Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Road Trip Music visits Connecticut

The varied landscapes of Connecticut are the location for a look at a fine recording from the Connecticut based band Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem: Big Old Life

From the lively burst of hope that opens the collection to the clear eyed and still hopeful look at resilience which closes it, Rani Arbo and the men of daisy mayhem offer a refreshing, invigorating, and thoughtful journey. The hope and joy they speak of is not necessarily hard won. Sometimes it's just spontaneous, like laughing at a wildflower or admiring an extravagance of stars -- that's the being ready for joy to return in the opener, as well as the learned hope they speak of at the close. But it's all life, and as Arbo's original title track would suggest, the hard knocks and that field of stars are each as much a part of it. Fitting right in with this is Bob Dylan's fractured image journey of Farewell Angelina and Anand Nayak's existential (maybe) slice of philosophy on What's That.

That's just talking about ideas, too -- no small part of any daisy mayhem project, to be sure. But the four have been together more than eight years now as a band playing some fairly off the mainstream music, and the connection and compassion among them is clear musically as well as lyrically. Each of them sings, with Arbo most often taking lead. She's also the fiddler in the group, while Scott Kessel handles percussion from the home made Drumship Enterprise to the drum kit, Andrew Kinsey plays bass, and Nayak is the guitarist in the group. Listen to it for the words, listen to it for the voices, listen to it for the stories, listen to it for the melodies but most of all, just listen.

The band has just released a children's album too.

for a taste of the band live, take a look at the video in this post
rani arbo & daisy mayhem: house be blessed

This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I originally partnered up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’d find there. The Library is closed now, but I think you will still find the journeys through music interesting.

you may also wish to see

Aoife Clancy: Silvery Moon

Voices: Carrie Newcomer: faith and laughter

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