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Album review: In The Moment, by Jane Rothfield

Posted by FiddlerFaddler on Monday, November 5, 2007

This album is a consummate masterpiece that no serious collector of traditional, old-time music should be without.  Every piece is a choice gem.  From their tasteful arrangements to the masterful expressiveness of the musicians, their enthusiasm and love of the music reverberates with every note.

The album features 5 traditional and 12 original tunes (although by now I consider "Nail That Catfish to a Tree" traditional, so it's more like a 6/11 ratio of traditional/original).  Eight of the originals are Jane's, one by her husband Allan Carr, and the balance by friends of Jane, who fiddles on each track, and is joined by others on some tracks for twin fiddling.

12 of the tunes have banjo accompaniment, one of them by Jane herself.  Pete Peterson contributed 3-fingerstyle banjoing on two of the tracks, somehow succeeding in making it sound old-time.  The remaining banjos are frailed, and the balance of the accompaniment features the guitar and double bass.

Jane and Pete add vocals to "Rock That Cradle Joe" and "Free Little Bird."  The vivaciousness of the vocals matches the vibrancy of the instruments to accentuate the old-timeyness of the album.  The balance of the tracks are purely instrumental.

Jane is a musician from the womb, she and her siblings being the third musically gifted generation of her family.  This pedigree is evident by her drop-dead gorgeous tone and her soulful expressiveness.  Her playing is the highwater mark of what a fiddle can and should sound like.

For more information and to listen to some of the tracks, see the musical posts of "Janerothfield" or Jane's website at www.janerothfield.com.  You may also listen to the tracks at www.cdbaby.com, from which I ordered my copy of the CD.

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