Link to Living Tradition Homepage





EUPHONIA - The Old Jawbone

The Old Jawbone
Tuxedo TUXCD928

The four-piece “café-style acoustic combo” Euphonia is ably led by Sylvia Herold, whose CV embraces an array of outfits from Bay Area swingers Cats & Jammers to the In Harmony’s Way collective, the Pop Top Trio and the intriguing Wake The Dead (who meld traditional Irish tunes with Grateful Dead songs!). Euphonia’s self-defining “combination of agreeable sounds” places Sylvia’s captivatingly idiomatic vocals and nimble guitar playing in truly happy consort (and tight vocal harmony) with fellow-Californian musicians Paul Kotapish (mandolin), Charlie Hancock (accordion) and Chuck Ervin (bass); together they take us on a zestful tour of folk music’s backroads that cheerfully takes in anything and everything, absolutely brilliantly and with a healthy dash of silliness (where appropriate).

We travel effortlessly from old-time sources (Boatman’s Dance, The Old Man At The Mill and Cotton-Eyed Joe, the latter sporting some tasty homemade percussion grooves from guest Brian Rice) and minstrelsy (Angeline The Baker’s Gone, which features the “old jawbone” itself), through to more contemporary creations (Gillian Welch’s Tear My Stillhouse Down and John Hartford’s In Tall Buildings), stopping off on the way for some delectable hokum (the Sons Of The Pioneers’ Chant Of The Wanderer and Liz Anderson’s priceless cod-Egyptian romance I Crept Into The Crypt And Cried), a Parisian dance-hall musette and even a sea-shanty (Let The Bulgine Run) – not to mention a neat bluegrassy romp through the old Everly’s number Crying In The Rain.

Although the album’s diversity proves a major strength, there’s also a winning unity about this release (Euphonia’s second CD) that no doubt largely stems from the musicians’ keen empathy, also an irresistible sense of fun that’s very persuasive and which naturally complements the easygoing but seriously sophisticated musicianship on display throughout.

David Kidman

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.