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Music : An Ocean from Home

An Ocean from Home 1998, Bear Family Records | BCD 16233 AH

An Ocean from Home



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iTunes (full album)



1. Things Will Be Better Next Year

2. Easy
3. The Pal I Left Behind
4. It's Raining
5. Christmastime in my Hometown
6. The Old Mill Valley
7. Bucky's Present
8. An Ocean From Home
9. Waiting and Wondering
10. The Old Eight By Forty
11. Eight More Miles to Louisville
12. Bottomlands

Originally released on Bear Family Records, Hambergen/Germany BCD 16233 AH

Bluegrass music has been traditionally a music about roots, about the figurative "home", left far away and glorified in memory. In an evershrinking world where bluegrass knows no international borders, "home" can be especially far away. What happens when an American bluegrass musician/songwriter is transplanted to Germany, some 5000 miles away from her home? The pleasing result is the unique solo project from Wil Maring, "An Ocean From Home". This is a collection of largely original songs, summing up this songwriter's feelings of homesickness and loneliness in the first few years after the big move from Southern Illinois to Southern Germany.

In 1989 Wil and mandolinist and fiddler Mark Stoffel formed the band Shady Mix around Wil's beautiful voice and songwriting and Mark's tasty instrumental work. In 1992, after a few years of regional success at festivals and on local public radio and television, they decided to bring Shady Mix's music to Mark's home country of Germany. New band members were found in the Munich area and Shady Mix became one of the most highly-sought-after acoustic bands in that region, playing up to 140 concerts per year.

Recorded in both the U.S and Germany, "An Ocean From Home" combines the impressive talents of former and current Shady Mix band members and guest musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, plus very special guests Rob Ickes on dobro and Joey Miskulin on accordian. The musical style ranges from uptempo traditional bluegrass two-chorders like "The Old Mill Valley" to sensitive, country-folk flavored waltzes like "Easy" to the old-timey flavored "Bottomlands". The songs themselves are beautifully arranged, sung and played, sensitively-written but not over-emotional, and will touch the heartstrings of any acoustic music fan from traditionalists to those with country/folk leanings. Even those of you who have never left home will enjoy this album.


"Bluegrass for your more pensive moments...... bands would be well-served by adding her songs to their repertoires." (Bluegrass Unlimited)

"The bluegrass backdrop surprisingly suits her fragile, delicate voice...... her openness and ability to be in touch with her feelings are not only uplifting, but give her finely- crafted songs integrity." (Dirty Linen)

"There is a clarity and cleanness which penetrates, demands attention and ultimately, lifts the spirit." (Country Music People, United Kingdom)




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