All Around the Mountain
Tom Akstens and Neil Rossi are both multi-instrumentalists, singers and songwriters who have explored the nooks and crannies of old-time country music, country ragtime and honky-tonk for four decades. Their new album, All Around the Mountain, was recorded at four concerts throughout the Adirondacks. Tom and Neil had their first gig together in high school as part of 'Hootenanny '63'-a touring revue that featured the Jug Band and Tom Rush. Neil went on to fiddle with the Spark Gap Wonder Boys, world champion old-time string band at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention. Tom moved to Philadelphia, where he joined Blues Power as a guitarist and singer. Tom and Neil had their first musical reunion during the sessions for Tom's 1976 album on Takoma Records. By then, Neil was a regular member of the David Bromberg Band (that's Neil fiddling and singing harmony on David's recording of Bob Dylan's 'Wallflower'). For the next few years, Tom and Neil got together often to play college concerts and coffeehouses. Neil's love of traditional bluegrass led him to gigs as fiddler with the Yankee Rebels, the Joint Chiefs of Bluegrass and (most recently) as mandolin player with Vermont-based Big Spike Bluegrass. Tom is currently plays mandolin, guitar and clawhammer banjo with Big Trout Radio, an acoustic trio that also features Artie Traum and Chris Shaw. This new album and current series of concerts marks another musical reunion of two friends who came out of the folk revival of the 1960s and have gone on to make their own unique musical statements. It's an irresistible mix of old-time string band music, roadhouse tear-jerkers, country blues and ragtime, original songs and back-porch humor from two guys that Sarah Craig of Caffe Lena has called 'masters of their craft.' Selected discography: All Around the Mountain (Snowshoe) Big Trout Radio (Twining Tree) Big Spike (Corduroy Road) Tom Akstens: 25th Anniversary Edition (Slice of Life) Blue Line Boogaloo (Snowshoe) Spark Gap Wonder Boys (Rounder) Tom Akstens (Takoma) The Player: David Bromberg Retrospective (Fantasy)
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