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Henry Street - A Restrospective

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Album Review

At the end of 1999, the three members of Salamander Crossing decided to go their separate ways, ending eight years of collaboration and performing together. Henry Street: A Retrospective is a generous collection that documents Salamander Crossing's first two albums, Salamander Crossing and Passion Train, with the addition of several bonus tracks. The core of the band is made up of bassist/vocalist Andrew Kinsey, fiddle player/vocalist Rani Arbo, and guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Jeff Kelliher. A crisp acoustic sound and strong vocals, complete with smooth harmony, characterize Salamander Crossing. Rani Arbo's vocals are particularly expressive, bringing a touch of sadness and longing to songs like Sean Vernon's "I Believed in Love." The slow, melancholy "Thief" proves perfect for her emotive delivery. The group also sings a number of songs together, as on the minor-keyed "Fire in the Sky," with beautiful contrasting harmony, featuring Arbo singing above Kinsey's lead. One bonus track, "Old Woman Lament," begins like a gospel number, only to turn into an acoustic rocker, grounded with a heavy, pounding bassline. The musicianship throughout is first class, with Arbo's bluesy fiddle proving just right for songs like "The New Madera Waltz" and Kelliher's guitar adding extra pizzazz to "Trip Me Up." Like the Whites, Salamander Crossing distinguishes themselves with good song choices and concise harmony. They also have the same ability as the Whites to combine bluegrass and folk into a silky acoustic hybrid. Henry Street: A Retrospective provides a good snapshot of the band's early musical journey, and should be a great place to start for those unfamiliar with the band. Fans are sure to hear good things from the talented individuals of Salamander Crossing in the near future. ~Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Wade in the Water.

I stumbled across "Salamander Crossing" while listening to different versions of the old spiritual "Wade in the water". Needless to say there were many, but one version stood out from the rest, and that was the version found on this album. Great bluegrass, excellent vocals, but please do me a favor, listen to "wade in the water" and download it. It is a must have: I believe. Enjoy Tom Fame Salem, VA


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Although their instrumentation is based on the traditional bluegrass lineup of banjo, fiddle, guitar, and bass, Salamander Crossing has consistently crossed over into a variety of musical genres. Their repertoire not only includes bluegrass standards by Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers, but songs by Richard Thompson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Cockburn, Kate Wolf, Shawn Colvin, Maura O'Connell, Bruce Springsteen, and Lennon & McCartney. Salamander Crossing gets its name from an annual Spring...
Full Bio
Henry Street - A Restrospective, Salamander Crossing
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