The Best in Acoustic Music Performance

Clifftop Notes Vol. 2 - Big Ears

Mark Simos


Clifftop Notes Vol. 2 - Big Ears is the final CD in a groundbreaking trilogy of traditional and original old-time fiddle tunes by acclaimed roots songwriter, fiddler and tunesmith Mark Simos. The trilogy is a tribute to old-time music's Mecca--the Appalachian String Band Music Festival held each summer at Clifftop, West Virginia. The all-instrumental triptych of recordings features Simos on fiddle with his band the Cliffhangers and other friends from the festival. The Cliffhangers: On the Edge (5SP06004, released Aug 2006) features the Cliffhanger's distinctive renditions of traditional old-time tunes, drawn largely from Kentucky and West Virginia solo fiddlers' repertoire. Clifftop Notes Vol. 1 (5SP06005, also released Aug 2006) and the new Clifftop Notes Vol. 2 - Big Ears release present a selection from more than a decade's worth of "original old-time" tunes composed by Simos at the Clifftop festival, many written "on the spot" in the midst of late-night sessions with the Cliffhangers and others.

Virtuouso fiddler Darol Anger says of the project: "Here is not an oxymoron but a combination full of charm and challenge: modern old-time music. Like all great old-time music, it surges and breaks like the waves of the sea, as layers of groove advance and recede."

Songwriter Tim O'Brien says the CDs "pay loving tribute to that mysterious Appalachian sound. Between the lines you hear both the roots as well as the fruits of Mark's inspiration."

Musicians on this CD are: Mark Simos, fiddle; Rich Hartness, fiddle & guitar; Brendan Doyle, 5-string banjo; Maxine Gerber, 5-string banjo; Jody Platt, tenor guitar; Rusty Neithammer, guitar; Karen Falkowski, bass; Deborah (Tolly) Tollefson, bass; Edwin Wilson, guitar & banjo-uke.

Track Listing