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Mark Twain
Original Soundtrack Recording

From the Film by Ken Burns

Review by Steven Stone
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Mark Twain Original Soundtrack Recording

CD Stock Number: Columbia Legacy Records


  Often soundtracks are mere mementos of a cinematic experience. They are designed to conjure up pleasurable moments spent communing with the silver screen. Mark Twain - Original Soundtrack Recording from the film by Ken Burns has some of that souvenir quality, with monologues of Twain's writings performed by actor Kevin Conway interspersed throughout the CD. Luckily CD technology permits us to program our players to skip this verbiage in favor of the music.

Bobby Horton plays a variety of instruments, including harmonica, mandolin, banjo, guitar, string bass, bouzouki, fiddle, resophonic guitar, concertina, cowbell, and tin whistle. He plays them all pretty darn well, recreating the sounds of music from Mark Twain's era. Jacqueline Shwab also captures the mood of his times with eight solo piano selections of traditional classics such as "Sweet Betsy from Pike," 'Wagoner's Lad," and "How can I keep from Singing." Al Petteway contributes two original guitar compositions, and guitarist Ed Gerhard performs his own contemporary solo piece "Howl." Two songs from the standard bluegrass/string-band repertoire complete the CD. "Shuckin' the Bush" played by John Owen Lardinous, the late Randy Howard, Jeanette Lucille Lardinous, John Lardinous and William Lardinous. and "Dill Pickle Rag" featuring John Owen Lardinous, Peter Ostroushko, David Swenson, Valeriy Saakov, Ben Ehrmantraut, and Michael Hunt display delightful old-fashioned verve.

I'm not a big fan of using music for background, but Mark Twain - Original Soundtrack Recording from the film by Ken Burns is the perfect disc to complement daily activities like scrubbing your sink or cleaning the living room. It makes an excellent soundtrack for your life as well as Twain's.



Enjoyment: 85

Sound Quality: 90











































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