Skip, Hop & Wobble

Book Card  -  Volume 30  -  Book Review Number 3  -  Sun, Dec 12, 1993 9:36 PM

TITLE: Skip, Hop & Wobble
AUTHOR: Douglas, Barenberg & Meyer

This is a record review. Well, OK, it's a CD review, to be precise. Anyway, it has nothing much to do with books, but I'm listening to the thing while I write this review, and it's good. That's the gist of the review, so you really don't need to read any farther.

Jerry Douglas is the best living dobro player. Edgar Meyer is - arguably, I guess - the best living acoustic bass player. Russ Barenberg is just a very good acoustic guitarist. They are all composers. What happens when the three of them get together to record a CD? Nothing that's easy to characterize, that's for sure.

What you get, I guess, is a sort of "new acoustic" music. It's certainly not "new age", nor is it classical, jazz, or bluegrass, though elements of the last three are all evident. It's also music with a sense of humor, and to prove my point I present the liner notes for track 3, "The Hymn of Ordinary Motion":

"'The Hymn of Ordinary Motion' came together in the studio as a combination of a tune Jerry had written and one Russ had written. At first the tunes seemed to work well as a medley, but we discovered they worked best if we used only half of Russ's tune as a bridge in the middle of Jerry's. Unfortunately, this left the unused portion of Russ's tune writhing like the remains of a garden-spaded earthworm and condemned it to wander the universe pathetically in search of a wholeness it may never again know. We borrowed the title from the beautiful writing of Emily Hiestand. (The Very Rich Hours, Beacon Press, 1992)

There. SeewhutImean? But you'll just have to listen to this stuff to really find out if you like it. If it is your cup of tea, consider that Jerry Douglas has half-a-dozen prior albums out, ranging from good to very good, and Edgar Meyer has four prior albums, ranging from very good to outrageously good. 'Nuff said.