Smoke Creek | Smoke Creek

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Folk: Traditional Folk Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Smoke Creek

by Smoke Creek

Smoke Creek plays traditional and original songs in the old-time acoustic tradition.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Banjo Tramp
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2. Whiskey Road
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3. Down By the Barber Pole
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4. I Heard the Bluebird Sing
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5. He Never Looked Her Way
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6. Coleman's March / Briarpicker Brown
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7. Old Bangum
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8. Red Pickup
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9. Foggy Old London
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10. You Already Gave the Bride Away
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11. Mac's Redemption
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12. Walls
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13. The Devil in a Private Hell
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14. Turkey in the Straw
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Murray is a master storyteller who brings his characters, real and fictitious alike, into sharp focus. When complemented by Susan Ellis's expressive melodies, his tales about the struggles and triumphs of everyday people become folk songs in the most artistically meaningful sense. His voice, which usually takes the lead, is strong and expressive: imagine Burl Ives with a bit more twang and gusto....With their compelling vocal blend and scrupulously authentic instrumental work, Murray and Ellis constitute a musical match made in hillbilly heaven... ("Heritage Music Review," August, 1997)

both Murray and Ellis show considerable writing ability...With Murray primarily on clawhammer banjo and Ellis on fiddle, the music carries a strong old-time flavor, with an occasional dobro or harmonica thrown in.... good instrumentally and nicely arranged, the real heart of the album is the blend of the two voices, which is reminiscent of another talented Pacific Northwest duo, Cliff Perry and Laurel Bliss.... Mike Murray and Susan Ellis are accomplished musicians, singers and songwriters ... ("Sing Out," June-August, 1997)

For old time music collectors, it should be a must for your collection... If you collect old traditional country/folk, you should not be disappointed with this project. ("Disk Collector," January, 1998)

This is an old timey style collection of songs and music not all traditional but sounding like the tunes from bygone days. The musicians call themselves Smoke Creek and are on their own label(the quality of the recording is very good). Mike Murray is the lead vocalist and banjo player - claw hammer and two finger style banjo, not your slick bluegrass approach. He has a wonderful voice somewhat reminiscent of Burl Ives (bless his soul). Susan Ellis plays a hot fiddle and fills in the highs on the vocal side. They have occasional help from an assortment of other musicians on guitar, dobro and vocals.

There are fourteen tracks, all vocals except one instrumental medley. Eight are written by Mike and/or Susan, the rest traditional like Turkey in the Straw (as a vocal?), Coleman's March or Briar Picker Brown. The new songs are good- a couple Mac's Redemption and Red Pickup are outstanding. The former is a real toe tapper and is hard to believe it is not a traditional tune - it may become one. The latter has a nice melody with accompaniment on dobro by Ted Briggs-Comstock . Mike and Susan show their harmony abilities in I Heard the Bluebird Sing. Mike writes a moving gospel number in Walls with an extra bass partby Jay Finkelstein.

This is a an album with a lot of surprises. Ever hear of a manjo? Sounds like something between a banjo and a ukelele. Mike plays it on a couple songs like Foggy Old London. His talking blues style on Down By the Barber Pole is a humorous saga of a dishonest barber's just deserts. If you like old time tunes and music (country dance music), you will enjoy this album by a couple of talented singer/musicians from Seattle. (Jim Zimmerschied
"Fame Reviews" for Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
(http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p00542.htm).

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