Reviews

Angels’ Share

“… think of the Roche sisters doing a Sunday morning gospel show at your local festival.”

Sing Out!
June 2011

“If you like your traditional gospel music with a nice helping of harmony vocals, then you will love “Angels’ Share,” the fourth full-length studio effort from Northern Virginia’s Dead Men’s Hollow.” Read full review >

Country Standard Time
Greg Yost
May 2011

“… striking harmonies, solid songcraft [and] a gospel string band sound that evokes
a blend of the traditional and the transcendent.”
Read full review >

Washington Post Magazine
April 2011

“… this whole CD is filled with songs that other bands will covet. Listeners will covet them also. Angels’ Share is Dead Men’s Hollow’s best album yet and should be widely heard.” Read full review >

Rambles.net
Michael Scott Cain
February 5, 2011

“As always, the six residents of Dead Men’s Hollow combine clear voices with warm guitars and fiddles, producing a smooth, twang-free sound.” Read full review >

Eric Bond
The Takoma Voice / The Eclectic Ear
December 7, 2010

 

Death Must Be a Woman

“The songs share fluid melodies and pitch-perfect harmonies grown strong and tall on Celtic roots. The plaintive ‘Until The End Of Time’, the country-fried ‘Don’t Break My Heart’, the light-hearted ‘Marianne’ and the bouncing title tune capture a singularly tight unit of like-minded musicians.” Read full review >

Buzz McClain
No Depression Magazine
October 23, 2008

“I received ‘Death Must Be A Woman’ just this morning a gave several listenings to it. This album is fantastic, even better than your previous one. It is not the usual bluegrass album because the gamut of feelings and influences is larger than usual and that make the music of the band particularly appealing and pleasant. Airplay is guaranteed, that’s for sure! That album will become soon a favourite in my next radio shows here and surely I will enclose it in my list of the best CD’s of the month for both Euro-Americana and FAR charts!”

Massimo Ferro, radio program host
Highway 61, Radio Voce Spazio, Italy
October 2008

“Op ‘Death Must Be A Woman’, hun ondertussen toch ook alweer derde CD, vertellen die van Dead Men’s Hollow naar eigen zeggen aan de hand van het verhaal van hun thuishaven onrechtstreeks ook een beetje het verhaal van heel Amerika.” Read full review >

Ctrl. Alt Country, Belgium
October 2008

“Their compositions sound more like public domain songs than recently composed material, and I mean that as a compliment. They have aimed at a particular target and hit the bullseye cleanly. The writing is clean and crisp, the harmonies bordering on angelic and the musicianship is superb.” Read full review >

Michael Scott Cain
Rambles.net
November 2008

“In Death Must be a Woman, the band captures in music the sad stillness of an autumn walk through an old battlefield. And there’s no mistaking where that trek is taken, as the band’s sound is inseparable from its native soil of northern Virginia.” Read full review >

Lawrance Binda
The Burg News
January 2009

Two-Timin’

“When it comes to traditional American folk music in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area, there is no doubt that the legendary bluegrass collective The Seldom Scene has long been the standard by which all other local bands and artists are judged. Now with the release of its second album in two years, D.C.’s Dead Men’s Hollow is emerging as a major force on the local bluegrass and folk music scene.

“Two-Timin’ is the follow-up to Forever True, the sextet’s debut that garnered two Wammie Awards in 2005 from the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) — the same organization that recognized Music Monthly’s own Susie Mudd with a Special Appreciation Award for her dedication to the local music scene — and it matches its predecessor’s brilliance by combining top-notch instrumentalists with stunning vocals.

“The six members of Dead Men’s Hollow prove to be equally adept at both interpreting and writing songs that reflect our country’s unique acoustic heritage, so much so that almost a third of the album’s 17 tracks are original compositions but you would be hard pressed to pick them out from their traditional counterparts without looking at the writing credits in the liner notes. This is extremely high praise for a group like Dead Men’s Hollow that takes so much inspiration from the music of the past.

“Some of the many highlights from Two-Timin’ include the previously released ‘Wither’s Rocking Hymn,’ a subdued take on the standard ‘Darlin’ Corey,’ the cheery original ‘Same Old Day’ and ‘Calling My Children Home,’ a hauntingly beautiful a capella performance of a classic song from the legendary Country Gentlemen that includes vocal contributions from all six members of the band.

“While the band’s debut Forever True grabbed the attention of music fans and critics throughout the region, Two-Timin’ will cement Dead Men’s Hollow reputation as a real force in acoustic Americana music — a solid and memorable collection from start to finish.

Greg Yost
Music Monthly Magazine
November 2006 issue

“Dead Men’s Hollow writes songs that feel as though they have been around for decades. On Two-Timin’, the Virginia based sextet’s second album, they excel at writing traditional American tunes, emulating country legends like the Carter Family.” Read full review >

On Tap Magazine
October 2006 Issue

“This group released one of the best self released discs of the year last year. This year they have come up with one of the best sophomore releases of the year. Using a triple threat of female harmonies and some of the best playing around behind them they have come up with another important recording. This is not a bunch of kids trying to pay homage to a genre they enjoy. The difference here is that they are the music they play and it comes through loud and clear on this new recording.”

Village Records

“The Washington-based sextet, described by some as a collision between the Andrews Sisters and the Holy Modal Rounders, put together 17 memorable songs in its sophomore disc. It’s a nice mix of traditional songs you’ll probably recognize like “The Cuckoo,” “Glory Land,” “Darlin’ Corey” and “Wayfaring Stranger,” mixed in with traditional sounding but modern originals.

“These folks keep to the old-time tradition, adding precision singing to the mix. There’s a barn dance medley of “Tombigbee Waltz” and “High Up on Tug.” But nobody would be dancing to Bob Peirce’s “Grandma Was a Cropduster.” They’d be laughing too hard.

“The disc’s title is a play on the fact that this is the band’s followup to its 2005 debut, “Forever True.” But sprinkled throughout—a comfortable distance from the obligatory Gospel songs—are oblique references to that grand old pastime of two-timin’, “Forever Untrue,” if you will. Careful listening pays off.”

Jay Votel
FOLK NEWS, World Folk Music Association

“In true collaborative fashion, each band member brings things to the table that make for a convincing and cohesive musical presentation. Their instrumental work isn’t flashy, but it has whimsical old-time charm.”  Read full review >

Joe Ross
Staffwriter, Bluegrass Now Magazine

Forever True

“With the beautiful simplicity and harmony of the Carter Family, the passion of Ralph Stanley, the eccentric quirks of Dock Boggs and instrumentalism of John Jackson, this group of 6 un-grizzled, un-calloused musicians (one of them is even from…gasp…New York) has single-handedly restored my dream of old Virginia.” Read full review >

Dave Terpeny, Editor
KyndMusic
June 2005 Issue

“Dead Men’s Hollow has spirited acoustic instrumentation and a harmony-laden signature sound that is building them a legion of fans.” Read full review >

SEBA Breakdown
Joe Ross
July 2005 Issue

“‘Forever True’ is an electrifying musical production that would certainly justify a trip to the nation’s capital to catch Dead Men’s Hollow in person.” Read full review >

Bluegrass Unlimited
July 2005 Issue

“When I first saw this group’s name, I thought they would have done well to consult with a marketing professional. But it’s actually pretty clever …

The talents of this group really shine on … ‘The Blackest Crow’ — bare-bones fiddle, chilling vocals, and a minor-key melody as old and weary as the Appalachians from which this song comes; and ‘My Latest Sun is Sinking Fast,’ a touching hymn many will recognize as ‘Angel Band’ from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. ‘Down in the Valley to Pray,’ also a gospel from O Brother, [is] outdone completely in six-part male-female a cappella harmony. Who’s laughing now?” Read full review >

Carolyn Feola
Takoma Voice
December 2005 Issue

2005 Holiday CD

“Recorded for inclusion on the 22-track Hungry for Music, Vol. 8 compilation album of Washington, D.C. area music (see www.hungryformusic.com), “Wither’s Rocking Hymn” is a beautiful and earthy 5-minute lullaby with splendid vocal harmonies accompanied primarily by guitar, bass and fiddle. “Sleep Baby Sleep” are the recurring lyrics that lull us into a state of soothing relaxation.

Joe Ross, staffwriter
Bluegrass Now

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