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Red Heart the Ticker, Your Name in Secret I Would Write
Auger Down Records, Sept. 20

09/08/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



This deal is like American Pickers for musicologists, wherein the two married folkie principals (Tyler Gibbons and Robin MacArthur) received a grant from the Vermont Arts Council to record for preservation a collection of New England folk songs that had been on the verge of extinction when MacArthur’s grandmother Margaret lay dying in her 1803 farmhouse. Though morphine-fogged, the woman was lucid enough to pass along to her granddaughter these supremely obscure songs, many of which Margaret learned from New Englanders she’d met in her travels over a nine-album career. There’s a touching moment or two when Margaret croons a few lines, like lullabies, in between renderings from the band, all fixed in their original broke-down waltzes and Stephen Foster-esque wordplay. Instruments include Margaret’s own dulcimer and two from the turn of the century, one an 1890s banjo and the other an Estey organ rescued from a dumpster. Even the farmhouse itself was involved, as all the recording was done in the study in which Margaret died. Authenticity really doesn’t come richer than this, folks. A+ —Eric W. Saeger






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