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"The Social Music Hour Vol. 1" makes WFDU's 10 Favorite CDs of 2015

Jan 13 | Posted by: Ron Olesko

Ron’s Favorites of 2015 (WFDU - Sing Out! Magazine)

This Hudson Valley band began a few short years ago when a group of friends gathered on a front porch and started making music. Since then, they have ventured from that porch to visit venues and festivals all across the East Coast and beyond and have recorded three full-length CDs. Their latest CD brings the listener back to the kind of music that people have been making on their own front porches for generations, only this recording has that Spuyten Duyvil flair.

When I first heard that they were producing a CD of folk songs I was very excited. While they have written song impressive songs (mostly written by the groups founder and guiding light Mark Miller), their take on folk songs has always impressed me. The resulting CD surpassed my expectations, it is a gem that has received substantial airplay on folk radio in North America, becoming one of the five top CDs for 2015 on the International Folk DJ Charts.

I hope other bands and singer-songwriters will take note of Spuyten Duyvil’s accomplishment and make their own explorations into the folk music song bag. The band turns these classic songs into sparkling fresh performances that speak to contemporary audiences. You can dance to these tunes, or simply sit back and enjoy a masterful band at work.

I’ve watched the band do mashups of folk songs in concert, and on the CD they give us an example by bringing the songs “Hot Time in the Old Town” and “Preaching On the Old Campground” together for an exciting workout. Their takes on “Barbara Allen” and “Lord Franklin” give new perspective to these well worn songs.

Sputen Duyvil is a memorable live band, and this latest recording solidifies their place on the contemporary music scene. I hope we will see a Social Music Hour Volume 2 in the future as our folk heritage is in good hands.

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