photo: Susan Forbes Hansen
to her first album, Amy diversifies both her material
and instrumentation, drawing further on her Western influences
yet including songs from writers on both sides of the Rocky Mountains.
Rob and Bonnie Willows Quist penned "This House of Memories,"
an ode to the Quist family homestead in Northern Montana. "Edgar
Griffin--1918" is a haunting song written by old friend
Walkin' Jim Stoltz about an inscription he found carved on a tree
high in the Uintah mountain range backcountry of Utah. "Goin'
Back to Texas," an old Carson J. Robison tune, adds
a bit of lively Texas swing to the mix. Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's
thoughtful "Geraldine and Ruthie Mae" and the
poignant Tim O'Brien/Patrick Alger tune "Time to Learn"
add a pensive touch. The album ends on an upbeat note with Native
American singer-songwriter Bill Miller's "Forever Ride."
The project features several noted guests from acoustic music
circles, among them Northern Lights' Jake Amerding on fiddle,
Howie Burson on clawhammer banjo and Christina Muir on harmony
"This album gave us all a chance to stretch out a bit, musically
speaking," Amy says. "We've got Matt (Nozzolio) playing
lap steel, Kevin (Lynch) playing autoharp, guest bassist Jim Whitney
bowing the bass on 'One More Day.' Plus lots of other guest musicians
like Joe Grieco on piano, Howie Burson on clawhammer banjo, even
some cello and steel drums. I was able to add another female voice
to mine with Christina Muir's wonderful harmony vocals. And of
course what Jake (Armerding) does on that fiddle is amazing!!
Whereas my first album, Northern Girl, was like "hey
we've got a band, let's make an album!", with Sweet Gatherings
I wanted to create a musical gathering of sorts, both with the
musicians and the songs I chose."
album is a fine collection of songs, most of them the works
of relatively unknown Western writers. As with the earlier album,
the synergy created by the combination of Amy's compelling but
tender vocals and the band's obvious musical rapport, makes
for a first rate album by a group that...has established itself
as an important presence on the New England music scene."
surrounded herself with some great musicians and chosen some
terrific songs...Gallatin is a masterful song selector. The
songs are all of the same spirit and seem as if they are delivered
from the heart of someone who longs for the wide-open skies..."
Notes, New Britain Herald
"Sweet Gatherings is an exquisite collection
of well-chosen songs performed beautifully by this acoustic
band. Stillwaters shimmers throughout, its chemistry evident
as they slip forward into solos or pull back to join an undercurrent...Gallatin's
bell-like soprano voice rings clearly above the lively instrumental
Scene, Meriden Record-Journal
black and white pictures that grace SWEET GATHERINGS, the new CD
by Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, hint at what the listener is
about to enjoy.
You’ll find a number of songs harkening back to gentler days
out West. Gallatin’s clear and silvery vocals are ably backed
by a band that knows how to evoke yesteryear in our present.
SWEET GATHERINGS is a collection of covers that makes one feel like
you’re soaking up the atmosphere in a tiny Western saloon
on a not-too-crowded Thursday night. Most bands issuing their own
discs nowadays don’t specialize in covers. One should remember
that “cover” is not always a bad word. If not for the
efforts of Gallatin and company, it’s safe to say that a lot
of these great songs would miss a number of markets.
In other words, what’s wrong with preserving and highlighting
songs that deserve it?
Although (she is) presently living in New England, you can sense
how much of the Montana and Idaho spirit Gallatin has come to know
from years of singing in those regions.
Great songs, simple but elegant production, and the nuance of sensitive
interpretation should make SWEET GATHERINGS a winner with anyone
who cares about the beauty of acoustic music."
~George Francis Maida, The Electric
Croude, WCVE-FM. Richmond, VA