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Some Strange Country CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: £14.57 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 July 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Signature Sounds
  • ASIN: B003CJXIS2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,159 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

Crooked Still's 4th album Some Strange Country is an elegant package of superbly crafted musical styles taking country/folk as the deep foundation and veering off into exhilarating and exciting directions. It's amazing music and it can hardly be called "bluegrass" or be locked into one genre. Where Ray Charles gave us Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music back in 1962, Crooked Still bring those expressions into the new millenium. Recorded during a long blizzard in rural Virginia, Some Strange Country expands on the band's unique blend of Appalachian-based string band styles combining with chamber music strings and pop sensibility, all supporting Aoife O'Donovan's sultry and sometimes spooky vocals. The album was produced by Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Nicel Creek) and features guest contributions of bluegrass legends Ricky Skaggs and Tim O'Brien and vocals from rising star Sarah Jarosz. There are several gorgeous original songs along side adaptaions of tradition numbers from the likes of Dock Boggs and others plus an unlikely but playful cover of the Rolling Stones "You Got The Silver".

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was recently introduced to this band by a friend in America, and instantly fell in love with their sound. This is a great album. Aoife O'Donovan's vocals compare very favourably (to me) with Alison Krauss, and even Julie Fowlis. At several points during repeated listens I could hear echoes of Irish and Scottish music, putting me in mind of Transatlantic Sessions or Celtic Connections, where the original line-up appeared in 2006. The harmonies are wonderful - guests include luminaries such as Ricky Skaggs, Tim O'Brien and Sarah Jarosz - and the instrumentals are sublime. The cello/ fiddle combinations are particularly enjoyable. This is bluegrass with a Celtic edge. Really transatlantic.
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Format: Audio CD
I hadn't even heard of Crooked Still before seeing them live at Celtic Connections in Jan 2011. I purchased this CD shorly after and I just cannot stop playing it! It is difficult to place Crooked Still into one genre, but if you have any interest in modern bluegrassy/folky/americana type music then you must listen to this CD. The band is a fascinating mix of instruments, which combine to create a stunning sound which moves effortlessly between energetic uplifting rythyms to at times really haunting melodies. Then what can I say about Aoife O'Donovan? The vocals on this CD are breathtaking. The quality of the production helps to demonstrate the amazing range and personality of Aoife's voice. This is a band at the height of their creative powers and there is a truly unique quality of interplay between instruments and vocals that will make you just stop and listen whatever you are doing. This is simply the best thing I have heard for several years.
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For some time I've been listening to Crooked Still, but finally I bought my first Crooked Still CD and I do not regret at all. Their music is fantastic: real music. With their typical celtic folk-bluegrass style, their strings now brings back to life American traditional music. Featuring mostly remakes of old songs (somtimes they use the lyrics, sometimes the music, sometimes both and complete it with their own arrangements), although a couple of them are kind of boring, we can find in the fifth track of the album their masterpiece, which I dare to choose as the most beautiful song I have ever heard: the great Half of What We Know (fully composed by our dear Aoife, but still featuring traditional styled lyrics).

Aesthetically, the album's visual art is also quite fascinating. Suiting well the album music's proposal, the covers, cd label, and lyrics book are filled with atique-styled maps, letters, ink marks, bussols, medallions and drawings of mermaids, ships and sea monsters, carrying us to the colonial times.

Absolutely stunning. Thank you, Crooked Still.
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Skilled musicians, but for me it lacks punch. A bit twee in fact.

A matter of personal taste no doubt. Aoife's voice just doesn't do much for me.

Three and a half stars really, I just give three as an antidote to the rave reviews.
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