Joe Townsend Band
Townsend is a wild man on the fiddle. His quirky way around a jig, a czardas or a hora will call to mind the work of Canadian fiddler Oliver Schroer. His band is more than up to the task of accompanying him on his manic ride. Kubryk Townsend's jazzy work on the bass is especially strong. Joe and accordion player Martin Green often play as one instrument. Chris Van Dam's cimbalom races along underneath it all. Townsend has command of Celtic, gypsy, jazz, and old-time fiddle styles, with the ability to wail on all of them without losing sight of his purpose. His updated arrangements of traditional tunes expand the envelope while never exceeding the limits of good taste. Rather, they have an organic quality that makes one wonder why these tunes were never done this way before.
"Misty Mountain/Hora de la Risipiti" is a spirited, slightly devious romp. "No Blossom Special" pokes fun at the fiddle-as-choo-choo-train cliché by turning it into a railroad sound noise jam. In reel sets such as "Paddy Ryan's Dream/Mad Professor's" and "Cottonwood Reel/Crane's Leg," he gives new meaning to the term "theme and variations." Each repetition of the tune is a new adventure. Though Townsend is an excellent fiddler, he never gives the impression that he's showing off. Instead, he invites the listener to revel in the music as much as he and his band obviously do. - Peggy Latkovich
Available at cdRoots
Song "Misty Mountain / Horo de la Risipiti" trad/arr Townsend
©2000 CHAT, used by permission
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