Republic of Strings

Republic of Strings

by Darol AngerDarol Anger


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The American Fiddle Ensemble is the latest project put together by eminent neo-trad fiddler Darol Anger, whose long resumé includes illustrious stints with the David Grisman Quintet and the Turtle Island String Quartet and has encompassed bluegrass, old-timey music, swinging acoustic jazz, and classical music. In addition to Anger, this group includes the jaw-droppingly virtuosic guitarist Scott Nygaard, fiddler Brittany Haas, and cellists Natalie Haas and Rushad Eggleston. The repertoire on Republic of Strings is just as varied as the ensemble's instrumentation: there are Appalachian fiddle tunes, of course, including the classic Bill Monroe composition "Old Dangerfield" and the traditional "Grigsby's Hornpipe," but most of the album draws on more exotic material, such as a gorgeous Finnish tune called "Sand" and an equally attractive Lebanese piece entitled "Ouditarus Rez." Nickel Creek vocalist Sara Watkins makes an appearance on an unusual arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground"; the group's setting of that Motown classic is very insightfully arranged -- not funky at all, but gently propulsive nevertheless. A gamble that pays off less well is their rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Help Me," which falls rather flat despite being nicely sung by Laurie Lewis. They have the intelligence and taste to take "Grigsby's Hornpipe" rather slowly, but give the Brazilian choro "Andre de Sabato Nuovo" a spirited, swinging attack. Very nice overall.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/2004
Label: Compass Records
UPC: 0766397437224
catalogNumber: 974372
Rank: 121967


  1. Lost in the Loop
  2. Higher Ground (Detroit)
  3. Grigsby's Hornpipe (Appalachia)
  4. Old Dangerfield
  5. Help Me (Los Angeles)
  6. Andre de Sabato Nuovo (Brazil)
  7. Sneezin' (Manhattan)
  8. Ouditarus Rez (Beirut)
  9. Where to Now?
  10. Afro Suite: Evening Prelude (California)
  11. Evening Prayer Blues (Mississippi)
  12. Dzinomwa Muna Save (Africa)
  13. Sand (Finland)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Darol Anger   Primary Artist,Fiddle,Mandolin,Violin,Baritone Violin
Laurie Lewis   Vocals
Scott Nygaard   Guitar
Sara Watkins   Vocals
Todd Sickafoose   Double Bass,String Bass
Rushad Eggleston   Cello
Brittany Haas   Fiddle
Natalie Haas   Cello
Britanny Haas   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Scott Nygaard   Arranger,Composer
Darol Anger   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
J.R. Mitchell   Composer
Jim Nunally   Engineer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
D. Bailey   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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