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Reviews: Brian Hebert & Friends ~ Any Time At All: A Session Pickerís Tribute to The Beat|
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2009 @ 21:53:28 UTC
Artist: Brian Hebert & Friends
CD: Any Time At All: A Session Pickerís Tribute to The Beatles
Home: Boston, Massachusetts
Quote: "Itís a delight to hear how appreciative musicians are still finding ways to breathe new life into the Beatles' beloved songs."
By Dan MacIntosh
This session pickerís tribute to The Beatles serves a few noteworthy purposes: For one thing, it allows you to listen to this famous Liverpool bandís familiar catalogue in a whole new light. Secondly, it reveals how sturdy, yet flexible, these melodies truly are. For example, "The Night Before" is adapted to the polka style. I donít know about you, but I wouldnít want to hear too many other classic rock bands Ė like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones, for instance Ė polka-ized. But The Beatles were visionary enough to picture themselves as older adults (Donít forget "When Iím 64"), so they also likely saw their work has having a long-lasting life of its own; music that would still be relevant and fit for reinterpretation at age 64 and beyond.
Brian Hebert leads this small group of musicians via his Trillium octave mandolin, and is joined by John McGann, also mandolin, Joey Sullivan on bodhrans, and Pelham Norville at the Irish pipes. These are all acoustic based songs, which are broken down into jigs, marches, polkas, reels and waltzes.
Although all 26 of these tracks are Beatles songs, theyíre not drawn equally from all phases of that iconic bandís career. Instead, this collection is mainly weighted toward early period songs, such as "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "Please Please Me," "A Hard Dayís Night." Even so, these are certainly not all "silly love songs." There are also a few of the quartetís more serious writings, such as "Yesterday," "Nowhere Man," and "Eleanor Rigby."
If youíre anything like me, youíll immediately skip to tracks such as "Iím Only Sleeping," one of the groupís Revolver-period psychedelic workouts. In this case, the tune is done as a jig, and trades in slight weirdness for melodic sweetness. "Eleanor Rigby," which is one of the saddest songs known to mankind, is performed with plenty of guitar picking beauty. "Nowhere Man," on the other hand, sounds a lot happier when performed as a jaunty jig, than it did in its original form. Hebertís banjo part, of course, also helps to lighten this songís load.
Nobody in their right mind would ever question The Beatlesí greatness. But with Any Time At All, itís a delight to hear how appreciative musicians are still finding ways to breathe new life into the bandís beloved songs. Even with mainly acoustic instruments, The Beatlesí pop-rock songs still stand up well. Brian Hebert and his musical friends can put their personal fingerprints on Beatles songs any time at all.
Artist Website: http://www.bhtunes.com
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