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"Back in Paradise", Tom MacKenzie (Lightning Ridge Music LR110) Tom is a low profile, high quality Vermont treasure. Though not unique to this state, we certainly seem to have a higher concentration of these folks here than in other places in the country. Tom’s done more, longer, with higher standards and more dignity, more resourcefully than just about anyone I can think of. He’s known far and wide as a gifted banjo and hammered dulcimer player (he plays guitar, keyboards and uke on this recording as well), and more recently has been getting noticed for singing his own songs. Except for a great 4-part tune aptly titled ‘Balkan Ride’, singing his own songs is what this CD is all about. There are songs about the combination of the wonder, love and affection he has for where he lives and people he’s known, keeping a wise and cautious eye on what’s gone before and what’s around us today, making choices, places he’s been and things he’s seen, and more. I’ve listened to this CD multiple times and discovered something new with every listen. The entire project was recorded and mixed at Tom’s home studio in Adamant, and has that radiance that comes only when the artist is in full control and command of the tools of his trade. A bunch of those other low profile, high quality Vermont treasures lend a hand, including Lee Blackwell, Jon Gailmor, Lyn Hardy, Coco Kallis, Will Lindner, Colin McCaffrey, Gordon Stone and Howard Wooden.
Tom MacKenzie's "Back in Paradise" features Banjo and Hammered Dulcimer. MacKenzie is a former member of Wood's Tea Company and a featured player around central Vermont. The songs on this CD have a very strong Vermont flavor and lyric content. Send a relative in a far away state this CD and they'll better understand the Vermont "experience."