Why not invite your favourite independent musician to play for your friends family and his fans in your front room, I’ll be surprised if he/she won’t show up sometime this year and play for you, let me know about it and if The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile is loose is near enough we’ll come and broadcast it too. If you would like to help keep the wheels on the Hub and on The Moose become a patron at
Happy Hosting, Happy New Year
Lauren Sheehan's previous recording, Two Wings, was something of a folk enthusiast's gem and Rose City Ramble more than matches the quality of that performance. Lauren has been a student, collector, teacher, performer and, above all, singer of traditional music all her life and the depth of her knowledge and appreciation comes through in the brief liner notes for each song in this collection. For myself, I can't tell in what way Lightnin' Hopkins may have influenced her version of Black is the Colour, but I can recognise high quality music making when I hear it.
I remember Two Wings having a strong bias towards acoustic blues but Rose City Ramble is much more folk oriented with a beautifully balanced selection of songs (very) old and new. There is a good scattering of blues here - Memphis Minnie's Can't Afford to Lose My Man and Dirty Rat Swing among them - but it's the broad selection of folk songs that I go for here. Michael Hurley's Oh, My Stars and The Stanley Brothers' The Memory Of Your Smile are amongst the old favourites that get a characteristically clear and tasteful Sheehan treatment. Lauren's voice is pure, rich, and precise, with a little raw edge to it when she's getting down and dirty in the blues; there's a care, even a reverence, in her approach that for me puts her squarely in the Joan Baez school of folk singers, and she certainly deserves to be as celebrated as Ms Baez.
Surrounding herself with players and harmony singers of the finest technique, Lauren's acoustic arrangements are exercises in beauty. Lauren herself plays guitars, banjo and mandolin, and she's helped out with some gently layered double bass, extra banjo, harmonica and a little gently pulsing drums, as the occasion demands. The focus is always on the song, bringing mood and meaning out of the very heart of each one. There are two Sheehan originals here, one blues and one folk, and the way in which these songs take their place seamlessly amongst such illustrious company is a clear demonstration of Lauren's devotion of her life to folk music tradition - keeping the old music alive with her fresh interpretations, and adding her own contribution to the repertoire.
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