Bronwyn Keith-Hynes - fiddler's pastime
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fiddler's pastime (Sugar Petunia Records, 2020)

Bronwyn Keith-Hynes

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

The debut solo release from bluegrass fiddler and Mile Twelve member Bronwyn Keith-Hynes is a largely instrumental effort along with several notable vocal contributions from such friends as Tim O'Brien and Sarah Jarosz. Keith-Hynes composed four original instrumentals including the opening up-tempo "Hendersonville Hop," which spotlights not only her fiddle prowess, but serves up some hot picking from Harry Clark (mandolin) and Jake Stargel (guitar). Even more ferocious is "Open Water" on which Sierra Hull shines on mandolin, while "North Garden" and "Michelle's Waltz" nicely display Keith-Hynes' mellow side.

Of the instrumental covers most impressive is the title track on which Keith-Hynes trades licks with fellow fiddler Laura Orshaw (Po Ramblin' Boys) on the Bill Monroe/Vassar Clements classic.

O'Brien contributes "The Minstrel Boy," an effective Old Time sounding rendition of the traditional Irish folk song by Thomas Moore. O'Brien also adds pleasant harmonies to a pair of country tunes sung by James Kee with "Hello Trouble," the Orville Couch/Eddie McDuff tune made famous by Buck Owens, and Alton Delmore's "I Don't Know Why." Perhaps the strongest vocal track is Jarosz's soulful take on Peter Rowan's "Last Train," while Chris Eldridge delivers a smooth, sweet vocal on John Hartford's "Natchez Whistle."

Tastefully produced by Wes Corbett (banjo) the instrumentation is solid throughout fueled by Keith-Hynes' fiddle. After six years of touring and recording with the Boston-based bluegrass band Mile Twelve, the strong compositions, nicely chosen covers and stellar performances of "Fiddler's Pastime" reveal Bronwyn Keith-Hynes to be a promising, up-and-coming artist.

CDs by Bronwyn Keith-Hynes

fiddler's pastime, 2020

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