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The Unfortunate Rake, Volume 2: Yellow Mercury

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The Unfortunate Rake, Volume 2: Yellow Mercury album cover
01
Knoxville Rag
2:09
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02
Shady Grove
2:03
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03
Unfortunate Rake
4:48
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04
Job Job
2:53
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05
The Bull And The Bear
2:13
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06
False Hearted Lover Blues
3:43
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07
Yerba Buena Lament
1:20
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08
Love Creek
4:51
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09
Yellow Mercury No. 2
2:16
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10
Indian Ate A Woodchuck
4:04
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11
Tell Her To Come Back Home
3:15
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12
Ain't No Grave
3:26
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13
California Blues
1:18
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14
Heaven Holds All My Treasures
2:04
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15
Johnson Gal
2:26
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16
A Broken Time
2:19
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17
Love Got In The Grain
4:21
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18
Old Man Below
4:07
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19
Uncle Rabbit
0:48
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20
Warfield
2:36
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21
Yellow Mercury No. 1
2:43
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22
New Lost Mission Blues
1:42
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23
So Many People (So Far From Their Hearts)
5:45
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 23   Total Length: 67:10

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The Unfortunate Rake

tizzybears

I had never heard this group before, but now that I have, bring more of this group to Emusic. They are pretty darn good.

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They Say All Music Guide

Traditional bluegrass and country have undergone a renaissance of late. With more and more young musicians being turned on to the collected works of Alan Lomax and Harry Smith, the urge to sepia tone their own muse has resulted in some remarkable recordings. Like fellow Californians Gillian Welch and Creedence Clearwater Revival, San Francisco’s Crooked Jades discovered that their roots lie in the hills and swamplands of the Southeast, and have convinced the masses of their questionable lineage with an authenticity that rivals their Smithsonian Folkways heroes. Unfortunate Rake, Vol. 2: Yellow Mercury is a reverent set of traditional and original dances, ballads, children’s songs, and dirges played by 12 very talented musicians on period instruments and co-produced by Richard Buckner, who contributes a haunting lead vocal to Hank Williams’ “Heaven Holds All My Treasures.” You can almost hear the crackle of the needle on string band standards like “Knoxville Rag” and “Shady Grove,” and the warm drone of “Yerba Buena Lament” shows a flair for experimentation that suits the collective’s ambitious nature. There’s an underlying darkness to Yellow Mercury that reveals itself on the melancholy closer “So Many People (So Far from Their Hearts).” Band leader and archivist Jeff Kazor’s lament for California’s greedy past, with its refrain of “One more in the name of success,” causes the listener to backtrack through the reels and waltzes of Unfortunate Rake, Vol. 2 with a cautious ear and a heavier heart and marvel at the many guises of human nature. – James Christopher Monger

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