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ASV

Goin' to the Dance

(Bless Your Heart Music; US: 27 Jun 2006; UK: Available as import)

ASV is the tandem of Alice and Scott Vestal, two musicians known to anyone associated with the Appalachian region, the fiddle and the link between the two. Scott Vestal has played with everyone from Ralph Stanley to David Lee Roth, but it’s the synergy between the two that makes this record flow perfectly, starting with the bluegrass-meets-folk opener, “Waking Anew By You”. Fans of Alison Krauss will revel at the genteel “Walls of Wood and Stone”, that seems fit for a winter evening around the living room fireplace. And the instrumental title track showcases Scott Vestal’s fine picking capabilities. This leads into the toe-tapping “Swing Her Easy” which starts slow, but is a very steady hoedown kind of number. After the sub-par, swinging “Softly as a Morning Sunrise”, the jazzy “Jinx It” almost jinxes the album completely. But they get back to basics with the soothing and reflective “Blossoms on the Almond Tree” and the roots-y, somewhat funky “God Watches Over”. The album’s sleeper pick has to be the warm and relaxing mountain style emanating from “Safe and Sound”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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