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The Mutineers / Press

"Warm folk gives a shine to the song of The Mutineers. The trio adds instrumentation on their third album effort to support the basic make-up of acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bass, filling out the sound on ‘Drover’s Bones’ with sea shanty accordions, lap and pedal steel, drums and harp. “Stephens Green” follows the full moon in the story line as the tale takes to the road, cataloging the sights that flash by the window along the journey. “Buffalo Skinners” flies like a prairie wind on the old cowboy song given new life by Woody Guthrie, “Pretty Maid/Cherokee Shuffle” dances a reel, “Stackolee Blues” is bare-bones quiet with the whisper of a death bed confession and “Vagabond Girl” kicks stones along a country road on a summer day. The Mutineers present their songs with studied consideration, the delivery cradling the listeners in audio arms."

“... this is the threepiece string band’s sophomore full-length, a follow-up to 2005’s fine Where Mockingbirds Roam. They don’t change much, emphasizing Stuart MacDonald’s clear vocals, which show impressive range, and a take on acoustic music that’s somewhere between Garcia-Grisman, Merle Travis, and the Old Crow Medicine Show. Their originals, mostly penned by MacDonald, often stand above the traditionals included here, as they seem almost Civil War era in their authenticity . . . Best are the title track — harmonica-fueled and featuring great lines like, “People living wrong, people living right/People praying to the Lord in the middle of the night” — and “Prism,” which MacDonald crafted using his deceased grandmother’s poetry: “Like a prism, I hold my life up to the scrutiny of the sun.””

Sam Pfeifle - Portland Phoenix

“There’s nothing silly about the Mutineers. They declare themselves a pretty serious bunch with the traditional "Motherless Child" which opens their full-length debut, Where Mockingbirds Roam. Singer Stuart MacDonald (who also organized all the arrangements here) has some great flexibility. He can do a high-voiced Neil Young thing, as on "Lakes of Pontchartrain," just as easily as he can do a more low-voiced Richard Thompson on "Lily of the West." The latter tune is probably the coolest one here, helped by Willam Colehower’s drums and cool old-timey lyrics that reference "Shady Grove." Throughout the disc, the trio make good use of their spare instrumentation, never threatening to overpower a song, and showing good restraint in their pacing. As every musician knows, it’s hard to play slow and sound good than to play fast and hope people don’t notice when you screw up. The Mutineers play slow and sound great. ”

Sam Pfeifle - Portland Phoenix

“The Mutineers, from New England, are an acoustic trio whose style harkens back to folk groups from the early 1960's. The dozen selections are a blending of traditional numbers such as "Little Maggie," "Diamond Joe," and "Barbara Allen," along with several original creations. Many of the selections employ drums, piano and electric guitars.”

Bluegrass Unlimited

“The Mutineers have carved out a niche for themselves with their devotion to traditional songs ranging from folk to blues and old-time country. They are influenced and inspired by the music of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and Hank Williams. Some could say that this is the music that time forgot, but most of us realize it's the cornerstone of the music that followed. We're fortunate to have a band like The Mutineers here in Portland , keeping this style of music alive and doing it skillfully." ”

Aimsel Ponti - Portland Press Herald

“Mainers who enjoy this type of music have known about this three-piece acoustic band for quite a few years now, even though there have been some personnel changes: Stuart MacDonald is the sole charter member in the group. But the high caliber of the musicianship, and the strong songwriting, have remained consistent since the beginning. This new CD will hopefully help to extend the boundaries of the band’s success beyond the local music scene here in Maine. The disc is comprised of twelve songs, four of which are traditional tunes, and MacDonald has written the others. He got some co-writing help from band mate Jeff Trippe on “Whisky Road”, and from his grandmother’s poetry on “Prism”. MacDonald’s songwriting relies heavily on his love for traditional string band, old time, and British Isles acoustic music. He has managed to honor that foundation without coming off trite or derivational. ”

Bob McKillop - www.mainefolkmusic.com

“Although Southern Maine is sometimes dismissed by those upstate as an extended arm of big-city Boston, one of the state’s most tightest down-home roots groups is headquartered in this region. The Mutineers, an acoustic trio of seasoned musicians who consistently maintain a tight, clean sound, have come roaring back from their sparkling 2005 debut “Where Mockingbirds Roam” with “Coal Creek,” a blend of wisely arranged traditionals and moving originals. . . Although an abundance of slow songs can often kill the pacing of an album, “Coal Creek” rewards listeners patient enough to enjoy it with true throwback magic. Credit taut musicianship, where every note matters and instruments are wrangled in ways that only true artists could conjure. ”

William Earl - The Switch

“As pleasant as an unexpected summer evening zephyr is the local acoustic trio The Mutineers. "Where Mockingbirds Roam" is their new CD, and listening to it makes me wish I was sitting on a porch swing watching fireflies and hearing the screen door shut as someone appears with a tray of lemonade and watermelon. This is not to say it's all roses and sunshine; several Mutineers songs express heartache and blues, but they are perfectly dressed in just the right amount of mandolin, harmonica, banjo, dobro, acoustic bass and certainly guitar. Lead vocalist Stuart MacDonald has a sweet ache in his voice that carries songs like "Delia Blues" along a thorny path of lonesome woes. . . . ”

Aimsel Ponti - Portland Press Herald