Patuxent Partners - Seven Or Eleven

Patuxent Partners - Seven Or Eleven

PATUXENT PARTNERS
SEVEN OR ELEVEN
Patuxent Music
CD-185

The greater Washington, D.C., area was once heralded as the mecca of bluegrass. Great bands including the Country Gentlemen and Seldom Scene, as well as artist Buzz Busby called the area home. You could go to car lots and see Reno & Smiley, the Stanley Brothers, or Charlie Moore perform. The clubs that booked bluegrass were legendary, and the range of music styles was exciting. Bluegrass was on tv and drive-time radio. The region surrounding the greater D.C.-area is still rife with bluegrass in all sorts of places. Great pickers, bands, and events still happen frequently. The Patuxent Partners are long-standing members of this community and their style reflects the great diversity that has always marked the music that’s indigenous to the area.

Opening with a strong honky-tonk number with mandolin and banjo playing twin lines, they move into Buzz Busby’s “Where Will This End?,” nailing the three-part harmony. Tearing into the original instrumental “Kildare,” Tom Mindte’s mandolin goes over the top in some sort of virtuosic ecstasy. John Braunschwyler’s banjo shines throughout with a full tone and inventive licks and fills. Jack Leiderman is a fiddler’s fiddler. His take on the Kenny Baker standard “Washington County” stands up to the bench mark set by that legendary master. Leiderman’s soulful introduction to Mindte’s “From The Gutter To The Grave” forebodes the sorry plight of the drunkard, a theme long held forth in the bluegrass canon.

Drawing from a wide range of well-known songwriters, the material is all first rate without being overdone. The playing by all members is accomplished, and the vocals are solid. They get to the core of the song, as in Scotty Stoneman’s “Heartaches Keep On Coming.” This is a band to watch. They’ll be attracting more attention if they continue to present such fine bluegrass. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.) RCB