7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2008
People seem to come to Crooked Still from a lot of different places, but whether you're into 'alt bluegrass with a classical twist' (which is probably what I would call what this band does); 'old time string band music' with a modern twist; the more traditional or folk end of Americana; or even just good old-fashioned traditional US folk songs (which is what a lot of the songs on this CD really are); Hop High is probably the best of Crooked Still's CDs to begin your enjoyment of them. (Even if there's nothing here that quite touches the version of Wind and Rain on their first CD). A lot has been made by one reviewer of their using a cello where you might expect a fiddle. (Although they have now added a fiddle-player I'm not sure it really helps the sound). And very good cello playing it is too. But what really makes this music work is the sense of joy and vigor they bring to the songs - both musically and in the singing. There's a lot of this kind of North American "roots music" about - a lot of it is enjoyable enough but not much of it goes beyond a fairly predictable rehashing of an old sound. To my ear, however, this bunch have really got the edge over the competition. Strange old songs delivered with a real sense of a young band giving it everything they've got - having a great time but with a certain respect for the old songs as well. Worth your money!