Heartland: An Appalachian Anthology
Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Mark O'Conner, Mark O'Connor & Yo-Yo Ma
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Heartland an Appalachian Anthology
If you know the fiddle or the chello and enjoy them as much as I do when played by the best in the world, You must put this in your collection. I am a serious Mark Oconnor fan. His name is one of the most respected and admired by anyone that has heard him play and of course likes the style. I have noticed that on this album with Yo Yo Ma as well as other great musicians from all around that there is no particular style or type of music being played. Its called Appalachain. To me a 41 year veteran guitarist of many likes and styles (I love all music played by talent the likes of what this album contains. Genre doesnt enter the picture. Everyone has heard the song "Amazing Grace", Listen to this version with a solo violin and you hear more "Amazing Feelings and talent than ever before' This is a must have for any serious strings lover. I literallly hand built my own custom speakers, crossover networks and subs simply because I could not afford the sound I really needed to satisfy my ear. So years of work and samples later, I build nice audiophile grade speakers. If this were the only album I owned it would all be worth it. I can pick out the bad in any group of musicians. Here however, there are none. Only my opinion of course but this to me is one of the best albums I have ever owned. I am 47 years old and I grew up with a concert violinist for a father and a wonderful pianist for a mother. If you really love good sound production with acoustic strings this one covers it all from extremely classical sounding to almost a hidden hint of Blue Grass when Mark plays. We are talking banjos, Fiddles, Cellos, Guitars played by the best on earth. Its like a harmony of the best styles, instruments and talents all in one place. You owe it to yourself to listen to the clips at least. 100 points on this one from me. By the way this is the only album I have ever written any review on, so dont think I trying to boost sales. I just know when I have heard the best there is. Thank you.
I expected more
Don't get me wrong, with a group of musicians such as this, you can guarantee that you're not going to get a "Bad" album, but I guess I just expected more from a group of such insanely genius musicians. I bought the album because of my love for Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, and James Taylor. I also was interested to get a bit of an idea about what Yo Yo ma sounds like. Honestly, though I don't know Yo Yo very well, I am very familiar with all of the other aforementioned artists, and I've heard MUCH better works from ALL of them. The album has an ultra mellow almost "not there" feel at times, I love slow mellow stuff, but I could not even get into this with my morning coffee, and I've given it several tries. Like I said, it is far from being a "bad" album, but in my opinion, you shouldn't expect to be blown away due to the insane group of virtuoso musicians found here. There are collaborations from various combinations of Bush, Fleck, and Meyer that far exceed what you'll find on this album. If you are a music collector, and want all the hard to find rarities from some of these artists, the I would say it's a must have for you, but if you are a casual listener looking to get a lot of bang for your buck this might not be your best choice. On the other hand, artists such as these put out SO MUCH quality music, and are so diverse, that they are constantly exploring different sounds and textures, and this is unique in that sense for sure. I can't fault any of the musicians for their explorations and experiments, for that is what makes a great musician great in the first place. Perhaps I'm missing something, or maybe the music is above my head. If you like slow classical, this may be up your ally. As for me, I have to give it three stars, though realistically, it's probably 3.5 give or take.
Jaunty, playful and hauntingly beautiful
This album was a real surprize. I downloaded it because I love Joshua Bell. I get lost in this music. What really put me over the edge was the recording of Amazing Grace. It's a song we all think we know, but you've not really heard it until you've heard this recording. I highly recomend you download the entire album. You will not regret it.
Born: 1961 in Oklahoma City, OK
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s