Reviews and Comments

“Anne and Ridley’s music is like the French language. Anything they do sounds good.”
-Janice Wolk, dance mistress, North River Colonial Dancers

“The audience seemed to be enthralled and mesmerized, which was evident from their applause. We felt the fear, pride, pain, camaraderie, loneliness and loss of the boys on both sides of the Civil War. I heard many positive comments from people who called or stopped by the next day to say ‘outstanding’ and ‘riveting.’ Clearly the program was a hit!”
-Christine Demidowich, Livingston Public Library

“A feast for both the eyes and ears.”
-NJ.com

“If your show wasn’t a stress reliever, I don’t know what is. I came in feeling frazzled. Within ten minutes, I felt my whole body relax.”
-Member, The College Club, Fanwood, NJ

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 9.13.26 AMADVANCE PRAISE FOR BRANDY O!

“When you research history, especially women’s history, you read about music. George Washington apparently loved to dance. Nelly Custis, Martha Washington’s granddaughter, played the harpsichord–and griped to a friend that she was enlisted to play for members of Congress, even though they did not ‘know one note from another.’ Now finally we can hear the music (and, with any luck, be able to tell one note from another)! Brandy O! is lively, tuneful and fun. It’s a real contribution to the history of the founding of the country. I love it!”
-Cokie B. Roberts, journalist and author of Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty

“From the first grab of the violinist’s bow, this is a CD that draws in the listener in a warm embrace and creates an intimate sound space, a virtual 18th-century parlor populated by superb musicians and engaging vocalists who sound as if they’ve grown together as one family, expressive and immediately responsive to one another’s nuances and inflections.

“The superb instrumental arrangements, sensitive and fetching performances, and vivid sound presence transport the listener to the domestic circle of singers and musicians at Mount Vernon and Monticello. The singing is so expressive that one can well imagine the facial expressions of the vocalists. It’s a delight to hear songs sung by women of the Jefferson family, and the songs you sing from Nelly Custis’s collection give voice to this silent figure from American history. I look forward to sharing them with the teachers next summer in our National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Teaching Institute on American history through song.

“The CD breathes life into these lyrics and musical texts from the dusty archives. Even the small ensembles such as dulcimer, violins, and cello are satisfyingly complete ensembles, with the musicians finely attuned to one another. ‘Here’s a Health’ and ‘Begone, Dull Care’ are immediate favorites because they sound both historically accurate and amazingly of our own time, simultaneously part of the colonial period’s sheet music and of the tradition of intimate harmony singing represented over the past half century in North America by the McGarrigle Sisters and folksinging.

“Thanks to you and your ensemble for having created this superb collection of music from the parlors of our nation’s founding families, and helping us all better understand the sounds of their lives.”
-Deane Root, Ph.D., director of the Center for American Music at the University of Pittsburgh

”Vocals and harmonies are crisp, instrumentation is pitch-perfect, and arrangements make for a pleasant jaunt into the past for joy-filled listening.”
-School Library Journal (starred review)

“Highly recommended.”
-Tucson Unified School District

PRAISE FOR WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME

“A marvelous recording.”
-Dulcimer Players News

“A soul-stirring treasury of music from a bygone era.”
-The Midwest Book Review

“This amazing music brings the past vividly to life with emotion, sensitivity, and grace. No one quite plays the piano like Jacqueline Schwab. Her pacing is unique, her artistry authentic and sustaining; this work is one of her best.”
-Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker

“This labor of love is excellent . . . a collection of songs reflecting the heartbreak, passion, dedication and bravery of people on both sides of the Civil War. The quality of the songs and the artistry with which they are performed are excellent . . . A must-buy for classes studying the Civil War in any depth.”                                                                                              -Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee

“With all the Civil War books and visuals sure to flood the market, this CD is an innovative way for students to study the war and consider its human impact.”
–School Library Journal

“A fine song cycle of Civil War tunes.”
–Sing Out!

“This is a wonderful collection of songs that captures many emotions of the Civil War including classic and obscure melodies.”
–Royal Reviews

“An interesting and valuable collection. The fine musical performances open the door to the sentiments of this time in our nation’s history.”
–Catholic Library World

“Congratulations on an outstanding disc, every track filled with understanding, tenderness, creativity, and faithfulness to the lives and passions of the music’s original performers. The versions on this recording invest each tune with the spirit of the hearts and voices of the men and women who suffered, hoped, and endured America’s Civil War. . . . Recordings of Civil War music abound; this is the rare CD that transports its listeners to that time and place, and in the process reveals new discoveries and insights.

“From the very first notes through to the end, every performance bespeaks the musicianship of Americans in the 1860s. . . . . My first hearing brought many surprisingly new and touching encounters with this familiar material. For example, the simple naïveté of the tenor voice on the first track, “The Battle Cry of Freedom,” makes the song fresh, as if the young man had just enlisted in the army and his fears were audible despite the bravura of his words. The rendition of “Get Off the Track!” is—to my knowledge—the most intelligible and convincing version ever recorded . . . There are pieces I’ve never heard before on a record, such as “All Hail to Ulysses,” one of the countless hero songs that were published during the war. . . . This is the first time I’ve ever heard a performance of one of these songs that transformed it from a relic or curiosity to an appealing listening experience.

“Thank you and the other musicians so much for creating this recording, and for combining your insights, experiences, and talents to produce such rewarding selections and performances.”
-Deane Root, director of the Center for American Music, University of Pittsburgh

 

PRAISE FOR MUSIC FOR ABRAHAM LINCOLN

“This wonderful collection of songs about Lincoln is not only entertaining—it transports us back to the Civil War and to the Days when Lincoln was alive.” -Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

“A fascinating addition to our understanding of our most endlessly fascinating president.” -Jon Meacham, author of American Lion

“The selections range from catchy campaign songs and spirited Civil War tunes to dance music and moving funeral laments. Clear-voiced vocalists, accompanied by dulcimer, violin, banjo, flute, piano, and harp, re-create the turbulent period when the nation was divided by war. The precise piano talents of Jacqueline Schwab (the accompanist on filmmaker Ken Burns’ classic Civil War series) shine.” -Booklist

“A wonderful, well documented collection  . . . featuring a talented group of musicians . . . Unlike some CDs of Lincoln’s time or the Civil War era which are overly arranged and provide little background on the songs, this one presents the music in straightforward, highly enjoyable performances. If you’re looking for a good collection of less familiar music from Lincoln’s time, this is the CD to get.” -Customer review on Amazon

“A terrific CD. Wonderful songs and music. Anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln will cherish this music.” -Customer review on Amazon

 

PRAISE FOR A MUSICAL JOURNEY IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LEWIS & CLARK

“I commend you on an incredible job.” -Robert J. Moore, Jr., co-author of Lewis and Clark: Tailor Made, Trail Worn–Army Life, Clothing & Weapons of the Corps of Discovery

“You will enjoy the musical journey as much as I have.” –Gary Moulton, University of Nebraska, editor of The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

“In [Fisher’s Hornpipe] and most of the other dance tunes, the listener can easily imagine the slapping of moccasin-covered feet on the dirt, the rhythmical clapping of hands and an occasional yelp of encouragement to highlight the dancers’ enthusiasm. The songs interspersed among the 30 tracks range from parody to nostalgia to patriotism. Native American cultures are respectfully presented in music, graphics, and text. . . . The well-designed booklet is a visual delight; the varied and balanced illustrations are especially interesting.” -Joe Mussulman, emeritus professor of music at the University of Montana, We Proceeded On

“The vocals are light, melodic, and pleasing. The well-written 128-page accompanying paperback contains vintage and modern photographs, artwork, and maps. Short chapters are devoted to each song and include background information, lyrics, and more. Like the Enslows’ Music of the American Colonies (2000), this is a great resource for social studies and music classrooms.” -Booklist

“A unique approach to classroom curriculums for teaching children about this seminal incident in America’s exploration of the West . . . Impressively produced and performed . . . Of special note is the provision of sources for each of the songs and how they relate to U.S. history.” -Midwest Book Review

 

PRAISE FOR MUSIC OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES

“A most impressive project . . .”
-Kate Van Winkle Keller, authority on colonial American music

“This lively performance brings ‘old’ music to young people and will help acquaint them not only with the songs, but also the sounds of the time . . . An enjoyable history lesson.”
-John D. Barrows, manager of music and dance, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

“The Enslows have compiled a diverse, delightful collection of traditional American folksongs. This well documented anthology takes listeners on a music journey through Colonial America.”
-American Library Association Notable Recordings Committee

“This is a wonderful collection of music. . . . Varied selections, all of excellent quality, sung beautifully by the Enslows, make this a CD for anyone who has an interest in music of the period. . . . As a collector of this kind of music, this reviewer considers this one of the best of its kind.”
-Highlands Regional Library Cooperative

“This is a charming and unique collection of 22 historically significant songs and readings taken from the colonial period. . . . The vocal and instrumental performances (14 artists are credited) are first class. This Notable Children’s Recording, 2001, winner is a wonderful classroom supplement and great resource for public library collections.”
-Booklist

“These songs have been carefully authenticated and were recorded using period instruments, allowing listeners to have a good sense of how music sounded during colonial times. Both singing and instrumental performances are very good.”
-School Library Journal

“The singing voices are excellent and blend well; pronunciations are clear and easy to understand . . . Recommended!”
-Eastern Washington Book Review Council

“Everyone at the concert had a terrific time and are talking about your return engagement.  Your live performance and interaction with the audience was outstanding. . . Let us know your schedule so we can keep our members posted on your performances.”
– Saddle River Reformed Church

“History buffs and music lovers alike were captivated by the sounds of the melodious voices and antique instruments played by the husband and wife duo, Ridley and Anne Enslow.”                                                                                                                                                            -The Independent

 

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