In the world of bluegrass music, tradition is king. This makes Grammy-winning mandolin player John Reischman’s 2013 release Walk Along John something unique: an album of twelve Reischman originals, two covers and a collection of neo-traditional tunes.
The roots-music tastemakers at No Depression magazine say “For as much as I love all of those classic old tunes, it’s such a pleasure to hear Reischman honor the genre by writing songs that reflect his own experiences …”
“I love old-time music,” Reischman tells EW via email, “and I know a lot of the traditional tunes, but writing originals has been a part of my musical expression.”
Whether solo or with his band The Jaybirds, Reischman is known as a dexterous, subtle and expressive player. Walk Along John’s “Walk Along John to Kansas” is a jubilant dance tune. A sweetly creaking fiddle joins Reischman’s warm mandolin like a future holiday classic, a song for cheering yourself up ’round a fire on a chilly autumn evening.
And while most of Walk Along John is original, much of it has the gravitas of traditional bluegrass and authentic mountain music. “It was fun to come up with some new tunes that hopefully sound authentic,” Reischman explains. You can almost imagine the somber introduction to “Little Maggie” as the movie soundtrack to two lovers separated by the Civil War. And “Ice on the Dogwater” has the urgency of Old World industry and ingenuity.
John Reischman and New York’s roots wife-husband duo the Pine Siskins play a house concert at 7 pm Sunday, Nov. 23, at 755 River Rd.; $15-$20 sliding scale, all-ages. Contact Mike Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.