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The Red Fox Chasers

I'm Going Down To North Carolina: The Complete Recordings of The Red Fox Chasers (1928-31) – 2009 (Tompkins Square)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

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CDs by The Red Fox Chasers

The Red Fox Chasers was comprised four neighbors from northwest North Carolina who played old time music in the twenties and thirties. While this has been re-mastered, the process did not take away the authentic if sometimes raw nature of the music. Some of the tracks still had the scratchy wobble sound of old 78s or a distant radio broadcast, an effect, which rendered the project quite genuine.

The instrumentation features fiddle, harmonica, arch top guitar and banjo. It was a bit of a surprise to hear a three finger banjo style from this time in history, as Earl Scruggs did not popularize it until 1945. The harmonica work was in a country style reminiscent of Doc Watson's, and the guitar licks had a definite Carter family flavor. There was no bass, likely common in string bands at that time.

The tunes ranged from familiar fiddle numbers to tunes now common in the bluegrass repertoire, though some were obscure. This CD is recommended for listeners with interest in old time music or country music history.