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