Home  |  Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News     

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Charles Sawtelle
Music from Rancho DeVille

Review by Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

Charles Sawtelle Music from Rancho DeVille

CD Stock Number: Acoustic Disc ACD-44


  Music from Rancho DeVille is a love-letter from across the grave. Charles Sawtelle passed away Mach 21, 1999, of complications from leukemia. The last several years of his life were spent recuperating from chemotherapy treatments and making recordings in his home studio, a small stone outbuilding he called Rancho DeVille. He entrusted Laurie Lewis with the daunting task of collecting all his masters and forming them into an album. She has produced a CD worthy of his memory.

Charles Sawtelle was the kind of guy who did so many things well that his business card, which read "Expert", was not hyperbole. This CD reveals the breadth of his talents. Cajun tunes like "The Newz Reel" with Micheal Doucet of Beausoleais, old-time country "The Storms Are on The Ocean" by A.P. Carter with Norman Blake on vocals, a Norteno version of Woody Guthrie's "The Ranger's Command" where he's joined by Flaco Jimenez, and Lefty Frizell's "Mom and Dad's Waltz" with an unlikely, but perfect vocal, by Vassar Clements are just a few of the musical treats on Music From Rancho DeVille. Charles' solos often forayed into uncharted musical territory, and this CD has a couple that rival his best. "Let's Go Home" gives you a taste of his unique instrumental voice.

The biggest musical surprises here are Charles' own original compositions. Four instrumentals with the likes of David Grisman and Sam Bush on mandolins, Vasser Clements playing fiddle, Jerry Douglas on resophonic guitar, Todd Phillips on string bass, and of course Charles on his herringbone Martin D-28 are simply stunning in their rare beauty. What makes them so remarkable is that they are unpredictable yet classic at the same time.

Charles was a serious audiophile, and his studio was stocked with great old microphones to couple with his superlative Grace eight-channel microphone preamp. If you want to hear what a vintage pre-war Martin herringbone or a Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin really sounds like in the hands of a master, you have to have this CD. Acoustic disc include their usual special touches that makes their packaging special. Many of Charles' close associates as well as musicians on the album gives us insight into why Charles was special.

Looking back over 2001, I have little doubt that this is one of the best releases of the year. As Charles used to say "You need this CD."


Enjoyment: 95

Sound Quality: 95











































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.