No Apologies

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Twenty-six year old Mountain Heart founder/fiddler Jim Van Cleve has made a startling solo debut that features the expected instrumental wizardry. But No Apologies also showcases a maturity and sensitivity that belies his rather tender years. There's hot picking aplenty, of course -- his Mountain Heart mates show up here and there, as well as marquee bluegrass artists such as vocalists Rob Bowman and Sonya Isaacs, guitarists Rob Ickes and Bryan Sutton, and banjo master Ron Stewart, to name a few -- from the progressive, fiery fiddle-and-guitar excursions that kick off "Nature of the Beast," to Van Cleve and Stewart's spirited fiddle/banjo repartee on Bill Monroe's "Wheel...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Twenty-six year old Mountain Heart founder/fiddler Jim Van Cleve has made a startling solo debut that features the expected instrumental wizardry. But No Apologies also showcases a maturity and sensitivity that belies his rather tender years. There's hot picking aplenty, of course -- his Mountain Heart mates show up here and there, as well as marquee bluegrass artists such as vocalists Rob Bowman and Sonya Isaacs, guitarists Rob Ickes and Bryan Sutton, and banjo master Ron Stewart, to name a few -- from the progressive, fiery fiddle-and-guitar excursions that kick off "Nature of the Beast," to Van Cleve and Stewart's spirited fiddle/banjo repartee on Bill Monroe's "Wheel Hoss." Amidst all this stirring stringwork, however, are some first-rate vocal moments. Bowman cuts loose with an exuberant, warm reading of Dennis McEntire's hard-charging train song, "Let the Big Dog Eat," and Van Cleve makes an impressive vocal debut on record with a personable rendition of his and Jon Weisberger's wry, toe-tapping take on love gone wrong, "Way It Seems To Go." The most surprising and touching moment on the disc is Sonya Isaac's ethereal Enya-like in spots, wrenching take on "Scars." A pop-flavored ballad about learning to grow from mistakes made along the way, its lush arrangement is fueled by a lonely piano, a humming B3 in the background, an evocative gut-string guitar solo, and a wash of aching strings wrapping everything in an enduring heartache. Van Cleve has much to be proud of with this release.
All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
For his first solo album, fiddler Jim Van Cleve called on the talents of his bandmates in Mountain Heart along with an impressive array of high-powered helpers including guitarist Bryan Sutton, banjo picker Ron Stewart, and singers Sonya Isaacs and Ronnie Bowman to realize a pleasingly personal vision of modern bluegrass music. Some of his moves are predictable: there are jazzy, new acoustic-style instrumentals like "Grey Afternoon" and "Fall Creek Falls," most of which are nice enough but have a tendency to sacrifice vitality in the interest of fancy chord changes, and there's also the requisite number of old-school barnburners like "Train 45" and Bill Monroe's rollicking "Wheel Hoss." In between, though, there are some surprises: "Nature of the Beast" is jazzy in a more original way and employs subtle touches of dubwise production, while "Scars" is a flat-out pop song, a quiet and regretful number featuring stellar vocals by Sonya Isaacs. What's interesting is that the album's two most effective tracks are also among the most mainstream: a gorgeous, chugging version of Flatt & Scruggs' "We Can't Be Darlings Anymore," and a swaggering country original titled "Way It Always Seems to Go." Very nice.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/2006
  • Label: Rural Rhythm
  • UPC: 732351102927
  • Catalog Number: 1029
  • Sales rank: 131,766

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nature of the Beast (4:33)
  2. 2 Let the Big Dog Eat (2:09)
  3. 3 Fall Creek Falls (4:24)
  4. 4 Way It Always Seems to Go (3:36)
  5. 5 Devil's Courthouse (3:36)
  6. 6 Highlands (5:24)
  7. 7 We Can't Be Darlings Anymore (3:46)
  8. 8 Grey Afternoon (6:19)
  9. 9 Wheel Hoss (2:49)
  10. 10 Scars (5:27)
  11. 11 Train (2:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jim VanCleve Primary Artist, Fiddle, Guitar, Vocals, Octave Violin, Vocal Harmony
Ronnie Bowman Vocals
Rob Ickes Guitar (Resonator)
Clay Jones Guitar
Jason Moore Bass, Acoustic Bass
Adam Steffey Mandolin
Tim Akers Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Steve Gulley Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Sonya Isaacs Vocals
Bryan Sutton Guitar, Gut String Guitar, Hi String
Barry Abernathy Vocals
Ron Stewart Banjo
Technical Credits
Lester Flatt Composer
Clay Jones Composer
Mark Simos Composer
Mark Bright Producer
Benny Quinn Mastering
Jon Weisberger Composer
Steve McEwan Composer
Jim VanCleve Composer, Producer
Ruby Rakes Composer
John Paul White Composer
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