and arrangements within the acoustic framework." Tim Bennett

9X Magazine

"Old School Freight Train will live up to anyone's expectations."
"Okay, I confess. Most times when I put a local band's CD in the player, I lower my expectations a little. After all, I don't expect a local band to perform on the same level as a national act. Two minutes into Old School Freight Train's debut, my critic's bar snapped back up to its normal position. The style of playing, the songs and even the recording are all comparable with national acts.
Old School Freight Train are described as playing "bluegrass, Dawg, and Latin rhythm originals." That's a pretty fair description, but it still sells the band short. Bluegrass provides the basic framework that other styles are filtered through. The key difference is that these other styles are thoroughly integrated into the bluegrass frame that in many ways works better than a lot of so-called Newgrass.
The band's lineup precludes a bluegrass slant. The cast of award-winning musicians include Peter Frostic (mandolin), Jesse Harper (guitar), Ben Krakauer (banjo), Darrell Muller (upright bass) and Ann Marie Simpson (fiddle).
'Horizon Line' sets the tone with a Newgrass tune, whose acoustic rustlings set off Darrell Muller's smokey vocals nicely. 'Waterveil' immediately follows, serving as an introduction to OSFT as each player takes a chorus to display their considerable chops. Bluegrass is in the forefront in 'Beaver Creek Shakedown,' 'Rock Valley Prison,' 'Long Journey Back,' and 'A Few More Rails.' 'Beginner's Mind' gives us Latin with Steely Dan-like changes. 'Tango Chutney' sounds Cuban with some nice jazz mandolin work by Frostic.
'Yeah Buddy' is the kind of instrumental Dan Hicks might turn in (when he wasn't being weird); 'Dog And Pony Show' is what Dan Hicks might do when he was. Great fun all around. Old School Freight Train will live up to anyone's expectations." - Jefferson Hemmings


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