Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Stangl Family Completes CD

I received a call a few months ago or so from a family band inquiring about making their first studio recording. This was a referral from another family group and I was excited to be possibly involved with this new project as well. Discussion was made in a number of phone calls about a plan and strategy for recording, and then a time was scheduled for an evening and the following day for the family to record twelve songs.
It’s always a pleasure to hear a family make music together, see and hear their interactions, and facilitate this time in their musical life together. Their style would most likely be categorized as Bluegrass with its typical instrumentation, tight harmonies and song selections. However, when you hear their music there’s no getting around the classical influence one daughter in particular brings to the playing and song arrangements. Some additional sounds come from instruments not often heard in Bluegrass – such as a glockenspiel, shaker and crow. The entire collection is comprised of Gospel songs from typical Bluegrass genre to arrangements of old standard hymns.
After a complete listen through of the entire disc I had a smile on my face and a lighter heart – and I hope you will find a similar response when you get the opportunity to hear this recording or better yet – see them in person. There’s some pictures of the recording times and signing the “wall of fame” in the photo gallery. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen. Here’s a sneak preview of the CD cover.Stangl_Sleeve

Kopsas CD “Glory Bound” Receives Strong Review

A few weeks back the Kopsas’ latest CD was given a nice warm review in Bob Everhart’s Tradition Bulletin. This weekly email news of events and people in Traditional and Old Country Music also includes reviews of recordings that come Bob’s way, and the Kopsas’ last CD found its way into this review. Tesco Productions had the opportunity of recording this CD as well as their prior disc. Here’s the major points of Bob’s comments.
“The Kopsa Family lives in Elkhorn, Nebraska. This family band is in an evolvement experience. I reviewed their previous album [“Lord Lead Me On”] in 2014, and was delighted with their obvious dedication and long-time rehearsals getting an album ready to record. This second album, forwarded [by] one of their fans John Cox, shows us an advancement especially in their instrument playing and harmony singing. It’s a large family – three girls and two boys [that are primarily featured]. [Their] children’s instrumentation is pretty much traditional bluegrass, youngest boy on banjo, oldest boy on mandolin. Without knowing who’s doing what, the three sisters play fiddle, acoustic guitar, and acoustic bass. That’s pretty much a standard bluegrass approach, however this young family places most of their efforts on old-timey sounding gospel music, which they do best. The younger voices are of course ‘younger’ voices, but the older voices are already peaking very nicely. It’s a very young voice that sings “Cattle Call” [and] this difficult song [is done] very well. Another song I like really well is “Freight Train” which was created and played by Elizabeth Cotton, a black artist who had the strings on her guitar strung backwards. [This] song here [is] played well on guitar and mandolin with equally good vocal presentations. I’ve got several ‘favorites’ this time around. I thought “Glory Bound” was extremely well done, but so was “On The Wings Of A Snow White Dove.” This family has been working hard on their harmony as well as their instruments. Not difficult for me to forward this delightful project to the Rural Roots Music Commission, who really love young people playing America’s rural music, which this band does so well. Rural music is rapidly disappearing in America. So are a lot of our morals. It is a refreshing opportunity for me to hear that it is not totally gone. The Kopsa Family is a musical act to watch, listen to, support, and share. I will be forwarding this project to the Rural Roots Music Commission with the high hopes that they will give the nod to ‘young’ CD of the Year to this very deserving family band.