(independent, 2008)

The latest alternative traditional band, Annalivia, is compiled of seasoned musicians who emerged from the potent Boston fiddle music scene: former Karen Casey protege and New Hampshire native Liz Simmons, former Glengarry Bhoy and fiddle ace Brendan Carey Block, guitarist/vocalist and member of The Sevens Flynn Cohen, and contra dance and former Wild Asparagus upright bass player extraordinaire/banjo plucker Stuart Kenney, also a member of The Sevens.

Together, their music combines Anglo-Celtic ballad singing and fiddle music traditions with their North American counterparts -- Appalachia and Cape Breton -- all with a groove-centric contemporary flair.

The new self-titled CD reflects their wandering musical roots. On this CD, Annalivia brings us fertile ballads of Sodum Laurel, N.C., bluegrass of Boston's Charlie Rose, two folk revival tunes, a spirited Cape Breton set, two Richard Thompson folk songs and two originals; one from Cohen and one from Kenney. One song, "Polly Vaughn," features Aoife Clancy.

The blend of Kenney's banjo, Cohen's guitar and vocals, Block's fiddle and Simmons clear sweet voice will fill your ears with joy. Buy this CD if for no other reason then to hear the voices of Simmons and Clancy sing "Polly Vaughn" together.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Louise Dunphy

21 June 2008

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