Thursday, November 22, 2007

11. Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band: The Gift
Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band, have a very distinct sound -- it’s bluegrass, but it’s also folk and rock and country and jazz fact, they describe their sound as “Post Hee Haw - Funkadelic - Hip Hop - Newgrass”. That pretty much covers it. This is mostly a fun album (if you ever get a chance to see these guys in concert, they are as much fun to watch as they are to listen to), with bluegrass treatments of many Christmas favorites -- “Rudolph”, “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night”, and a really cool version of “Carol of the Bells” -- with no bells. The really great songs on this album are original -- “The Gift” (which is sort of a take on “O Come all ye Faithful”) and the unusual -- “Far Far Away” -- which is an original sound for a lesser known Mormon Christmas hymn, “Far Far Away on Judea’s Plain”. The music on this CD is very rich (these guys are close friends of, and often perform with Peter Breinholt) -- banjo, guitar, and Ryan Shupe’s specialty - the fiddle (or violin, if he plays it slower -- yes that is the only difference -- I don’t care what your high school music teacher said.)

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