Ivan Rosenberg and Billy Cardine | The Donkeys

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Country: Bluegrass Folk: String Band Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Donkeys

by Ivan Rosenberg and Billy Cardine

"A collaboration between two friends who communicate via their shared mastery of resonator guitar and banjo. They flourish within and beyond their instruments' traditions." - Bluegrass Unlimited
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Banjo a Trois Minu Uno
3:10 album only
2. No Ash Will Burn
2:50 album only
3. Cecil's Jogging Otter
3:19 album only
4. The Creptid Donkey
5:04 album only
5. Chatuvondoo
4:53 album only
6. Far in the Wind
4:48 album only
7. The Donkeys of Harmison Crevice
4:26 album only
8. Gone and Done It
2:49 album only
9. Rough and Rocky
3:46 album only
10. Farewell Little Donkey
3:59 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Since releasing his first solo album in 2001, Ivan Rosenberg has gained a dedicated following for his independently-produced ‘boutique’ recordings of melodic, expressive acoustic music on Dobro and clawhammer banjo. Millions have heard his original songs in the background of over 300 television programs and films including The Daily Show, Oprah, Call of the Wildman, History Detectives, HBO's Making Deadwood, the Special Edition DVD of Serenity, and the Hollywood blockbuster Kangaroo Jack. In recent years, he earned an IBMA Award for co-writing the 2009 Song of the Year; played on the CD Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor (produced by Grammy winner and Dobro legend Jerry Douglas); engineered and co-produced recordings for some of the most original voices in west coast roots music (Pharis and Jason Romero, John Reischman, The Breakmen, Kevin Brown, Evie Ladin Band, and more); and performed throughout North America with musicians such as Chris Coole and Chris Jones. Ivan is also in high demand as an instructor, having taught a combined 40 weeks at music workshops such as Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamp, The California Bluegrass Association Music Camp, 108 Mile Cabin Fever Bluegrass Workshop, NBCMS Acoustic Music Workshop, the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, SoreFingers, the Grand Targhee Music Camp, and others.

Billy Cardine is an innovative, genre-blurring slide guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, touring artist, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Ryman Auditorium and major festivals, such as Bonnaroo, Merlefest and Rockygrass. He is an internationally featured artist touring in India, Japan, Europe and Canada as well. Billy's dobro playing was recently featured on a Jerry Douglas' production, Southern Filibuster, honoring one of the forefathers of the Dobro. Billy's unique stylings and expertise attracted innovative analog music mogul, Moog Music. During 2010, he helped Moog design their first electric slide guitar, which he then debuted at MoogFest the following year. Billy’s distinct voice on all things slide has lead him to collaborations with Led Zeppelin's own, John Paul Jones and world renowned, Edgar Meyer in his Porous Borders of Music. Billy's productions have won national and international awards and recognition including Indie Acoustic Music Project’s Roots Album of the Year, Chicago Tribune’s Best Bluegrass records of the year and an Apple iPod Playlist Hot Pick. His memorable compositions and exquisite playing have been featured on The History Channel's "Our Generation", BBC World's "Destination Music", and PBS' "RoadTrip Nation". Billy newest release for July of 2012 introduces the Dobro to Gypsy Jazz music in a ground-breaking album featuring an extraordinary band.

from The Donkeys liner notes:

Ivan Rosenberg and Billy Cardine are well known individually as being among the most creative composers and players from the today's generation of resonator guitarists. Far from being competitors in the Dobro world, Rosenberg and Cardine were roommates in North Carolina, during which time they put their musical ideas together to write new songs specially conceived for two Dobros. The result is a fresh approach to instrumental interaction on tunes in the new acoustic, bluegrass, old time, swing, and Indian genres.

While each player has his share of hot licks, the focus of The Donkeys is on melody, harmony, and exploring the soulful, beautiful sound of the Dobro in new musical contexts. In addition to Dobro, Rosenberg and Cardine both play banjo and Cardine is featured on the Chaturangui, a 22-string slide instrument that combines a guitar with the sympathetic and drone strings of a sitar.

Guest musicians include Mary Lucey, Shannon Whitworth, Dan Bletz and Jon Stickley—all present or past members of The Biscuit Burners—as well as Darrell Muller (Old School Freight Train), David Keenan, and Billy Constable. The CD was engineered by Cardine at Indidog Studio and mastered by Bill Wolf, with graphic design and original artwork by Spencer Waltz, winner of the 2006 IBMA Graphic Design award, and liner notes by Derek Halsey.

With each song, Cardine and Rosenberg explore a different idea of instrumental interaction. On "No Ash Will Burn," Mary Lucey beautifully interprets this Walt Aldridge classic with just Dobro and clawhammer banjo accompaniment. "Cecil's Jogging Otter" and "Far in the Wind" showcase the rich and subtle interplay of two Dobros in a new-acoustic setting. "The Creptid Donkey" goes through several movements and genres, while "Chatuvondoo" is an Indian/old time fusion of Chaturangui and clawhammer banjo. "Gone and Done It" features two Dobros in a call-and-response swing setting, and "Rough and Rocky" contrasts Shannon Whitworth's sultry vocals with and old-school country solo where two Dobros take the place of twin fiddles.

Billy Cardine has been earning praise for his astounding chops and creative approach to slide guitar. When asked about him in a recent Bluegrass Unlimited article, Jerry Douglas said, "Billy Cardine is an amazing Dobro player... He could be the next big thing." Best-known for his work with The Biscuit Burners, Cardine has played MerleFest, The Ryman, Mountain Stage, and Carnegie Hall. He was hand picked for Edgar Meyer's "Porous Borders of Music" symposium, has recorded with banjo whiz Ryan Cavanaugh, and will tour with the legendary Debashish Bhattacharya next year. Visit www.thebiscuitburners.com for more information.

With several solo albums of original material to his credit—and having toured with bands such as Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Hit & Run, Mighty Squirrel, and The Breakmen—Ivan Rosenberg has been called "one of the more prolific masters of the resonator guitar" by Bluegrass Unlimited. Banjo Newsletter editor mentioned Rosenberg's last CD as one of the best instrumental albums of the year. Rosenberg's songs have appeared in over 60 film and television scores including "Deadwood," "Kangaroo Jack," "The Daily Show," and "Oprah." To find out more, visit www.ivanrosenberg.com.



to write a review

County Sales

Moody experimental acoustic sound with quite interesting moments
Rosenberg, who has had several nice dobro albums out previously, is joined here by Billy Cardine, another dobro picker: in addition to their main instruments, they both also play clawhammer banjo and some of the best of the 10 tunes on this album feature combinations of those two. While there are touches of Bluegrass here, this is basically a collection of mostly original tunes that lean to a moody, more experimental acoustic sound, with touches of jazz, old-time and even oriental motifs... A nicely produced album with some quite interesting moments.

Bluegrass Unlimited

A fascinating foray through musical landscapes
"The Donkeys" is a first-time recorded collaboration between two friends who communicate via their shared mastery of resonator guitar and clawhammer banjo. Ivan Rosenberg, one of the charter members of Chris Stuart & Backcountry, and Billy Cardine, of the Biscuit Burners, have put together a nicely understated collection of ten tracks, mostly original instrumentals interspersed with a handful of vocal covers sung by Mary Lucey, David Keenan, and Shannon Whitworth.

The overall spirit of the music is atmospheric and playfully daring, with an especially fascinating experiment on Cardine's "Chatuvondoo" on which the composer plays a chaturangui, a 22-string slide instrument from the country of India. Intertwining with Rosenberg's banjo and the guitar of Jon Stickley, it makes for a fascinating foray through these players' musical landscapes. The bulk of the numbers here, though, range from fiddle tune form ("Farewell Little Donkey" and "The Donkeys Of Harmison Crevice") to the light jazz of "Far In The Wind," and the twisting tempo shifts of "The Creptid Donkey." One can only presume that donkeys don't care for light jazz.

Anyway, the vocal tracks, including a gentle rendition of "No Ash Will Burn" in 4/4 time by Lucey, give Rosenberg and Cardine a chance to lay down a nice supportive framework, while "Gone And Done It" is a loose and lively swing tune sung and written by Keenan. The overall effect of "The Donkeys" is to take the listener on a wideranging journey guided by two simpatico pickers who flourish both within and beyond the traditions in which their instruments are most commonly found.

The Bluegrass Blog

melodic and stylistically interesting music for resonator guitar
The Donkeys, from Ivan Rosenberg and Billy Cardine, may not be the only dobro CD to open with a banjo duet, but it’s the first one I’ve found to do so.

OK… so it’s not really a dobro CD, but both Rosenberg and Cardine are known primarily for their work as resophonic guitarists, and my expectations suggested that slide work would be the focus. In truth, what the pair really dedicate this new collaboration project to is melodies, and new ways of incorporating reso guitars into interpreting them.

The pairing is both stylistically and geographically interesting, as Rosenberg is a California-based musician whose compositions have been used in a number of television and movie soundtracks, and Cardine lives in North Carolina and performs with The Biscuit Burners, an eclectic string band who describe themselves as playing “fiery mountain music.”

The music, most of which is written by the dobro duo themselves, is performed primarily with members of the resophonic family of guitars, with several tunes featuring twin dobros. Both Cardine and Rosenberg are fine banjoists as well, and they add a few tastes of the old five throughout, with Billy playing 3 finger style, and Ivan clawhammer.

Two tracks are vocal features, with Mary Lucey and Sharon Whitworth doing the honors. The Donkeys even offers a few using the dobro and banjo stating and reworking the melody together, a pairing that has always appealed very strongly to me. Dan Bletz also guests on guitar, and Darrell Muller on bass.

The interesting title of this CD comes from the fact that three of the tunes, The Creptid Donkey, The Donkeys Of Harmison Crevice and Farewell Little Donkey, pay musical homage to the beloved Equus asinus.