As a teenager, then young man, I was heavily influenced back in the '60s by the "great folk scare" that revitalized an interest in the kind of music done by the Weavers, the Carter Family, and the Appalachian sound from the earlier decades of the 20th century. While many of the groups performing popular "folk music" in the '60s were young urban musicians, they succeeded in preserving a form of music that is both fundamental to America's musical roots and a link to the music brought to America by immigrants. As we got deep into the '70s and beyond, this music seemed to slip to the background as the various forms of rock, pop, and country grew and flourished. Fortunately, not only did the traditional American music not die, but it has been taken up by a new generation and infused with a soulfulness and power of its own. The musical traditions displayed in movies such as "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?" and the more recent "Inside Llewyn Davis" are being carried on by wonderful musicians like Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Oscar Isaac, Mumford and Sons, the Punch Brothers, Sierra Hull, and many others. To that group must be added this marvelous duo from North Carolina, Mandolin Orange. The album "This Side of Jordan" is a gem--an absolutely invaluable addition to the folk tradition that is so alive these days. This album satisfies in every possible way, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Wow, what a sound these two have. I hope they are around for a long while and don't get caught up in the grip of the banal sound of contemporary "country" music we hear too much of these days. Sad to say, for all the good it has provided, Nashville has single-handedly destroyed real country music. I can't help but blame Garth Brooks for turning the traditional country performance of a Hank WIlliams, George Jones, or George Strait into a kind of Cirque du Hayseed stage show. Come on, folks--traditional American music doesn't include zip lines and explosions; it just needs real, honest-to-goodness musicians. I'm hoping that "Mandolin Orange" and the other really fine folk/traditional musicians out there don't get sucked up by the commercial Nashville machine. Keep it pure everyone--the sound of traditional music performed by true musicians is something to behold. If you don't believe me, listen to Mandolin Orange on "This Side of Jordan"--it just doesn't get much better.