Review for “Live At The Freight & Salvage” from Random Lengths

From Random Lengths, San Pedro, CA, March 25-April 7, 2011, by Noel Barr (exerpts):

“I first saw Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band at the Grand Annex on 6th Street in downtown San Pedro.  That evening was filled with great music, laughter and education on the origins of American music throughout Appalachia….Here we have a live recording done in July of 2010, a stellar example of the new and the traditional bluegrass music blending like a sweet high lonesome harmony.  The opening track “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies” is like a finger sweep aside a lover’s temple.  The ethereal beauty of Susie Glaze’s acappela vocal reaches out across time from an Appalachian hollow.  In less than 30 seconds with an empathy that speaks volumes is the warning of the frailty of love, possibly won or loss.  The following song is one written by Jean Ritchie titled, “One More Mile.”  This is an up tempo number that hits like KGJ&E locomotive pulling hard on a heavy load of Kentucky coal….The songs, “Old Dirt Road” and “Maggie Bailey” feature banjo player Bill Evans.  The in-demand Evans, a Virginia native (who now resides in San Francisco), sat in for this show in Berkeley.  He’s probably one of the best banjo players in the world, adding to the evening’s excitement…Five of the songs performed during this set are traditional mountain songs written and arranged by Jean Ritchie.  Ritchie, a seminal figure during the folk revival of the 50s and 60s was brought up in the Appalachian Mountains.  Her family, who has influenced generations of artists, collected the bits and pieces of these songs making them whole….The next three songs are works of Rob Carlson who knows how to write strong acoustic songs tinged in hues of the country.  These songs are custom-made vehicles for Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band to shine.  Track seven is a dreamy piece taking the listener to a place that sweeps along a “River Road.”  The next track “Albuquerque” is an acoustic Texas swing number, giving a nod to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.  The ninth is the title to the group’s 2005 release “Blue Eyed Darlin’,” which touches on the Euro-Appalachian vein through contemporary bluegrass – an amazing bit of music…This whole CD is a beautiful collection of traditional and original acoustic music.”