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World Music CD Reviews North American

Uncle Earl

By Robert Kaye
Published October 5, 2007

Waterloo, Tennessee
Rounder

Rarin’ up a storm is all-female bluegrass quintet Uncle Earl. After the success of its debut album and many miles of roadwork, the group has solidifi ed its sound and show-woman-ship, wowing audiences on and between both coasts. Waterloo, Tennessee finds the group whittled down to a quartet, but its music still sounds engaged and energetic. It’s no wonder this ensemble has won favor with folk, old-time, alt-country, bluegrass, jam band, and pop fans alike. Equally adept at instrumental songs such as “Streak O’ Lean, Streak O’ Fat,” poignant a cappella pieces like the intro “Buonaparte,” and vocal/musical pieces like “Bony On The Isle Of St. Helena,” the band musters its talents to create songs of depth, creativity and integrity. Uncle Earl’s honest, old-style mountain music is a welcome reprieve from glittery-eyed pop starlets who gyrate and lip-sync their way to fame, then rehab.