What people are saying about
The Reckless Ramblers are a contra-dance band comprised of
Larry Unger, guitar, banjo, banjo uke and resonator guitar; Nat Hewitt,
fiddle and guitar; Ginny Snowe, bass; and Sam Bartlett, mandolin,tenor
banjo and percussion. They specialize in medleys of dance tunes, each in
sharp contrast to the previous tracks. Their musicianship is
extraordinary and they play flawlessly as a unit.
The selections on Lowdown Hoedown range from traditional to newly composed tunes from members Larry and Sam. The medley opening with Larry's title tune is a good example. "Lowdown Hoedown" is a modal tune featuring characteristics of North Africa and Central Europe. It is followed by "Elzic's Farewell," a true Appalachian modal standard with strong fiddling from Nat and the driving rhythm of Ginny's bass.
Another example of the versatility of the band arrives a bit later with the medley opening with "The Burnt Leg" arranged as a fingerstyle blues which quickly morphs into " The Long Campaign" with its Celtic influence and tenor banjo triplets.
As a nod to modern times, Larry's "Paddy on the Internet" is a slinky mandolin and slide guitar workout. Once again the rhythm is out front as Ginny handles the bass with drive and imagination.
I think I may have discovered what sets The Reckless Ramblers apart from many other contradance outfits. They approach the music with much more of an old-time sensibility than other bands. The insistent rhythm and improvisational nature along with the loose arrangements create a sound that is spontaneous, but at all times collected, a rare quality in these days of mindless precision. If you are at all interested in modern contradance music check out the Reckless Ramblers fort a delightful change of pace!
by Shawn Brenneman
Maintained by Paul Norman
Last updated: Nov 18, 2007