KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Wu Man – “Wu Man and Friends ” – [Traditional Crossroads]

Thurston Hunger   11/11/2005   CD, International

Insert “I am Wu Man, hear me roar” joke here. I’m sorry, but
ever since I first heard about this talented musician (back
when she stole Derek Bailey’s stringed thunder) I always
crack a smile. And while this album definitely has serious
and serene petals-on-the-stream beauty, it also comes with a
warm sense of humor. Even without the one-minute mouth-bow
zinger of an intro, “Old Joe Clark” taps an Appalachian funny
bone to sex and drugs and rock and roll. Or zen and moonshine
and bluegrass? Track 4 offers more country music (although
the country might be US of Banjo, or maybe the Pipa’s Republic
of China). This album seems loosely joined hither and thither
by brothers and sisters of the zither, and showcases a fine
range of sound. “Raining” is an apt title/theme for much of
the quick picking on this CD, it features Wu Man singing in
addition to ripples of string. Julian Kytasty also displays
his excellent voice, check out “Cossack Lament.” A pretty
picture of what life at the Crossroads can offer. Now to get
Mono to cover the closer, “Night Rider”

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