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CD Reviews of "If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed"

Posted by Hunter Robertson on Thursday, May 13, 2010

 My last CD, If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed, recorded with fiddler Casey Joe Abair, has been getting some nice reviews over the last few months. Here some are!

 From the Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association's Bluegrass Blabber

“Casey Joe Abair & Hunter Robertson, If You Want to Go to Sleep, Go to Bed ( Hot old-timey fiddle and banjo. Seventeen knock-yer-socks-off numbers. These guys are not kidding around!”  -  Mitch Finley, Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association’s Bluegrass Blabber

From Trad Magazine (No. 129, Jan-Feb 2010):

"'If you want to go to sleep, go to bed' was banjo player Charlie Lowe's reply to those who found that he played too fast. I loved Hunter Robertson's first CD, Songs for the Masses, I like this one even more. Playing in this combination of just fiddle and banjo is a difficult and dangerous exercise. Hunter and Casey succeed magnificently. The two instruments intertwine and respond to each other. A real pleasure. You can't help but think of the duo of Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham. The choice of pieces is excellent: classics (June Apple, Old Joe Clark, Sail Away Ladies) and some surprises, unknown or little known versions (like Fort Smith Breakdown or Hog Eyed Man). Hunter sings with a voice as rough as you could wish for, supported by the very pure voice of his wife Féréale on three pieces, including the very beautiful "I Truly Understand". A superb album, recommended to French old-time music fans."

Claude also included the album in his Trad Magazine list of the 5 best albums of the year (Thanks a lot Claude!). "Hunter Robertson's second opus, this time in the company of a fiddler, revisiting the banjo/fiddle repertory. Certainly one of the best current CDs of old-time music." (my translations) - Claude Vue for Trad Magazine
From Maverick Magazine

"Fast-paced picking carried off in such a confident and prolific way that simply leaves you gob smacked.
This being his second release, the Californian-born but now French native Hunter Robertson really is something. Consisting of seventeen songs, it is evident from this raw and unadulterated beauty that what we have here, ladies and gentleman, are some ultra fine musicians playing their hearts out. This type of music is at its finest when played live and untouched, and I suspect that this was the case here as, after Hunter’s superlative efforts on banjo and Casey’s fine fiddling, they just played it until they got it right and pressed it onto disc.  
The finest track has to be The Devil’s Dream. Perfect for The Louisiana Hayride when it was in full swing, this relatively short track of less than two and a half minutes is perfect in every sense. Whether it be the excellent banjo or superb fiddling, there is nothing to dislike about this track. The same can certainly be said about June Apple. A moderate fiddling pace, this tune has a relaxed bluegrass sound which I’m sure allows the crowd to show their appreciation in rapturous applause; a track which is not one to dance to as when Casey and Hunter play like this such an occasion has to be watched. 
An experience to relish, listening to this album sure was a most enjoyable time. A highly recommended album which I strongly urge you to try and track down. Russell Hill"

From Germany's FolkWorld

“…Casey Joe Abair and Hunter Robertson take it a totally different way. Their music on banjo, violin and vocals is energetic and raw. The banjo sounds occasionally like a wild storm and impresses in combination with Robertson’s raw and heavy voice. I like the way this duo totally give themselves to the music. They keep the ancient soul of the compositions and force me to listen to their music with superb music and compositions in which the musicians search for the outer limits of their possibilities and have the guts to ignore standard conventions. I appreciate that and the result is an album with good old banjo/violin music that both sounds like it’s decades old and modern at the same time.”  -  Eelco Schilder for FolkWorld
From Acoustic Magazine (issue 38):

Named after a favorite saying of banjo player Charlie Lowe, Abair and Robertson present a collection of old time material.
The vocals are surprising, as Robertson, featured on the cover, doesn’t look like that sort whiskey-and-cigarettes voice should come out of, and are addictive, especially on I Truly Understand and the well known but speedy version of Old Joe Clark. The real charm in this album is that although the musicians work tightly together, it sounds like it was recorded in someone’s back yard. There’s nothing not to like here; the musicianship is excellent, the rhythm infectious and the style abundant. As the title suggests, it’s not for the tired. - 
Kate Lewis


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