Just a quick update: The Mutineers were well represented at this years New England Songwriting contest at the Ossippee Valley Music Festival in late July. After “Whiskey Road” (from 2008’s “Coal Creek” album) was a finalist last year, two songs from last year’s Drover’s Bones were selected this year. Stuart MacDonald’s “Schoolhouse Fire” and Jeff Trippe’s “Maiden’s Cliff” were picked as finalists this year.
The Mutineers’ third recorded project, Drover’s Bones, is officially due out on October 5th, 2011, when the trio will host a CD-release party at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Band members Stuart MacDonald, Jeff Trippe, and Darren Finnegan are thrilled about this latest effort, which is by any measure an extremely eclectic album, with songs ranging from bare-bones acoustic numbers to amplified, full-band takes on traditional songs such as “Buffalo Skinners,” an old cowboy song popularized by Woody Guthrie, and “How Long Blues,” a longtime blues standard. However, the real stamp on this record is the quality and tone of original songs by MacDonald and Trippe. The two have collaborated here on the stirring “Vagabond Girl” as well as the contemporary gospel piece, “Take Another Step.” MacDonald’s “Stephens Green” kicks off the record in fine fashion, and a bluegrass instrumental by Trippe, “OPC (Other People’s Chickens)” serves to push this project into overdrive several tracks in. Other original songs include MacDonald’s “Walking Alone,” an homage to the dispossessed and downhearted, and Trippe’s “Maiden’s Cliff,” which is a retelling of the legend of a young girl’s tragic death in Maine’s lake country. Finnegan provides plenty of bottom end across the board, and he is spelled on one tune by guest artist Leonard Krill. This project shows an acute sense of the importance of the proven formats in American folk music, but it is clear that these boys are also willing to listen to their own creative instincts as they seem to take flight in a new direction with virtually every cut. Drover’s Bones may ride upon the shoulders of the likes of Guthrie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and even the Dillards, but it certainly stands on its own as well. It is a cohesive work, tightly played and sung, which deserves to be listened to as a whole by those who love both traditional music and contemporary songwriting. Besides Krill, guest artists include Bob Colwell, Kevin Midgley, Jay Conway, Greg Hoover, Alex Mills, and Alan Bean. The record was recorded and mixed at Baked Beans Recording and mastered by Busted Barn. www.themutineers.com