Herman Brock Jr.: The Old World

Herman Brock Jr.  The Old World.jpeg

Submitted By Iain Patience

This is simply a sparkling, jangling, barnstormer of an album. And, if perhaps you generally think Bluegrass and Americana is best left to US-bred, native Appalachian musicians, then this release should open your ears and force something of a rethink.

Brock is a Dutchman and the album's title comes from his interest in the sweeping new world emigration of his compatriot Netherlanders to the Americas in a bid to secure a better life in the early 1900s.  Recalling both his father and  grandfather's tales of this mass movement of  the time, many tracks echo his thoughts and curiosity for their welfare, hopes and dreams.

All sixteen tracks feature Brock's multi-instrumental and songwriting talents. At times, the influence and sounds of  Ralph Stanley seem to shine here. Brock himself plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp and dulcimer. He is accompanied by an excellent backing band that includes most of the finest bluegrass and country musicians performing today in Europe. Brock has played and toured Kentucky and Texas in the recent past, taking his European brand of bluegrass music back to its home roots with great, deserved success, if this album is anything to go by.