Eden & John's East River String Band Drunken Barrel House Blues

There's something both admirable and odd about trying to faithfully recreate music made in the early part of the 20th century. There are many currently doing it, but those who do it best somehow accentuate the timeless themes of the music, rather than treat it with undo reverence. NYC duo Eden Brower and John Heneghan do precisely that, and this third album is another pleasant collection of cherished old time tunes. As a dedicated old time archivist, Heneghan certainly knows his stuff, and none of the duo's choices on Drunken Barrel House Blues can be faulted. However, Eden and John clearly don't make music for misanthropic record collectors. Their vocals rarely approach the passion that the original recordings possess, but Heneghan is a more than accomplished guitarist, and the overall energy of the performances will appeal to those with no affinity for scratchy 78s. (East River/Forced Exposure)