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Silk City

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Album Review

Stellar mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff steps to the foreground on this ambitious set of performances, which includes sizzling bluegrass, polkas, classical music, and a "Wizard of Oz Medley" finale that is truly right over the rainbow. The mandolinist, more often heard as a sideman in the band of Hazel Dickens, among other projects, is that rare musician who can play both old-time music and the classics with the proper feeling, and he is adept at half a dozen other forms of music as well. He also shines as a composer on this album. It is no surprise that other fine musicians would want to hang around with such a gent, and banjo master Tony Trishcka is among the gang on board. He also pens the liner notes but doesn't explain why the record company waited four years to release this. There are also appearances by more unexpected instruments, such as concertina and sopranino recorder, and then there's the ultra-demented Munchkin Chorus. Kudos to Larry Cohen (the bassist, not the filmmaker) for his superb arrangements on the Oz material.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s

Based out of a small town in New Jersey, Barry Mitterhoff is a mandolinist who absolutely refuses to be pigeonholed into one style, despite the ease with which a writer in this sort of database can click on a key that says bluegrass. Of course, like just about every mandolinist around, Mitterhoff got into bluegrass music and has played his share of it. He became closely associated with banjoist Tony Trischka, who helped take that genre just about as far out as it has ever gone, thus forever associating...
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Silk City, Barry Mitterhoff
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