Stanley Greenthal: First Song


First Song
Stanley Greenthal 1006

Stanley Greenthal is a talented multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest of the U.S. First Song, his fifth recording, features original songs with instrumentals from Scotland, Brittany, Crete, Greece, Macedonia and Turkey. With such an international flavor the instrumentation is just as varied, featuring Stanley on guitar, mandocello and bouzouki, and including clarinet, oud, uillean pipes, various flutes and whistles, bass, concertina, banjo, harmonica and percussion. He even employs some instruments new to my ears including the laouto, lavta, bendir and the daouli.

The recording is nicely paced with a vocal tune followed by a few instrumentals with another vocal tune acting as the sorbet. The vocal selections include two written by Robin Williamson and four composed by Stanley including “The Waves” inspired by the music of Crete. It’s rolling rhythm easily transports the listener to a gentle sail on the Mediterranean.

Of the instrumentals “The Sleeping Tune,” a gentle composition for mandolin and bouzouki by Gordon Duncan is a nice contrast to the more densely arranged music on the CD.

First Song is a fascinating voyage to the highlands of Scotland, the Breton lands and the islands of the Mediterranean.

Tom Druckenmiller

About Tom Druckenmiller

Tom has a long history with Sing Out! as a writer and regular contributor (for more than a decade) and deep and rich skills as a radio host and programmer of folk and roots music! He’s been a folk musician and teacher for over forty years. Tom began playing and singing Bob Dylan and Tom Paxton songs, but fell in love with old-time music and the clawhammer banjo after hearing John McCutcheon at the legendary Bethlehem folk club Godfrey Daniels. He has studied with old-time music greats Dwight Diller, Riley Baugus and Norman and Nancy Blake … and has, himself, taught at many music camps and workshops including The Augusta Heritage Workshops (in Elkins WV), the Pocono Dulcimer Fest (in Stroudsburg PA) and the Maidencreek Old-Time Music Festival (in Blandon PA). Druckemiller’s continuing regular local radio gig “In The Tradition” has aired on WDIY-FM in Allentown PA for the past 16 years, and he also co-hosts the “Sunday Folk” program on the station.

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