Flame Keeper

Flame Keeper

by Michael Cleveland
     
 

Barely out of his teens, fiddle phenom Mike Cleveland has been electrifying bluegrass fans since 2000 as a member of Rhonda Vincent's super band, the Rage. On his second solo album (the first being 1998's self-released Sawing on the C String), Cleveland doesn't so much step out as blend in; that is, he shows off hisSee more details below

Overview

Barely out of his teens, fiddle phenom Mike Cleveland has been electrifying bluegrass fans since 2000 as a member of Rhonda Vincent's super band, the Rage. On his second solo album (the first being 1998's self-released Sawing on the C String), Cleveland doesn't so much step out as blend in; that is, he shows off his extraordinary technical skill and ebullient spirit while never forgetting the formidable ensemble behind him. A traditionalist who sticks to the timeless templates of bluegrass songs and arrangements, Cleveland's solos move forward and backward at the same time. The traditional "Rye Straw" is one of the few cuts where Cleveland completely takes over, his breathtaking soloing dominating the backing instruments in a tour de force of speed and precision. Elsewhere, the feisty fiddler lets his supporting cast make their own striking statements. Audie Blaylock, from the Rage, provides solid rhythm guitar support and soulful lead vocals, most notably on Bill Monroe's stirring "Six Feet Under" (one of three Monroe-penned songs here). And that keening high voice adding parenthetical urgency to Jimmy Martin's rousing gospel number, "Prayer Bells of Heaven," is none other than Cleveland's former boss, Rhonda Vincent. But Flame Keeper is about the telepathic instrumental interplay between Cleveland, Blaylock, mandolinist Jesse Brock, and bassist Jason Moore. Although the virtuosity is stunning at every turn, Cleveland and company always remember to imbue their work with infectious spirit and great heart as well, making each song the perfect embodiment of Mike Cleveland himself. This fellow is a gem, and so is his album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2002
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0682161049427
catalogNumber:
10494
Rank:
174671

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Dance Around Molly  - Michael Cleveland
  2. Six Feet Under the Ground  - Michael Cleveland
  3. North Carolina Breakdown  - Michael Cleveland
  4. Lost Indian  - Michael Cleveland
  5. Prayer Bells of Heaven  - Michael Cleveland
  6. Blue Violet  - Michael Cleveland
  7. Rye Straw  - Michael Cleveland
  8. Too Late to Walk the Floor  - Michael Cleveland
  9. Virginia Darling  - Michael Cleveland
  10. Will You Be Satisfied That Way  - Michael Cleveland
  11. Bear Creek Hop  - Michael Cleveland
  12. Goodbye Old Pal  - Michael Cleveland
  13. Two O'Clock in the Morning  - Michael Cleveland
  14. Shenandoah Waltz  - Michael Cleveland
  15. Lee Highway Blues  - Michael Cleveland

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Album Credits

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