Ever hear of John Reischman?

By Joe Ross - rossjoe@hotmail.com - Posted November 22, 2002

Hi, I hope you'll check out some of John Reischman's albums if you don't have them already. He's a great mandolin player who lives up here in the Great NW...in Vancouver, B.C. actually. Pique on, Joe Ross

Cassette Tape - No Label

JOHN REISCHMAN - Up in the Woods
Corvus Records CD-006
Corvus Records, PO Box 19655, Centre Point Postal Outlet, Vancouver, BC V5T 4 E7 Canada, Tel. (604)251-7655 or email: reischman@shaw.ca

JOHN REISCHMAN and the Jaybirds - JOHN REISCHMAN and the Jaybirds
Corvus Records CD-008
Corvus Records, PO Box 19655, Centre Point Postal Outlet, Vancouver, BC V5T 4 E7 Canada
Distributed by Copper Creek Records, PO Box 3161, Roanoke, VA. 24015

The eclectic John Reischman is simply one of my favorite mandolin players at present. He is considered a "Mando Monster". The variety on these three recent projects above demonstrate why. The versatile Reischman wrote two originals ("Choro for Shadow" and "Damien Miley") which open and close this evocative project with John Miller called "The Singing Moon." Seven original instrumental offerings from finger-style guitarist John Miller, and one written by Bittencourt, fill out this album of rawboned guitar and mandolin on original Latin and jazz-inspired tunes. Sometimes, a listener just wants a smooth, dreamy, clean picked and relaxing sound. I found "The Singing Moon" to be just the answer for a morning or afternoon rush hour commute. Miller and Reischman's music together is truly a delight.
           The songwriting and instrumental skills of John Reischman really shine when he collaborates with other top-notch musicians on the all-original project, "Up In The Woods." Nearly 40 minutes of a beautiful musical virtuostic tapestry are presented with Todd Phillips (bass), Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Jim Nunally (Guitar), Dennis Caplinger (banjo, fiddle), Scott Nygaard (guitar), Nick Hornbuckle (banjo), Rob Ickes (dobro), Kathy Kallick (guitar), and John Miller (guitar). If you like tone, clarity and dynamics in your instrumental music, then this album is for you. Reischman clearly draws his inspiration from such mandolinists as Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Frank Wakefield, David Grisman, Jethro Burns and Andy Statman. While he is a master of many styles, Reischman clearly emphasizes the bluegrass and old-time feeling on "Up In The Woods." This highly-recommended album is one that you can listen to over and over without ever tiring of it. While each tune has its own story, I was particularly impressed with the overall feeling that I was left with when the last few measures of track 12 "Greenwood" came to an end. I just felt like spinning the entire album again.
           Reischman's most recent project, "John Reischman and the Jaybirds" brings him back to his bluegrass roots with a full band that also includes hot pickers Jim Nunally (guitar), Nick Hornbuckle (banjo), Greg Spatz (fiddle) and Trisha Gagnon (bass). The Jaybirds' contemporary bluegrass sound is largely due to their emphasis on innovative originals, unique personal arrangements of traditional songs, and their instrumental prowess. John's progressive, yet old-timey flavored, instrumental composition, "Salt Spring" opens the album. Their interpretation of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' haunting "Winter's Come and Gone" follows with a beautiful duo of John on lead and Trisha on tenor. The album weaves its way through songs which feature the lead singing of Trisha, John or Jim. Trisha Gagnon sings powerful leads on "My Home Far Away," "Come With Me," "Bravest Cowboy", and one of my favorites on the album entitled "Blossoms on the Almond Tree". Jim sings lead on the hard-driving bluegrassy "Don't Wake Me Up" and Ralph Stanley/Bill Grant song, "Medicine Springs." Besides the Welch/Rawlings song mentioned above, John also sings a smooth lead with Trisha on tenor on a duet of "Katy Dear."   Other original instrumentals on the album include "Poisoning the Well", the bouncy "Jaybird Ramble" and "Prairie Girl". The old-timey "Booth Shot Lincoln" really allows Spatz and Hornbuckle to shine on fiddle and banjo. In a clear tribute to up-tempo old-time fiddling and picking, the traditional "Hog Eye" brings this highly-recommended album to a wonderful and fitting closure. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes folky, sometimes hard-edged, sometimes haunting, John Reischman and the Jaybirds can be counted on for a powerful, dynamic and fresh presentation that you will receive much pleasure and enjoyment from. And be sure to catch this band live if you can. (Joe Ross)
You can hear John Reischman at http://www.festival.bc.ca/corvus/johnr/.

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