Wolfe Bros.,
2001 -- An Old-Time Odyssey
(Copper Creek, 2001)

The Wolfe Bros. are that essential of traditional music, the accomplished musicians who enjoy playing good tunes for fun more so than profit or fame. Without these people traditional music would be as dead and dry as mummies or the Dead Sea Scrolls. Music can only live in the fiddle strings and vocal chords of those who love it and this album feels like the work of such a group.

"Rainbow Sign" is a gospel song long associated with the Carter Family and tells a simple tale with gentle music. "Old Paint" they classify as a cowboy folksong to which they have added some lyrics to complete the story. There a number of Civil War songs included which movingly recapture a turbulent era, but not always with maudlin thoughts or emotions. Try listening to "Johnson Boys" to see what I mean.

"Green Wood" is not a traditional tune but could well become one. It is written by band member Donna Correll about a true episode in the history of Grayson County, Virginia, and her own family. It tells the sad tale of the last hanging in the area in 1906.

"Waiting There For Me" is another song composed by one of the group, Dale Morris, and as a welcome change from country music it is a "love gone right song." "The Wilderness Road," written by Jimmy Driftwood to communicate history to his students, is an example of music used as it was back in pre-literacy days to tell a tale, put across a moral and educate by entertaining.

There also are some real toe-tapping pieces of fiddle music included on this CD, plus a set of sleeve notes that is both informative and entertaining.

If you like traditional music, good story songs, fiddle music and supporting a strong music culture go out and buy this CD. This is the lifeblood of music and it should be supported, not just to keep the music alive but because it is done so well and with obvious enjoyment.

Wolfe Bros. is made up of a post office clerk, a corrections officer, a librarian and a female Bro who is an administrator.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 1 September 2001

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