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STRING TRIOS! April Verch: The Newpart, Ameranouche: Sun Shine Soul

Piano trios get more press, but string trios actually have been around much longer. Here are a pair of them, coming from divergent parts of town.

Violinist April Verch comes from a bluegrass and folk styled approach here and teams with Cody Walters/b-banj and Hayes Griffin/g-mand with tunes that bring back moods from vaudeville and the turn of the Century. Material such as “If YOU Hadn’t Gone Away” and “Montana Call” have Verch’s violin sway with a wondrous two beat backing, while “Dry Bones” is a care free violin and vocal excursion. More traditional folk sounds take you on a sentimental journey during “Polska From KUmla” and “Midnight Serenade” while the rhythm team gets you on your toes on the tricky “Stern Wheeler.” A great mix of Cumberland Gap and Tin Pan Alley.

Richard Sheppard/g-voc, Michael Harrist/b-voc and Jack Soref/g take you to the Hot Club of France and beyond on this irresistibly swinging album finger picking goodness. Traditional gypsy tunes such as “Clair De Lune” has the band adding a bit of modern flavors, while “Mor My Old Home” makes you feel you’re part of the evening caravan. A wild Turkish dance has the rhythm going to fever pitch on “Hicaz Mandira” but what get’s your attention is a wonderful take of The Spinners’ “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” that mixes Philly soul with the heart of a bohemian. This disc is a celebration of all things stringed that swing.