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Stewed Roots - In The Middle of This

In The Middle of This

Stewed Roots

Stewed Records - SR-801

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

This is a quiet, mostly acoustic record that has thirteen mostly well-written songs on it by two Canadian women: Jeff (Jennifer) Hale and Neva Tesolin. They split the songwriting chores, Jeff wrote five of the tunes and Neva wrote seven and if you're quick you realize that is only twelve, and there is one song, Dirty Work, they wrote together. Jeff does the lead vocals on all but one of the tunes and she does have the strong more pleasant voice, and Neva does supply some nice harmony vocals. Jeff plays guitar, Neva plays piano, piano accordion, concertina, and octave mandolin; and the other musicians filling out the sound are Bob Hewus on stand-upbass, Al Cross on drums, Rick Whitelaw lead acoustic guitar, Don Reed on fiddle and violin, Jessie Tesolin on cello and Curly Boy Stubbs on guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, percussion, and vocals.

The songs are about real life and real situations and some are truly heart-felt and yet somehow they don't see to grab hold of anything and stick to you. It is a very odd feeling as you know there is great care and love poured into this project and yet there is not a hook or barb to grab onto. The most outstanding moments are when Jessie Tesolin comes in on cello, that seems odd. Please remember these are my reactions to this disc but may not be yours. It is a blend of folk, Celtic, and Country music.

Track List:

  • I Don't Think About Him Much
  • Pretension Rag
  • Beer and Cajun Music
  • Turning 40
  • The Fisher and Me
  • The Daughters
  • Dirty Work
  • Llanwrtyd Wells and Ponies
  • Goin' Fishin'
  • Craic O' the Pub
  • Time Enough
  • I Can Remember
  • Song At Lughnasa

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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