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The Possum Trot Orchestra

by The Possum Trot Orchestra

John Minton and his Possums forage across the American tradition, from folk, country and bluegrass to blues, gospel and rock, with touches of pop, swing, ragtime--even reggae.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Distant Shore
6:01 $0.99
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2. Homebody
4:56 $0.99
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3. Just a Little Farther (Stars Will Light Our Way)
4:43 $0.99
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4. Lana Mae
3:01 $0.99
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5. Mixed Blessing
4:22 $0.99
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6. It's Alright (I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die)
4:38 $0.99
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7. Fever In My Veins
3:48 $0.99
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8. Stephen C. Foster's Blues
4:35 $0.99
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9. Over You
4:12 $0.99
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10. Been On the Job Too Long
3:44 $0.99
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11. Want Me
4:32 $0.99
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12. The Baltimore Caper
3:57 $0.99
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13. Come Straight Home
3:47 $0.99
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14. Sometimes In the Country
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
THE POSSUM TROT ORCHESTRA (SOUTHERN CAN CDs SCCD 2225, October 31, 2005)

With a cross of multiple folk styles and a touch of surrealism, the Possum Trot Orchestra is weird in the best sense of the word.... PTO references traditional folk without mimicking it.... With PTO's eclectic, bright approach to re-imagined tradition, POSSUM TROT ORCHESTRA is both enjoyable and intriguing, and should please folk fans looking for something out of the ordinary.

RONALD LANKFORD, JR., Sing Out! Summer 2006.


Contemporary American roots at its finest.... Not merely a very good album, it's one of the defining albums of contemporary American roots.... A light and mellow album that conceals depths the likes of which more overt and strident works can only dream. A masterpiece.

JEREMY SEARLE, Americana UK, Liverpool, December 2005
www.americana-uk.com


As an effort to fashion a kind of creative roots sound for the early 21st century, this CD succeeds almost against expectations. There's enough depth to it to repay many listenings ...[and] a distinctive sound and a point of view that is appealingly its own.

JEROME CLARK, Rambles.NET: A Cultural Arts Magazine, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, February 2006
www.rambles.net


The Possum Trot Orchestra (Southern Can CDs) is het debuut van het trio dat op onnadrukkelijke en relaxte wijze eer betoont aan de rijke Amerikaanse folkgeschiedenis. Ze doen dat via een popbenadering en met merendeels akoestische instrumenten en met vooral met prachtige harmoniezang. Het geeft de softrock van The Possums een heerlijke mellow touch. (The Possum Trot Orchestra (Southern Can CDs) is the debut of a trio whose laid-back, relaxed manner does honor to the rich American folk tradition. They accomplish this with a pop approach, with mostly acoustic instruments, and especially with beautiful harmony singing. It all gives the softrock of The Possums a lovely mellow touch.)

WIEBREN RIJKEBOER, AltCountryNL, Groninger, The Netherlands, January 2006
www.altcountry.nl


A wonderfully mellow album that takes you through all phases of American music as `Music from Big Pink' did over 30 years ago.... This album is unlikely to disappoint anyone who has an appreciation of Americana music of the highest quality.

ROOTSMUSIC.co.uk, London, December 2005
www.rootsmusic.co.uk


Suraci writes mature pop-rock songs with a stirring 70s vibe, and John Minton croons modern Americana songs that could easily belong to a timeless generation. But both use a variety of traditional folk instruments to round out their songs, and both create songs heavily steeped in cheerful melancholy and bright regret.... The inspiration each gives the other is a bonus for fans of music that will stand the test of time.

JASON HOFFMAN, Whatzup: Heartland Art, Entertainment & Recreation, Columbia City, Indiana, January 19, 2006


Flavor of the month.... De muziek van The Possums is gebaseerd op Amerikaanse traditie in een variatie aan stijlen maar straalt een ongelooflijke frisheid uit! (Flavor of the month.... The music of The Possums is based on American tradition in a variety of styles but radiates an incredible freshness!)

THEO OLDENBURG, Alt Country Cooking, Radio Winschoten, The Netherlands, December 2005
www.realrootscafe.com/altcountrycooking.html


In the days before [the Possum Trot Orchestra] proved itself to be so powerful and winning, the Minton/Suraci combo probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Minton specializes in stylish refurbishments of old-timey music and the Flying Suraci was a folk-pop outfit that sometimes came across as a considerably less drowsy Cowboy Junkies. But the proof is in the pudding, if a disc made of layered polycarbonate, aluminum and acrylic resin can be described as a pudding. Of course it can’t. Because Minton and the Suracis are consummate musicians and songwriters coming from different ends of the musical spectrum, the first CD is like a tour of about a century’s worth of popular music. At various moments, it evokes Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Fairport Convention, Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Joan Armatrading and others.... The whole thing is almost improbably tasty.... I would say “Run, don’t walk to your local record store and buy a copy,” if running didn’t seem so pokey in this context.

STEVE PENHOLLOW, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Sunday, January 15, 2006


Folk blijkt weliswaar bij herhaling het voornaamste bestanddaal van hun [the Possums'] smakelijk roots-stampotje, maar ook country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, rock, pop, swing, ragtime, ja zelfs reggae passeren stuk voor stuk allemaal de revue. En dat levert een hoogst interessante hybride op. (Folk is the main ingredient in their [the Possums'] tasty roots-stew, but country, bluegrass, blues, gospel, rock, pop, swing, ragtime, yes even reggae all pass in review one after the other. And that produces a most interesting hybrid.)

BENNY METTEN, Ctrl Alt Country, Hasselt, Belgium, December 2005
www.ctrlaltcountry.be


here's a trio with a lot of energy taking us back to our american roots (well you don't have to be american to enjoy this, in fact if your toe isn't tapping, someone should check your pulse!)

ZOE MONTANA, radioioAcoustic, Jacksonville, Florida, November 2005
www.radioio.com

*********

THE POSSUM TROT ORCHESTRA

JOHN MINTON
ROB SURACI
SUSIE SURACI

PRODUCED BY JOHN MINTON

RECORDED SUMMER 2005 AT TEMPEL RECORDING STUDIO, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

RECORDED, MIXED & MASTERED BY TOM TEMPEL

©2005 JOHN MINTON/SOUTHERN CAN CDs

THE DISTANT SHORE (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo & mandolin * ROB electric basses & bodhran * SUSIE vocals

HOMEBODY (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitars * ROB vocal, electric bass, electric guitar & drums * JOHN acoustic guitar, accordion & lap steel

JUST A LITTLE FARTHER (STARS WILL LIGHT OUR WAY) (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocal, acoustic & electric guitars & banjo * ROB electric bass, drums, cabasa & tambourine * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar

LANA MAE (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocals, acoustic guitars, banjo & piano * ROB vocal, electric bass & drum throne * SUSIE vocals

MIXED BLESSING (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar * JOHN acoustic guitar & accordion * ROB electric bass & drums

IT'S ALRIGHT (I'M GONNA LIVE ANYHOW UNTIL I DIE) (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocals, acoustic guitars & lap steel * ROB vocals, electric guitars, electric bass, drums & cowbell * SUSIE vocals

FEVER IN MY VEINS (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar * ROB vocal, electric bass, drums & triangle * JOHN acoustic & electric guitars & mandolin

STEPHEN C. FOSTER'S BLUES (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocal, acoustic guitar & accordion * ROB electric bass

OVER YOU (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar * JOHN acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin & accordion * ROB electric bass

BEEN ON THE JOB TOO LONG (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocal, acoustic guitar, lap steel & handclaps * ROB vocal, electric bass, drums & handclaps * SUSIE vocals & handclaps

WANT ME (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar * ROB electric bass, piano, electric guitar & drums * JOHN acoustic guitar, accordion, mandolin & triangle

THE BALTIMORE CAPER (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocal, acoustic guitars, organ, accordion & theremin * ROB vocal, upright bass, log drum & drums * SUSIE vocal

COME STRAIGHT HOME (Susie Suraci * Slim Dot Music/ASCAP) * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitars * ROB vocal, electric guitars, electric bass & drums * JOHN acoustic twelve-string guitar & banjo

SOMETIMES IN THE COUNTRY (John Minton * Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP) * JOHN vocal & acoustic guitar * ROB vocal, electric basses & drums * SUSIE vocals & acoustic guitar

LYRICS

THE DISTANT SHORE

There was a lady in the North
All full of pride and woe
Her crooked mind went ever forth
To seek the Distant Shore

And to her children all unkind
By one by two and three
And so her sons were of a mind
Their locks and bolts to free

‛Rise up my bonny boys
For you must wade the tide
It's thirteen days and thirteen nights
To reach the other side’

So first they walk and then they run
Through red blood to the knee
And neither saw the moon or sun
But heard the pounding sea

This lady dreamt a sidelong dream
All in a backward room
And in it saw a bent-wing crow
Fall 'cross a crook-leg moon

Then on Old Christmas
When all the planets shone
She looked into her glass and saw
Her sons come hasting home

She looked into her glass and saw
Her sons come hasting home

The table it was laid
With finest bread and wine
‛Come eat come drink, my own dear babes
Come eat and drink of mine’

‛We won't sit at your table
Nor sup your bread and wine
We've just come back to say
Your dream was not The Sign’

‛For the truth is cast upon the sea
The puzzle has no sum
The future's past is yet to be
The two are never one’

‛And when will you come home, my sons
Some better words to lend?’
‛When fishes fly and seas run dry
Then we'll come back again’

‛There's stones upon our feet and head
The green grass for a door
The cold clay is our sleepless bed
All on the Distant Shore’

‛The cold clay is our sleepless bed
All on the Distant Shore’

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

JUST A LITTLE FARTHER (STARS WILL LIGHT OUR WAY)

Back home when I was a-growing
How often did my mother say?
‛You got to shine them shoes up awful bright,
‛To walk that Milky White Way’

Then one cold and cloudy morning
My mother called me to her side
Saying ‛Son, remember me in your thoughts and your prayers
‛And I'll cross over satisfied’

Just a little farther
Just a few more days
We'll slip past this darkness and trouble
Stars will light our way
Stars will light our way

Some are called before us
Some are left behind
Somewhere in the darkest stormy night
The clear heavens shine

Just a little farther
Just a few more days
We'll slip past this darkness and trouble
Stars will light our way

Just a little longer
To a better day
Free at last from hardship and struggle
Stars will light our way
Stars will light our way

Just a little farther
Just a few more days
We'll slip past this darkness and trouble
Stars will light our way
Stars will light our way

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

LANA MAE

With them 'witching hazel eyes she could surely look surprised
No matter how amazing the stories or the lies
When she worked the sawmill store the till was always short
For she left a little late with the difference in her drawers

Oh Lana Mae
Is it true what they all say?
Tell me true where are you
My loving Lana Mae?

Them sawmills are a fright for they run both day and night
And you'd better count your fingers before you count your pay
For they'll only give you script and the boss won't take no lip
And there weren't no way to get enough to suit my Lana Mae

Oh Lana Mae
Is it true what they all say?
Tell me true where are you
My loving Lana Mae?

She'd run off to Shreveport or back home to Bon Weir
She always showed up until she disappeared

I later heard a rumor that she lit up to Montana
Where she took up with a miner more 'an twice her age
If there weren't no way to keep her still I have to wonder
Was she just a wild bird or was she the cage?

Oh Lana Mae
Is it true what they all say?
Tell me true where are you
My loving Lana Mae?
Tell me true where are you
My loving Lana Mae?

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

IT'S ALRIGHT (I'M GOING TO LIVE ANYHOW UNTIL I DIE)

Down in Waycross, Georgia waiting on a bus
Why'd they wanna kick up such a fuss?

'T'weren't no family fortune, 't'weren't no bank & trust
Why'd they wanna go and pick on us?

But it's alright
I'm gonna live anyhow until I die

When that long arm knocks you'd better have your alibi
If pigs were clocks then that hard time would fly

The judge he read my sentence, through his gold-rim specs
Told me ‛Son, best get your spelling checked’

But it's alright
I'm gonna live anyhow until I die

Yeah it's alright, good lord, if they tan my hide
For I know the price is low but the cost is awful high
Yeah it's alright
I'm gonna live anyhow until I die

I went down to the church house, I didn't go to stay
I just went down to hear that preacher say

It's alright
You're gonna live anyhow until you die

Down in Waycross, Georgia waiting on a train
You oughta heard my lonesome guitar playing

Well alright

Yeah it's alright
I'm gonna live anyhow until I die

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

STEPHEN C. FOSTER'S BLUES

Well I come from Alabama, least that's where I'm born
Out the Jackson highway on one frosty morn
But daddy had an eye for seeing things he'd never seen
So mama sent me to her people up in Bowling Green

And there I fixed my heart upon a neighbor child
She was awful precious but I was awful wild
She was in that hardshell church but I was in the world
Lord, but don't I wonder what become of that sweet girl

But Oh! Susanna, now don't you cry for me
The boys who sing them sad songs, they're all down in Tennessee

Grandma got me my first guitar through the RFD
Minute that I touched it knew just what I's gonna be
I played the halls and honky tonks the bars and the cafés
Ain't one dive 'twixt here and Memphis that I didn't play

For where I come from they raise you up just so
All the songs you oughta sing and things you oughta know
Now I'm on my own two feet with everything I got
Staring at some backstreet from an empty parking lot

But all you Camptown Ladies, don't you cry for me
The boys who sing them sad songs, they're all down in Tennessee

They say old Stephen Foster loved to pull a cork
He died flat broke and dead drunk up in old New York
In some Bowery flophouse, forgotten and alone
Half a life away from his Kentucky home

But Oh! Susanna, now don't you cry for me
The boys who sing them sad songs, they're all down in Tennessee

And Gentle Annie, now don't you cry for me
The boys who sing them sad songs, they're all down in Tennessee

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

BEEN ON THE JOB TOO LONG

In the time of prophets up at Calvary
They hanged the Savior up between two thieves
But ain't a bit of goodness, partner, between you and me
And if we hang together that's just all it's gonna be

Been on the job too long

Monroe County's dry as bone there ain't no beer or wine
But there's a row of liquor stores just 'cross the county line
A cash-and-carry crapshoot of sparkling neon jewels
Loaded gun around the counter, boy, that night clerk ain't no fool

Been on the job too long
Been on the job too long
Mama learned me how to pray, she taught me right from wrong
But I been on the job too long

Just stick to the story, darling, I was home 'fore eight
We were due at Sue's by six but I was running late
If they ask about the Dodge you had to have it towed
Dropped it back of Jay's, you couldn't see it from the road

Been on the job too long
Been on the job too long
Mama read the Bible and she taught me right from wrong
But I been on the job too long

Been on the job too long
Been on the job too long
Mama learned me how to pray, she taught me right from wrong
But I been on the job too long
Been on the job too long

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

THE BALTIMORE CAPER (THINGS AIN'T HARDLY RIGHT)

There's nothing but his empty shoes on the river bank
Not another stinking clue, not a word of thanks
He took a powder, took a cruise, took the long dirt nap
Took the five-o-two to Norfolk, Bubba took the rap

Ginny caught a handsome cab to her rendezvous
Made the Sunset out of Pikesville down to Newport News
Left the grocer quite a tab, skipped out on the rent
Found him dead drunk, half alive, half the money spent

The dollar says ‛In God We Trust’
But winds'll change and bedsprings rust
Doorbells ring dawn to dusk
Things get awful tight
Ash to ashes, dust to dust
It's a go or it's a bust
It's a puzzle, it's a fuss
Things ain't hardly right

The dollar says ‛It's all for one’
So some take all while some get none
Some'll walk while others run
Some call it a night

Down the street around the block
In the red or out of hock
It's a sure bet, it's a lock
Things ain't hardly right

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP

SOMETIMES IN THE COUNTRY

Sometimes in the country, sometimes in the town
Sometimes somewhere twixt the two
Sometimes the moon's up, before the sun's down
Sometimes I'm reminded of you

For darling it's been so long since we met
Do you wonder where the time goes
I wonder too if you think of me yet
Or has another door closed

The banks of the bayou are mossy and green
The river runs crooked and blue
I don't recollect just where all I been
But I don't 'spect it's worrying you

For darling it's been so long since we met
Do you wonder where the time goes
I wonder too if you think of me yet
Or has another door closed

The big streams and bayous roll down to the Gulf
It refuses no river nor flow
But it seems there's no end to blaming myself
For some of the courses I chose

There's storms on the ocean, there's storms on the sea
A range in the tide and the moon
There's change in the weather, there's no change in me
I wonder if time's changing you

For darling it's been so long since we met
Do you wonder where the time goes
I wonder too if you think of me yet
Or has another door closed

© John Minton Monkey Knuckles Music/ASCAP



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Reviews


to write a review

Jody Aldrich

Absolutely terrific .. refreshingly different, and certainly addicting!!
Where have these people been? This album is super .. each song is hauntingly addicting, and from the heart. Who of us has not been the Homebody at some point? And whoever Susie was singing to in Fever in my Veins had better hightail it home NOW. I could listen to this CD for HOURS. It leaves you wanting More and MORE. Am quite sure nobody will be sorry they bought it.
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Jeremy Searle, Americana UK, Liverpool, England

Contemporary American roots at its finest.... A masterpiece.
9 OUT OF 10. Contemporary American roots at its finest. The Possum Trot Orchestra is John Minton (who managed the rare feat of releasing one of the best records of the year in both 2003 and 2004) and Rob & Susie Suraci, well established performers (The Flying Suraci) in their own right. And, with a little help from his friends, Minton has managed the hattrick, as this album is one of the stars of 2005. It's not merely a very good album, it's one of the defining albums of contemporary American roots. There are plenty of people who can play, plenty who can write, plenty that try to borrow from and simultaneously update the tradition, but there are few, if any, who manage with such success as the Possum Trots. To describe it is to list contradictions: timeless, contemporary, modern, classic, rural, urban, but they're not contradictions in the hands of this trio. Everything comes together and meshes perfectly into the often sought but rarely attained seamless whole. The playing and singing is effortlessly accomplished with vocals and instruments swapped from song to song in superlative style. Banjos, guitars acoustic and electric, steels, basses, drums, mandolins and a host more all appear in just the right proportion. Minton's light voice is perfectly complemented by Susie Suraci's classic diva, while Rob Suraci brings earthier foundation tones to ground the sound. The songwriting (split between Minton and Susie Suraci) is A+ throughout, though particular mention should go to the best thing here, Suraci's "Want Me", which she also graces with a spine-tingling lead vocal. Post-relationship desperation has never sounded so agonising, with the "Oh God" that Suraci drags out at the start of the first chorus tearing the listener's heart to pieces, which as the song progresses are then completely shredded by twin stilettos of shiver and pain. Running it a close second is Minton's "Stephen C. Foster's Blues", which weaves references to the great man and his work into a delicate gossamer biography. Inevitably the production is also perfect and the artwork appropriately graceful (sole quibble, no lyric sheet). This is a light and mellow album that conceals depths the likes of which more overt and strident works can only dream. A masterpiece. (DECEMBER 2005)
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Theo Oldenburg, Alt Country Cooking, Radio Winschoten, The Nethe

Based on American tradition but radiating an incredible freshness!
FLAVOR OF THE MONTH--THE POSSUM TROT ORCHESTRA Begin dit jaar was ik al erg enthousiast over de CD "Going Back To Vicksburg" van John Minton uit Fort Wayne, Indiana. Daarop werkte de singer-songwriter en multi-instrumentalist (behalve blaasinstrumenten bespeelt hij alles waar geluid uit komt) al samen met het echtpaar Susie en Rob Suraci. Op dit nieuwe album "The Possum Trot Orchestra" neemt Susie ook een deel van songwriting en leadvocals voor haar rekening, wat de afwisseling alleen maar ten goede komt. De muziek van The Possums is gebaseerd op Amerikaanse traditie in een variatie aan stijlen maar straalt een ongelooflijke frisheid uit! John heeft zich opgeworpen als "Spokespossum"...

FLAVOR OF THE MONTH--THE POSSUM TROT ORCHESTRA At the beginning of this year I was already terribly enthusiastic about the CD "Going back To Vicksburg" by John Minton of Fort Wayne, Indiana. At that time the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (except for wind instruments, he plays everything that makes noise) was already collaborating with the married couple Susie and Rob Suraci. On this new album "The Possum Trot Orchestra," Susie takes over a share of the songwriting and lead vocals, but only good comes from that change. The music of The Possums is based on American tradition in a variety of styles but radiates an incredible freshness! John has promoted himself to "Spokespossum"...
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Zoe Montana

taking us back to our american roots
with their self-titled release, here's a trio with a lot of energy taking us back to our american roots (well you don't have to be american to enjoy this, in fact if your toe isn't tapping, someone should check your pulse!) their years of playing together makes for a seamless mix, you can't tell who'd playing what, and i have the liner notes!
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Rootsmusic.co.uk

A wonderfully mellow album, Americana music of the highest quality
Rootsmusic.co.uk, London, December 2005--The Possum Trot Orchestra are a collective of three American roots artists from Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is a wonderfully mellow album that takes you through all phases of American music as "Music from Big Pink" did over 30 years ago. Vocal duties are shared between John Minton who sounds alot like Neil Young and Susie Suraci whose singing is equally expressive. This album is unlikely to disappoint anyone who has an appreciation of Americana music of the highest quality.
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