Patuxent CD-174 Patrick McAvinue - Rutland's Reel
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Patrick McAvinue is a rising star in the traditional music heavens, having flared into fame as a fiddle prodigy in his early teens, now a fulltime fiddler with the award-winning Audie Blaylock and Redline.
If you're a beginning fiddler with big ambitions, use this project as a template for the height of the art. Even if you're a player with plenty of experience to your credit, you'll find something in McAvinue's range of artistry on the instrument that will send you back to the woodshed -- whether it's a traditional fiddle & banjo offering like Charleston No 1 or Soppin' the Gravy, where, accompanied by the amazing Chris Warner , McAvinue shows he can embellish the simple grain of a parlor hoedown with a few surprising twists of his own-- or Rutland's Reel, the powerful starter, perfectly twinned by Michael Cleveland.
McAvinue has assembled a stellar group to work with him on this project, pickers of skill and renown -- the aforementioned Blaylock and on guitar and vocals, and the widely acclaimed Cleveland on mandolin & twin fiddle. The session is filled out with Pete Kelly on banjo and Barry Reid on bass. Jesse Brock and Nate Leath make superb guest appearances. McAvinue says, “I was playing with some amazing friends and I wanted to encapsulate that feeling in this CD.”
McAvinue is a virtuoso of traditional styles who can switch from a blazing fast shuffle to a single string solo with no air to spare. He validates his high lonesome credentials when he twins with Leath on With Body and Soul. When Blaylock sings that good old Skip Hop Wobble, McAvinue throws in some more pre-modern almost-country licks just to show he can.
A delight to the soul is Henry Rutland's Country Classic Waltz composed by Frank Maloy, a tune that any fiddler would love to wrap a bow around, here twinned to perfectly blended effect with Cleveland.
Just when you think that McAvinue has left no tone unturned, you arrive at his rousing, orchestrated version of Down Yonder, featuring the kind of antics that Gid Tanner would have applauded, taking a time-worn favorite and giving it plenty of exercise and a touch of musical license.
Add to all the above some righteous bluegrass fiddling on the hard-driving Stanley Brothers' standard Lonesome Without You, and the Reno and Smiley classic No Longer a Sweetheart (sung by Bobby Goff, Jr), confirming the opinion of Bluegrass Unlimited that McAvinue has "a bright future in bluegrass." Throw in Kenny Baker’s Rinky-Dinky-Do, and finish up with the simply brilliant Monroe blockbuster, Old Dangerfield, a tune that McAvinue was clearly born to play. Then go back to the beginning, and listen to it all again.