The Itinerant Band | The Road Out of Town

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Folk: Traditional Folk World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Road Out of Town

by The Itinerant Band

American Colonial period music, from the 18th into early 19th centuries. Tunes and songs from the old world and Celtic traditions as well as American originals.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Swallow's Tail Reel / Paddy on the Turnpike
4:13 $0.99
2. Down In My Sally's Garden
4:18 $0.99
3. Childgrove / Campbell's Farewell to Redcastle
4:29 $0.99
4. The Blackest Crow / Star of the County Down
3:57 $0.99
5. Boys of Bluehill / Old French
3:45 $0.99
6. Red Joke / Black Joke / Young Widow
5:03 $0.99
7. Southwind
3:33 $0.99
8. Miss McLeod's Reel / I Will Go
4:33 $0.99
9. White Cockade / Cuckoo's Nest / Forked Deer
5:36 $0.99
10. McPherson's Farewell to Creag Dhubh
3:48 $0.99
11. A Man's a Man for 'A That
3:22 $0.99
12. 8th of August / O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick / Musical Priest
6:04 $0.99
13. Rose Tree / The Kangaroo / Morpeth Rant
4:49 $0.99
14. Castle Kelly / The Road Out of Town
3:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Itinerant Band is made up of seven musicians from the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia. They come from diverse musical backgrounds and have a shared passion for history that has led them to specialize in the music of early America. They perform tunes and songs from the Irish, Scottish, English and French traditions that would have been heard in 17th and 18th century North America. In the spirit of the itinerant colonial musicians whose style they emulate, you may find as few as two or as many as seven of them at any given time and place performing everything from airs to sea chanties to dance tunes. When all together, the group consists of George Bame on guitar and vocals, Paul Brockman on fiddle and vocals, Bob Clark on hammered dulcimer, Susan Lawlor on flute, whistle and recorder, Dave McNew on bodhran, bones, Appalachian dulcimer and vocals, Mary Normand on Celtic harp, and Marsha Wallace on guitar, mandolin and vocals.

"The Road Out of Town" is the band's second collection. Ranging from 18th into early 19th century music, the album features several examples of tunes and songs that traveled from old countries to new. Military marches such as "The White Cockade," tunes from the English dance theatre such as "The Cuckoo's Nest" and "Black Joke," jigs, reels and hornpipes from Scotland and Ireland, and American originals such as "The Young Widow." One highlight is rousing rendition of "A Man's a Man," which Scotland's most beloved poet, Robert Burns, wrote after being inspired by thoughts in Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man." Also included three original ("neo-traditional") tunes written by members of the band (we figured as long as we're portraying 18th century musicians, we might as well portray 18th century composers).



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Joe Ross

Full of mirth and merriment!
Resonant hammered dulcimer, flighty pennywhistle, and wailing fiddle combined with some pleasant vocals and a solid rhythm section characterize the Itinerant Band’s second project of traditional acoustic Celtic music. The seven musicians from southeastern Virginia draw their repertoire from a standard collection of oft-heard classic tunes that are common at Irish sessions (jams). They make me want to jump right up and grab a mandolin or concertina to play along.

The hour-long set also includes a few original surprises. I enjoyed the medley of “Red Joke (Lads of Dunse)/ Black Joke/The Young Widow,” and this CD’s 12-page booklet and copious liner notes explain that there were numerous popular “joke” songs in England and America, with titles referring to the hair color of the songs’ subjects. I’m left wondering, however, what the bawdy lyrics are that accompany these kinds of songs. Dulcimer-player Bob Clark composed the stately “McPherson’s Farewell to Creag Dhubh,” as a tribute to the beauty of the Scottish countryside and his family’s ancestry. Flautist Susan Lawlor’s original “The Eighth of August” has no particular historical significance other than the fact that she wrote it one August afternoon while hanging out at the Oak Grove Music Festival. It’s one of the best moments on the album because it is presented as a simple and lean respite with just flute and harp as a prelude to “O’Farrel’s Welcome to Limerick.” The album closes with Bob Clark’s “The Road Out of Town,” a reel that was inspired by an early map of the town of Norfolk from the late 1600s on which today’s St. Paul’s Boulevard was called “the road that leadeth out of town.”

The Itinerant Band gets their inspiration by the playful spirit of the itinerant colonial musicians. Full of mirth and merriment, their dance medleys gallop along from one tune to the next, often with minimal arrangement. Performing in period costume, the band would be especially entertaining live at an arts festival, craft faire, public house, contra dance, Highland games, Robert Burns Night, or historical reenactment. The full ensemble consists of George Bame (guitar, vocals), Paul Brockman (fiddle, vocals), Bob Clark (hammered dulcimer), Susan Lawlor (flute, whistle, recorder), Dave McNew (bodhran, bones, Appalachian dulcimer, vocals), Mary Normand (Celtic harp), and Marsha Wallace (guitar, mandolin, vocals).

It’s clear that these musicians enjoy what they do, and one of their goals is to have a good time doing it. Grab a pint of stout, and prepare yourself for some good craic (gaiety) as they say in Ireland. The traditional music of colonial America was a music of the people, and it still very much is. Passed down from generation to generation, folks like Virginia’s Itinerant Band are keeping it fun, vibrant and alive. Their repertoire will especially thrill and appeal to those who aren’t familiar with these tunes. My hope is that their next project digs even deeper for more esoteric, erudite material and original songs and tunes. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

Sandra Crook

Wonderful CD! Have played it daily since purchase.
This CD has it all: Calm and peaceful tunes and some real toe tappers! Awesome, you must hear it to believe it!