Review: Mike Marshall & Darol Anger

Mike Marshall & Darol Anger
“The Duo Live: At Home and On the Range”
(Compass Records)

When Marshall and Anger speak of “on the range,” they refer to that open road that they are three-quarters of the way to having traveled a million miles over. They began their musical sojourn performing together in the David Grisman Quartet in 1978 and continue to put on a live show of some of the best in Americana acoustica. This album is a testament of the quality of their live performance in delivering the goods in folk and bluegrass with a touch of jazz.

The “at home” part of the title refers to the extra tracks recorded just after their U.S. eastern seaboard tour along which they gathered these gems. The scintillating music here summoned from wood and wire warmly by the sonic alchemists includes fun Mike Marshall originals (“Frogs on Ice”, “Big Man from Syracuse”, etc.), traditionally artfully arranged for subtle showcasing of technique but never showboating (“In the Pines”, “Down in the Willow Garden”) and a healthy dose of Bill Monroe (“Jerusalem Ridge”, “Big Mon” and “Old Dangerfield”) and more.