Blue Hole Recordings is proud to present its second release and Cameron Knowler’s solo debut, New & Old. Knowler studies jazz guitar at the University of Houston, and has already established himself as an accompanist in multiple contexts: jazz with the Hayden Jones Trio, folk with Thomas Csorba, and oldtime music with The Fossil Lickers. Now, he offers a selection of traditional folk songs and original compositions for guitar and banjo, from which the record derives its name.
Knowler knows his stuff, playing a lesser-known variant of “Chinquapin Hunting,” a rollicking medley of “Mountain Dew & Blackberry Blossom,” and even learning “Nancy Blevins” from source fiddler Alfred Hash. He’s reverent, but not deferential: these performances are “raw” by design, trading the sterility that can easily befall flatpicking records for warmth. Knowler’s own “Mint & Milk,” for example, suggests the m elodic richness of Nic Jones, while “Chinquapin Hunting” or “Billy in the Lowground” convey vibrancy and muscularity. And Knowler’s stunningly beautiful take on “Kenny Smith’s Cumberland Gap” will leave you speechless. It’s for this that he’s regarded as one of the best flatpickers in the state, learning from tradition while looking ahead. This record is proof.
● “ Everything flows beautifully from moment to moment” — Tyler Wilcox
● “Spiritual kin to Tony Rice...dazzling,
jaw-dropping riffs” — Eli Winter
released June 26, 2018
Produced by Will Csorba, Spring 2018
Artwork by EKD
one of my favorite albums of 2018. perfect old time music made by young people, attempting to bring these songs out of the porches, parlors and festival grounds and into the underground the modern folk
A great poem inspired this fugue of Americana. It taps in to what Wendell Berry called the “settlers” of America; those that came to stay, and love, and suffer with this new land, rather than simply conquer and use it. This moves me, and I’m happy to have it as a constant reminder to “live gently in the land.” Ross Arlen Tieken