Posted by Mike Casey on Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Jonas Friddle and the Majority:
Before listening to this album I read the press release provided with this recording. Informationally, Jonas Friddle and the Majority are a Chicago-based group that plays an interesting and entertaining hybrid music on this 13 song set. 7 of the songs are Jonas Riddle compositions and 6 are from the “traditional” repertoire.
As the instrumentation hints this band takes a rather non-traditional approach to the traditional string band layout and repertoire. The banjo playing of Jonas Friddle is from the Frailing, Clawhammer Old Time tradition of open back banjo playing. His banjo anchors the band’s sound to what they call “orchestral folk.” Jonas Friddle and the Majority have won several song writing and performing awards, one of which was a first place in the 2012 John Lennon Song Writing Contest. They are a very musically talented group indeed.
The band sound features old time banjo, a string section of violin, viola, cello and bass, a keyboard, various horns and drums. The instrumentation and vocal treatments set this CD apart in a musically inventive and creative way. I hear a little bit of the 60’s band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (featuring the Lickettes), “Where’s The Money” and an old White Lightening LP from the 70's that mixed the old time fiddle and banjo greats Byard Ray and Obrey Ramsey with some rock musicians. It is indeed more advanced folk than string band, but there are a lot of strings going on up in there.
That said this CD is full of good music with an inventive and creative twists which judging from their accomplishments and awards have made them many fans. That this band enjoys what they do shows in this their 3rd CD. It was hard for me to choose which of these 13 songs best represent their musical approach, but I especially enjoyed the Jonas Friddle original, “Man Was Made To Fly,” the advanced, "Bully In the Alley” and the traditionally rendered, “Sail Away Ladies.” The other songs on this program are all well written, arranged and performed giving this band a musically solid brand name for good music. Black Eyed Susie kicks off the program and it ends with the title cut, "Use Your Voice." Use your voice indeed. This CD also tweaked my interest in wanting to hear their two earlier CDs, Belle de Louisville (2012) and SyncoPony (2012).
I think anyone looking for some very good, not mainstream, entertaining, professionally performed music will really like this recording.
Have A Good Time,
1 comment on “Review of Jonas Friddle and the Majority: Use Your Voice”
Monday, September 9, 2013 @6:20:47 PM
I love this group! This CD is awesome and I can't listen to it enough!
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