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Where Purchased: Tim Custer direct
“Package in the mail for you.” I opened the big envelope that Tim Custer so kindly had sent me. The two Mountain Therapy CD's in it quickly found their way to the DVD player, I had heard a couple of Tim's tracks on his Hangout homepage earlier so I knew I'd be in for a treat.
After the first few seconds it became clear that “treat” was an understatement because the first thing that hit me: the tracks were not simply “please-let-us-get-through-them” renditions; these were complete arrangements bonding a group of top notch musicians into a unison you don't often get to experience.
The first CD I played was Mountain Therapy, Natural Blend. Lonnie Wellman provides a solid and tasteful guitar with just the right accents at the right places to spice up the rhythm. Marsha Wellman sees to it that the bass goes can do more than boom chicke boom. Wes Homner delivered beautiful and melodious sounds on the mandolin. Tim Custer's banjo playing was all over the place: happy, exiting, sad, sparky, dreamy and anywhere in between and then some. Vocals, simple, all of them sing. Marsha Wellman does an outstanding job. Highlights of Natural Blend to me were He Rode All the Way to Texas, Stolen Identity and Blood Stained Trail.
The second CD, Looking Back, featured Mark Miracle on the mandolin and his Jump and Stumble tune is sure to stump and fumble those trying to learn play this great instrumental. As a proper banjoey I was of course looking forward to Tim Custer's break in answer to Mark's challenge. Murmers of amazement, talk about banjo playing. Yeah, OK, so Tim, I'm going to need to a picture of your hands cause as near as I can tell you must have at least seven fingers on each. . . Highlights, besides Jump and Stumble - My Heart's Bouquet, Over the Rainbow and – heck with it, both CD's, they're all highlights.
All in all, tastefully real bluegrass. Check Tim Custer's Hangout page to listen to his music files and to find out how/where to order your own copies:
Overall Rating: 10
'Grandfather's Clock ' 36 min
'Molly&Tenbrooks' 2 hrs
'Martin Vega...' 4 hrs
'Heart of Gold' 4 hrs