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New Grange

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Album Review

A very sophisticated and largely academic take on traditional folk forms, NewGrange's debut is an interesting combination of smooth bluegrass, jazz, contemporary folk, and somewhat classical leanings. However studied and precise their sound may be, NewGrange avoids having their songs come across as museum pieces, as they inject a lively and tangible sound throughout. Though using mostly standard bluegrass instrumentation, the addition of a piano and adventurous time signatures gives many of the 12 tracks a more contemporary feel. Taking traditional tunes like "Handsome Molly," the spirited and soaring "Sally Ann," and the gospel tune "Rock in a Weary Land" reveals a band capable of updating these songs for the 21st century. The original contributions do not fail to impress either, with banjoist extraordinaire Allison Brown delivering a British folk-influenced instrumental in "Weetabix" and Mike Marshall's complex arrangement in "Shoot the Moon," both speaking volumes for the immense talents at work. In the end, NewGrange may not be your grandfather's bluegrass, but they are still altogether worthy of considerable accolades.

Biography

Formed: 1998

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s

The Americana sextet New Grange produces an organic and objective look into blended folk music. The band formed in 1998 when acoustic multi-instrumentalist Mike Marshall and violinist/fiddler Darol Anger were touring while completing the holiday album Christmas Heritage. The press quickly adored the duo, for their hearty composition of jazz, blues, and roots rock was heavily praised by critics and audiences. They decided to put a band together under the name New Grange and singer/songwriter Tim O'Brien,...
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New Grange, New Grange
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