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ROSIE DAVIS & RICK TOWNEND "Make the Old Times New"
BOBB Records BOBB 001

Rosie Davis appears here as half of a duo with Rick Townend, rather than as a quarter of Sisters Unlimited, and the couple are able to devote themselves to oldİtime and bluegrass music. The twenty tracks here are half songs and half tunes. Rosie's chiming autoharp combines pleasantly with Rick's guitar, and Rick provides variety by also playing mandolin, fiddle and banjo in differing styles. The tunes are chosen with care, traditional American and contemporary, and enlivened from time to time by Rosie's dance steps.Rosie sings both traditional songs - Billy Grimes the Rover, The Carters' Blues - as well as several of her own quietly impressive compositions - Rest Awhile, Promises - the songs fitting the style with remarkable ease. Prayer for the World and The Cuckoo are sung with simple, unaccompanied grace. Rick adds harmonies and one song on his own, "Talking Vasectomy Blues". It's, well, not as painful as it sounds, although I don't know how well it will bear frequent reproduction. Perhaps repetition would have been a better word! The final cheerful song, "Make the Old Times New", brings this enjoyable collection to an optimistic end.

Henry Peacock

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This album was reviewed in Issue 14 of The Living Tradition magazine.