Don Rooke Atlas Travel

Don Rooke took a journey into an atlas inside his mind, conjured up faraway places he openly admits he knows very little about and constructed a worldly album from the confines of his basement. The main songwriter for the Henrys, Rooke has jammed out an instrumental cartography projecting his musical prowess at various points on the compass ("Donegal Bay," "Alexandria," "Filadelfia, Paraguay") but hasn't bothered to shade any of the territories visited with traditional world music colours. Instead he has ceded each state and made it his own in this stringed acoustic feast. Rooke not only assembled a kaleidoscopic cast of musicians and instruments (ukulele by Steve Dawson; nyckelharpa by Johan Hedin; violins by Hugh Marsh and Jesse Zubot; Dudek, bawu and bansuri by Rob Piltch; and John Sheard on pump organ) he has instructed us on their unique characteristics in the liner notes. Fans of Zubot and Dawson, Nordic folk music and armchair travel will delight in Atlas Travel for its love of acoustic textures, melodies and far off places. Perhaps if you buy enough copies you'll even score some air miles. (Black Hen)