What people are saying about the new CD Jewels of the San Joaquin.
“This CD captures Kenny Hall’s music in a way I would not have thought possible.”
“The new CD by the Dos Valley Trio, Jewels of the San Joaquin, is not only some of the best old-time music I’ve heard in a long time, it is a fine tribute to the originators of what I like to call “the Fresno Sound,” like Kenny Hall and Ron Hughey.”
“This CD is wonderful, very moving. Harry is in great form and clearly enjoying himself; Cindy’s guitar and voice are great, and Terry’s mandolin playing is a special pleasure.”
“They have done a wonderful job of preserving these tunes and the sounds of a not-so-long bygone era.”
“To me, Valhalla will be sitting around a campfire and playing tunes with a few of my favorite folks and I know that Harry and Cindy will be there.”
Read the full reviews…
Kenny Hall had such an amazing repertoire, very wide-ranging, but he played each tune—whether from Texas, Ireland, Tin Pan Alley or his own fertile imagination—in his own instantly recognizable style. He knew exactly how each tune should go, and he was a stickler for fine tooth comb accuracy. This CD captures Kenny Hall’s music in a way I would not have thought possible.
The Dos Valley Trio’s loving tribute to Kenny features an uncanny, almost unbelievable evocation of Kenny Hall’s unique mandolin stylings by Terry Barrett, mirrored perfectly by Harry Liedstrand’s fiddle with guitar backup by Cindy Liedstrand. With sparkling clean, rhythmically driving, deceptively simple rolling rhythms, the Dos Valley Trio succeeds in capturing that rare combination of precision and abandon that characterized the music of Kenny and his musical associates from California’s Central Valley, including Ron Hughey, Otis Pierce and Dad Crockett.
Director Emeritus, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes
Port Townsend, WA
The new CD by the Dos Valley Trio, Jewels of the San Joaquin, is not only some of the best old-time music I’ve heard in a long time, it is a fine tribute to the originators of what I like to call “the Fresno Sound,” like Kenny Hall and Ron Hughey. The 16 well-chosen tunes are a good representation of the style and repertoire of these guys so many of us learned so much from. Fiddler Harry Liedstrand, mandolinist Terry Barrett, and guitarist Cindy Liedstrand really capture the spirit of this music. As I listen to the CD I can almost hear Kenny yelling out “Ha, ha ha.” Highly recommended.
Director Emeritus, Western Folklore Center
This is very fine work indeed, firmly rooted in place and time. Harry and Cindy sing beautifully together, the works are carefully chosen from an embarrassment of riches, and the sound is great. Very special kudos go to Terry Barrett for his mandolin playing. For those of you who don’t know, Terry was, with Vicki Mende Grey, the foremost scholar and recorder of Kenny’s music and Terry has wonderfully channeled Kenny’s ethos in his playing. He’s got Kenny’s heart and soul coming out of that tater bug mandolin, and by the way, let’s ditch those flat backs and understand that round back mandolins are the right sound for old time music. Bravo to all concerned.
Anthropology and History Instructor
Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa, CA
Dos Valley Trio—Jewels of the San Joaquin
Harry Liedstrand, fiddle, Terry Barrett, mandolin, and Cindy Liedstrand, guitar
This CD is a tribute to some musicians, now long gone, and yes, there’s a Dad Crockett tune, a Ron Hughey tune, and a song by Otis Pierce, but the whole recording is full of the richness of Kenny Hall. On listening to this, I was immediately reminded of the times in the early 1970’s when I had the pleasure of being in sessions with Kenny, and also Harry Liedstrand, who played fiddle with him in the Sweet’s Mill String Band then.
Kenny’s repertoire was not limited to one genre or region, his music was always full of surprises, and his mandolin playing was unique and delightful. Terry, who at one time had a grant to study under Kenny, plays with much the same flavor as his mentor, if that’s possible, including at times using single-string yet chordal backup technique very reminiscent of Kenny’s. Harry’s fiddling is superb, and he too captures the spirit of the person with whom he played so long, and Cindy’s lovely guitar playing rounds out the trio fabulously. They have done a wonderful job of preserving these tunes and the sounds of a not-so-long bygone era. The package is well put together, and makes for an enjoyable listen.
Fiddle and banjo, The Highwoods Stringband, The Orpheus Supertones
Co-Author, The Milliner-Koken Collection of American Fiddle Tunes
In the year 1971 or 72 I was just coming into my stride as a clawhammer banjo player and still struggling mightily with my heritage as a fiddler. I knew I was destined to be one but the instrument failed to cooperate. I was chosen by mysterious circumstances to be the banjo player for a band of older and more seasoned musicians and was thrilled to be playing at venues and festivals I had only previously attended as an audience member.
The Fox Hollow festival in rural Upstate New York was a favorite because most of the performers camped out right there on the grounds and the after hours playing always proved to be mighty. Armed with my banjo, Highland bagpipes, fiddle and minimal camping gear I parked near an ancient looking school bus with California plates. Shortly after I was playing tunes with a couple of long-haired and impressively bearded fellows along with the toughest looking guitar player I had ever seen.
No rank was pulled, no one-upmanship was shown to me. We tore those tunes apart and reveled in the playing of them. The scene was repeated several times over during the weekend. My thought was if all the players in California were as much fun and as friendly as these guys, I was going!
The players were Harry Liedstrand, Cary Lung and Jim Ringer. Hardly forgettable names.
My luthier career took me to Toronto and finally to Northern California where my wife and I settled.
After quite a few years and bands played in, I came across a remarkably clean cut fiddler and his lovely guitar playing wife. By chance we shared a few tunes and fell right in. When introductions were made I was shocked to realize I was playing with Harry and Cindy Liedstrand. It is very doubtful Harry had any recollection of playing with me way back in the seventies but he was nice enough to say, “Oh yeah, of course!”
Since then I am always thrilled to have the opportunity to share tunes, stories, and sometimes a cocktail or two with Harry and Cindy. I consider them part of my very small family of players who never fail to entertain and amaze me with fresh tunes so loaded with hooks I can’t ever get them out of my mind.
I listen at this moment to their CD “The Dos Valley Trio” with mandolin player Terry Barrett and can barely focus for two seconds in a row. The tunes and songs are so delightful I can only close my eyes and think of playing them together.
In short, I am thrilled to have been reacquainted with Harry and to have gotten to know Cindy. I respect their playing immeasurably and anxiously await their recordings.
To me, Valhalla will be sitting around a campfire and playing tunes with a few of my favorite folks and I know that Harry and Cindy will be there.
Amazing Grace Music
San Anselmo, CA