2019 album. Bluegrass.
Our Overview.Netherlands based bluegrass quintet The Oldtime Stringband are back after a hiatus of three years and we’re absolutely delighted to share their fabulous new album - their self-published and 4th release - ‘Pretty Little Horses’ the follow up to 2016’s ‘Cat’s Got The Measles’, encompassing tracks that are positively bursting with toe tappin’, old-time fiddlin’ tunes guaranteed to put a jig in your step, a smile on your face and a twang in your heart!
‘Pretty Little Horses’ is a dynamic album of full of modern bluegrass and tracks well-rooted in traditions or as the band puts it “proves that The Oldtime Stringband does what they like to do”. Whether they’re staples of the bluegrass repertoire, resurrected rarities or original penned songs, what each has in common is an incomparable authenticity, delivered by musicians with close harmonies, combined with gorgeous acoustic instrumentation which results in music that is warm, honest and captivating. The album was recorded in the studio of the renowned dutch singer songwriter Tim Knol, who owns a studio in the heart of his hometown Hoorn. Tim also took the helm for the sound engineering and album production.
The 8 track album kicks off with the old Appalachian tune “Cluck Ol Hen”, first recorded by Fiddlin’ John Carson, in 1923, sung here with the appropriate whooping by Shelly O’Day (Guitar, autoharp). They follow through and have some fun with Ruud Spil (Banjo) singing “Old Yellow Dog”, a tune which is known to have been used (with different lyrics) as a campaign song for Abraham Lincoln. The album’s title track “All The Pretty Little Horses” is an old American lullaby which is beautifully sung by Shelly and Lidewij de Vries (Fiddle). Following the instrumental tune ‘White Face, written by violin maker Joe Thrift, Lidewij steps up to sing the Papa Charlie Jackson song “Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine”, recently covered by Carolina Chocolate Drops. Double bassman Nico Druijf tackles “Old Man At The Mill” which was first covered by The Dillards in 1963 (Doug Dillard would go on to record two albums with Gene Clark). “I Truly Understand”, another traditional - best known as covered by Jerry Garcia - is sung by Ruud. The album wraps up with a gorgeous rendition of “Long Black Veil”, originally recorded by Lefty Frizzell but later covered by a long list of artists from the likes of Johnny Cash, The Band, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, and many more, sung with delicacy by Shelly and Nico.
The Band (originally a sextet) got together in 2011 specifically to provide musical accompaniment to a documentary about the Dutch cow-painter Ruud Spil. Both the musicians and the audience enjoyed it so much that the band started what they called “a stampede of interest”, resulting in the collective self-producing their first album ‘Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Around’ 2012. Since forming the group: current line up - Shelly O’Day: Guitar, autoharp, Cajun-triangle. Ton Knol: Guitar, mandolin. Ruud Spil: Banjo. Lidewij de Vries: Fiddle. Nico Druijf: Upright bass, singing saw - have performed extensively in the Netherlands and toured in America and Europe. So be sure to see them live if you get the chance you will not be disappointed as they’re a treat for Bluegrass fans old and new.
Also available on CD from The Oldtime Stringband: 'Chicken Crows For Day' (2014).