A Reference Recording....

For those of you who love the sound of the female voice(s) and/or have a passions for bluegrass/folk/Celtic styles...run, do not walk, to either Amazon or to mistyriverband.com and order Misty River's 'Rising'. Great music, awesome sound quality...what more can one ask? This is what this mad hobby always should be about - and so seldom is.

Misty River has produced 3 other albums. All musically outstanding but none have quite the 'band-is-in-the-room' quality (and I mean that quite literally - the illusion is very close to pefect). They are all still sonically way above average, however, and definitely worth owning.
Thanks for the tip. I'm always looking for another reference recording, because it is about the music although we seem to get lost in the quest for better gear. My system is now where I want it to be and now I can focus on getting more music. Some of the best music I have I've gotten because of tips like this.
Thanks again.
My pleasure. On the surface, this would appear to be nothing more than a run of the mill indie CD. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can listen to some of their music at the site. Try 'Only Love'...this is the first track on "Rising"...and the one that made me say 'man, this is something very special'. They're mp3s of course, but you'll get the idea.

> we seem to get lost in the quest for better gear

I couldn't agree more. And I'm just as guilty as many.
OK you got me. I just ordered "Rising" and "Live at the Backstage Gate" from cdbaby.com for $27. One of my favorite things about cdbaby is I can pay with paypal.
I've rarely been steered wrong with music recommendations here.
I too have recommended this group in the past. They performed live at CES 2005, attracted my attention, and caused me to purchase their CDs. They combine Folk, Country, and Bluegrass in a most unusual way, and while they might not be everyone's taste, there are a few cuts that are worth owning.

The "Live at the Backgate Stage" has phenominal presense and the vocal clarity, harmony, instrumental accuracy, and sound staging is way above average. Cut 11 is accapella and the 4 voices nit together beautifully with great focus and separation. Cut 12 is instrumental and captures the attacks and harmonics again with great focus and separation.

These 2 cuts alone would be sufficient as reference recordings to reveal a great deal about a system.
Me Toooooo!
I love Northwest artists, got to support the home region, my wife loves good christmas music so I got Rising and the Christmas album. Vito gonna break-a-youse legs iften dees records no good :)
Along the same lines Anonamous Fours' Welcome Yule is a winner if you like celtic christmas music. First I ever heard of CD Baby, nice site.
As a female vocal, bluegrass, and folk head myself, my quest for reference sounding recordings becomes even more difficult as I prefer live stuff to studio cuts. My small smathering of suggestions are the following:
A 5 year old band from No.NJ named Railroad Earth just put out a killer live disc called Elko, great sound quality for a live disc. Any of the 3 Garcia/Grisman discs(Pizza Tapes, Been All Around this World, and Garcia Grisman Rice) from Acoustic Disc are of exceptional quality, the put you right in the living room with these guys, and most of the Natalie Merchant stuff is usually great also.

As long as you liked the music itself, you won't be steered wrong. I can guarantee you'll be happy with the engineering side of things. Enjoy!

I also just ordered "Rising" and "Live at the Backstage Gate" from cdbaby.com. How come you only paid $27? I paid $30 plus $4 shipping. I also used Paypal. Anyway, thanks to Audiogon member "Curriemt11" for the recommendation.

Thanks for the suggestion of 'Railroad Earth'. Will have to check that one out. I fully agree with you on the Acoustic Disc CDs - wonderful stuff. Nearly all of the label's recordings are excellent, I'm not sure how some of the 'Dawg' music would appeal to the uninitiated, though :)

If you like those two, 'Willow' is also excellent, but slightly different in terms of musical direction from the other two. There's even a very interesting version of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Kathy's Song' on there. I believe that's available for listening on the website, in fact.

Looks to me as though cdbaby.com has a 2 CD deal for 'Rising' and 'Live' for $25:

Thanks again for the tip. I changed my order and got the set plus "Willow". If you don't know yet, I also recommend "Pearl" by Zoe Speaks. http://www.zoespeaks.com/festival.html
Curriemet11 thanks, nice recommendation, looking forward to spinning it. Honest roots music, period. Ditto on Railroad Earth...their 'a bird in the house' studio album is good too . The Biscuit Burners 'a mountain apart' is something fans of this genre might enjoy, good recording to boot.
All kinds of good recommendations. Love it, thanks everyone!
i have alabel to recommend. the performances are consistently good and the sound is excellent. the label is glossa, distributed by qualiton.
Vito is very Happy, this was a VERY good recommendation, your knees are safe... this time :) Great sound on the "Rising" CD and very good music as well.
Super delivery and service from CD Baby also,
I recvd the cds pronto from cdbaby. Could be a new reference for vocal seperation for me. Some very fine music indeed. Listening to "Rising" for the second time now.
I've said this before but my favorite aspect of Audiogon is the music I've discovered through threads like this one.

My knees thank you.

I agree about the vocal separation. Take the opening of 'If I Needed You', for example. Four very distinct voices sitting out there in 3D space. Lovely stuff.
I just noticed the HDCD indicator is lit up on the Live At the Backstage Gate cd. HAd to check the Rising and yes HDCD. Some may doubt the benefits of HDCD but the sound quality of these cds is another testimony for HDCD.
I received this from one of the members of Misty River:

"Our band is talking about doing a new CD toward the end of this year with the engineer who did Rising, but nothing is confirmed yet."

Yes please, I'll have some of that!
I see someone mentioned RailRoad Earth. I have their entire catalog, can't get enough of these guys. It's all acoustic too.

See them live this summer if you can! I know I will on July 1st at Milwaukee Summerfest. They hit all the major festivals.