|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
John has been a very well known and respected singer and instrumentalist around Melbourne for many years, dating back to the “folk revival” of the late 1960’s. He prefers the American old timey songs and tunes from the pre war “golden age” of country music, and lists such performers as the Carter Family, Delmore Brothers, Clarence Ashley and New Lost City Ramblers as his inspiration.
John plays guitar, and pre Bluegrass “clawhammer” style 5 string banjo. Apart from solo performances, he has been a member of Chilly Strings String Band and until recently, the Appalachian Heaven String Band, where he was a lead vocalist and guitarist, and can be heard on their latest album “Been All Around This World”.
Audiences enjoy his variety of songs and tunes, and interesting song introductions. He recorded and released his first solo album “Still Rollin’ On” last year. The 17 tracks are a mixture of traditional songs and instrumentals, and original banjo and guitar compositions. The album was recorded by Hugh McDonald.
CD Review by Chris Spencer
John Boothroyd sounds like a fellow I’d like to meet.
His bio paints him as an enthusiastic musician with an strong interest in bluegrass music, collecting and publishing books about bluegrass music as well as compiling a large collection of bluegrass music, enabling fellow musicians to find an obscure song, discover the origins of a tune or information about the artists who played those songs.
However his own recording history is miniscule, despite having played for many years in duos until joining Apachlacian Heaven in 2012.
This solo album was recorded in 2013 and produced by Hugh McDonald.
It consists of 17 tracks featuring guitar, banjo and vocals 5 of the tracks are original instrumentals.
Boothroyd plays all the 6 different instruments played on the recording; McDonald sings vocal harmony on one song.
The longest track on the album is close to 4 minutes, but most are less than 3 minutes.
This makes for a varied listen, and our interest is maintained for the duration of the album.
The 5 original tunes are “Up and Down Briar Hill” (played on banjo), “Retirement Rag” (played on guitar), “Pennington” (banjo), “Steels Creek” (banjo) and “Maya’s Welcome” (played on the banjo, with guitar overdub (or vice versa!) to celebrate the birth of his grand daughter).
I welcomed the information written about each track John relates from whom he learnt the song, who wrote the song and provides some insight into what meaning the song has for him or what he hoped to achieve in the playing and presentation.
I found it interesting that several of the tracks were originally recorded by fiddle players – such as “Oyster River Hornpike” “Walden’s Bridge” and “Tomahawk”.
Aside his originals, 9 of the other tracks are traditional tunes, with the exception of “Tomahawk” (Tommy Jackson), “Natural Bridge Blues” (Tommy Magness), and “I’m Rollin’ On” (Salty Holmes).
Boothroyd sings on several songs “Natural Bridge Blues”, “I’m Rollin’ On”, “Tough Luck”, “Goin’ to Chattanoogie”, “Goin’ Across the Sea”, “Elkhorn Creek” and “Cindy”.
He also provides vocal harmonies to his own singing on these songs.
The production is generally laid back, uncluttered which assists to highlight Boothroyd’s musicianship and playing.
Those of you who like your acoustic bluegrass should ensure that this cd is on your wants list; other readers will find much to enjoy on this CD.
6 in stock