Tangleweed | Where You Been So Long

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Country: Bluegrass Country: Alt-Country Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Where You Been So Long

by Tangleweed

14 new songs from the acclaimed Chicago-based acoustic Americana band Tangleweed. Sing Out magazine says Tangleweed "hits on all eight cylinders."
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Draggin' the Bow
2:05 $0.99
2. Hard Times
2:08 $0.99
3. Black-Eyed Susie
2:42 $0.99
4. Ginseng Blues
2:19 $0.99
5. High on a Mountain
3:03 $0.99
6. I've Found a New Baby
2:36 $0.99
7. Where You Been?
2:06 $0.99
8. Sir Lucas De Sommerville / The Musical Priest / Whiskey Before B
3:48 $0.99
9. Wrap Yourself Around Me
2:35 $0.99
10. With a Bottle in My Hand / Farewell Blues
2:59 $0.99
11. Drunkard's Blues
2:49 $0.99
12. Angeline the Baker / Soldier's Joy
2:38 $0.99
13. Leaving of Liverpool
4:31 $0.99
14. Last Call Waltz
1:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
An Introduction to this Sound Recording, By Aaron Cohen

There was a time---way, way back---when folks got together in a circle, gathered around a microphone and sang ballads that came from shared traditions or arose out of their comments on the day’s big events. These singers and musicians just had their voices, whatever strings they could carry and maybe some dog-eared songbooks. Indeed, that oh, so long-ago half-year between October 2005 and April 2006 must have been a whole different era.

It was during those months that Tangleweed holed up with engineer Mike Hagler in Chicago’s Kingsize Sound Labs to record Where You Been So Long, its follow-up to the band’s debut, Just A Spoonful. As three seasons changed this quintet took on rags, Western swing, Irish jigs, bluegrass and some of the earliest forms of jazz through a filter tinted with the immediate thrills of rock ’n’ roll. No crew of samplers, guest singers or makeup artists were needed to configure this sonic panoply.

One case in point is the Tangleweed original: “Hard Times.” With Kenneth “Kip” Rainey’s wonderfully strange mandolin solo and collective lyrics protesting war and economic deprivation, the group could be taking a page from the Gilded Era and Spanish-American War, or describing the mood of America while thousands of its citizens have fallen in the Iraqi desert. Or fiddler Billy Oh reviving the Hot Club of Paris on “I’ve Found A Baby.” Dropping his bass for an accordion, Paul Wargaski adds a new texture to the narrative of Irish immigration on “Leaving of Liverpool”; another song about a movement that could have happened in the last month or last century. Eventually, it’s all about the very human condition: Women are never far away as banjo player Ryan Fisher attests on “Black-Eyed Susie”; neither is booze as guitarist Scott Judd will claim on “With a Bottle In My Hand/Farewell Blues.”

Near the end of the disc, the guys in Tangleweed sing about the fifteen cent morphine with a beer chaser that costs just as much. The narcotic of choice and its price is the only line on this disc that sounds like it still belongs to a more distant past.

Aaron Cohen
Associate Editor, DownBeat



to write a review

Joe Ross

...and 1/2....An alluring je ne sais quoi that is sturdy & self-assured
Playing Time – 37:35 -- Chicago-based Tangleweed is a “foot stompin', moonshine drinkin'” group that has an alluring je ne sais quoi that is sturdy and self-assured. Full of exuberance and energy, the quintet’s rough edges are starting to smooth out since their live debut “Just A Spoonful” album. No personnel changes have definitely brought their strings tighter, and “Where You Been Gone So Long?” was wisely recorded in a more controlled studio environment. Timothy Ryan Fisher (banjo), Paul Wargaski (upright bass), Billy Oh (fiddle), Kenneth Rainey (mandolin), and Scott Judd (guitar) share chemistry that results in some good-time music inspired from old-time, bluegrass, jug band, swing, gypsyjazz and Irish airs.

Playing regularly since mid-2004, Tangleweed’s strength is their infectious enthusiasm and varied repertoire. “I’ve Found A New Baby” is a carefully-cultivated classic 1930s jazz standard, and their medley of jigs and reels or “Leaving of Liverpool” convey hues of emerald green. A tune like “Drunkard’s Blues” is presented with authentic grit. The band’s original old-time protest song bewailing war and poverty, “Hard Times,” gives Tangleweed a sound not too dissimilar from the New Lost City Ramblers. Also written by all members of the band, the title cut speaks to “being broke and hungry, sleepin’ on the floor” and “twelve hours on a Trailways bus to sleep here by your side.” That cut epitomizes Tangleweed’s bluegrass spunk. This string band’s eclectic repertoire has a little something for everyone in a big urban environment like the Windy City. In fact, their varied music is quite breezy and refreshing too. This mostly excitable, frenzied set ends with another face of Tangleweed – “Last Call Waltz” with its one minute of doleful yodeling recorded in the empty stairwell of an old Chicago building. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)