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Albums from The Mastering Lab, Reference Recordings, Della Mae and Watkins Family Hour

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The Don Ewell Quartet Yellow Dog Blues and Other Favorites 200g LP


Side A:
1. Michigan Water Blues
2. Atlanta Blues
3. Tishomingo Blues
4. Georgia Bo Bo
Side B:
1. New Orleans Hop Scop Blues
2. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me
3. Ole Miss
4.  Yellow Dog Blues


Don Ewell, piano
Nappy Trottier, trumpet
Marty Grosz, guitar
Earl Murphy, bass violin


I don’t know how else to say it, but Wow! This LP cut by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab from the original master tapes, and pressed at Quality Record Pressings, is simply wonderful. Every cut is emotionally involving. The piano has great weight; the trumpet is loud and bold when it comes in. The guitar is played and recorded beautifully. The Violin has real weight and no extra warmth. I will listen to this LP often for years to come. If you have the least inclination for instrumental blues or jazz, get on line right now and buy it!


Mephisto & Co. 45rpm 200g 2LP



LP 1 - Side A:
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
1. Mephisto Waltz #1
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
2. Danse macabre

LP 1 - Side B:
Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov (1855-1914)
1. Baba Yaga
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
2. Night On Bald Mountain


LP 2 - Side C:
Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006)
1. Tam O'Shanter
Paul Dukas (1865-1935)
2. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
LP 2 - Side D:
Cesar Franck (1822-1890)
1. The Accursed Huntsman
Johann Strauss II (1825-1899)
2.   Lucifer Polka

This was one of Reference Recordings’ all-time favorite CDs and now for the first time it is available on vinyl. On this recording, Eiji Oue conducts the Minnesota Orchestra with violin solos by Jorja Fleezanis. Yes, it has great sound but most of all, it’s a lot of fun even for those who don’t find classical their favorite music.

This is an LP that I think all vinyl lovers should have. If you have someone over who wants to hear how your system sound with classical, this would be a great album to play. If you love classical music, it’s still a great record to just sit down and enjoy. I’m not sure if there was originally an analog tape or it was mastered from high resolution digital. I don’t care what the source, it sounds great.


Della Mae – Della Mae


Label Rounder

Side 1
1. Boston Town
2. Rude Awakening
3. Can’t Go Back
4. For The Sake Of My Heart
5. Good Blood
6.    To Ohio
Side 2
7. Shambles
8. Take One Day
9. Long Shadow
10. No Expectations
11.    High Away Gone



I really liked Della Mae’s first album, This World Oft Can Be. So, I was really excited to see they had a new album. If you don’t know them, Della Mae is a Boston-based female bluegrass band that features Celia Woodsmith and Courtney Hartmaw playing guitar, Kimber Ludiker is the fiddle player, Jenni Lyn Gardner is on mandolin, and Zoe Guigueno plays bass; they all sing.

The music on this album has a little different feel from This World Oft Can Be. I guess that’s a good thing since it’s usually good to keep changing. I like this new album just as well and I think it had better sound. If you’re not familiar with them, give one of their albums a try.


Watkins Family Hour 180 gram vinyl


Track Listing:

  1. Feelin’ Good Again
  2. Where I Ought To Be
  3. Not In Nottingham
  4. Steal Your Heart Away
  5. Prescription For The Blues
  6. Going Going Gone
  7. Hop High
  8. She Thinks I Still Care
  9. The King Of The 12 Oz. Bottles
  10. Early Morning Rain
  11. Brokedown Palace


You probably know singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalists Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins from the bluegrass group, Nickel Creek. For them and their families, the Watkins Family Hour has long been a place where they can try out new material or enjoy some of their favorite songs. They perform monthly at L.A.’s venue Largo. Their fans who aren’t lucky enough to be in L.A. and score a ticket can see the show on youtube or on the podcasts the Watkins siblings have created. They often have guests, like Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Nikka Costa, Booker T. and actor-singer John C. Reilly.

Now Sara and Sean have decided we need an album of this music, and I, for one, am very happy. The album, recorded live over three days in the studio of their friend and producer-engineer Sheldon Gomberg, does a beautiful job of capturing the spirit of their music. It features Apple, drummer Don Heffington, pedal steel and dobro player Greg Leisz, bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and keyboardist Benmont Tench, each of whom takes a vocal turn at the mic. The Watkins Family Hour is an all-covers affair; tracks include Sara doing Lindsey Buckingham’s “Steal Your Heart Away,” Sean essaying Roger Miller’s wistful “Not In Nottingham,” from Disney’s 1973 animated Robin Hood, and Apple singing “Where I Ought To Be,” originally performed by Skeeter Davis.

No, this isn’t an audiophile album, but it sounds plenty good enough to let me really enjoy the great music. If you like this kind of music and fun, you should get this LP.

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