Let me start off by saying that if I want to hear some exceptional fiddle playing this album has it.
A Thousand Years at Sea is a group that incorporates Celtic, folk, rock, West African rhythms and even some jazz and funk to combine for a very exciting musical experience. The backbone behind the project is Colin Cotter and Ethan Lewis who are the singers, songwriters and well as the fiddlers. Joining them on drums and djembe is Isaac James who contributes a lot of creative percussive elements to the mix.
Their recent album The Stillness Here was all about the music for me. Don’t get me wrong the vocals are good but they kind of take a back seat to the instruments on a majority of the songs.
The album starts off with an instrumental track and possibly the highlight of the album for me called “Jungle Juice.” To put it lightly the boys tear it up. The fiddle is all over the place and sounds like a bird exploring the vast possibilities of flight. It unleashes a ball of energy but it wouldn't be complete without the stellar piano work and drumming, which stood out to me. “While The World Turns To Stand” is another solid song with unreal piano and fiddle playing. Unfortunately, the vocal melody didn’t grab me as much as the instruments. However, this changed when I listened to the title track “The Stillness Here,” which is a slower song but lets the vocals breathe a bit more. I felt the vocal work sounded better when coated with nostalgia and melancholy. The vocalist sounded a bit like a combination between John Denver and Cat Steven on this track – I liked it.
“Orchard Street” is another fast paced instrumental track that is a joy to listen to. Not to my surprise the fiddle and piano was exceptional but I also enjoyed the bongos provided by James.
The highlights on this album were the fast paced energy-filled instrumental tracks and the contrasting slower heartfelt moments. Overall, the album has very few flaws and showcases some exceptional musicians being mighty creative.
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