Michael Cleveland plots solo release
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
– Jessie Baker, banjo man for Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, is working on his first solo project. The yet-to-be titled CD is an all instrumental effort that features Baker on banjo, Dudley Connell on guitar, David McLaughlin on mandolin and fellow band-mates Michael Cleveland on fiddle and Marshall Wilborn on bass.
"Playing rhythm guitar under Jessie Baker's right-hand banjo roll brings to mind three words...three words? ," Connell said. "Yes, three words. Duck and cover! Jessie's note choices and sheer driving banjo style is uncompromising and takes no prisoners. So, buy this CD, crank up the volume, then duck and cover. It's an awesome experience."
The CD will be released later this year on Patuxent Music.
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CD reviews for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
Unlike previous Flamekeeper releases, there are few bluegrass household names associated with "On Down the Line." Only co-producer Jeff White has been with Michael Cleveland since the 2002 Rounder Records debut that gave Cleveland's band its name. "On Down the Line's" personnel reflects an evolving band that has solidified over three years. Glenn Gibson (banjo and reso) has been with Cleveland for three years, while both Tyler Griffith (bass) and Nathan Livers ...
Some CDs labeled "bluegrass" are like powdered eggs and turkey bacon: they just don't hit the mark. If it's a Michael Cleveland CD then you know it will be the real deal. "Flamekeeper" is centered on Cleveland and his fabulous talent on the fiddle (and other instruments, too). Other Flamekeeper members are Tom Adams (Blue Highway, Johnson Mountain Boys) on guitar and lead vocals, Marshall Willborn (Lynn Morris Band) on bass, Jessie Brock on mandolin and Jessie Baker ...
Fans of hard-driving bluegrass with some modern country influences will really like Michael Cleveland and Famekeeper. It's a no-bones-about-it, in-your-face bluegrass effort with tight rhythms and fast picking.
The CD kicks off with the fast driving "Sold Down the River," which is joined by "Troubles 'Round My Door" and the title track. These tunes showcase a fast paced traditional bluegrass sound with tight instrumentals and clear lyrics.
"My Blue Eyed ...