Combining top-shelf acoustic playing with an angling theme, Fishing Music: A Collection of Acoustic Folk, Blues & Swing is a platter that plays well in warm-weather months. Producers Ben Winship and David Thompson assembled some of the masters of Americana to extol the simple delights of grabbing a pole and line and heading down to the fishing hole: Tim O'Brien, bluegrass flymen David Grier and Matt Flinner and a host of other accomplished artists from the acoustic scene all make contributions.
Plumbing the melody-rich waters of several genres, the release includes takes on material by Django Reinhardt, Taj Mahal, Duke Ellington and Peggy Lee, as well as a swing/jazz riff on the Andy Griffith theme (yep, the whistling ditty) and several traditional offerings. Philosophical lyrics underlie the Tim Bays-penned "The Important Part of Fishing" (with vocals by Denver's Mollie O'Brien), while a gypsified melody colors Reinhardt's "Fly Fishing (Peche a la Mouche)." Winship, Thompson and Lowell reel in some sprightly bluegrass on "Madison Brown," and Mike Dowling gives a reading of the classic folk/blues ode to swift water, "Deep River Blues."
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Fishing Music is a joyous celebration of music, nature and the simple pleasures of casting a line. You just might want to grab a six-pack before digging in.