Flame Keeper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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: 2/19/2002
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 682161049427
  • Catalog Number: 10494
  • Sales rank: 161,795

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael Cleveland Primary Artist
Rhonda Vincent Baritone (Vocal)
Tom Adams Banjo
Audie Blaylock Guitar, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Bobby Hicks Fiddle
Jason Moore Bass
Jeff White Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Michael Cleveland Fiddle, Mandolin
Jesse Brock Mandolin
Technical Credits
Toby Mountain Mastering
Vicki Simmons Liner Notes
Jeff White Producer
Steve Chandler Engineering
Jon Weisberger Liner Notes
Michael Cleveland Producer
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