Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Violinaires

Artist: The Violinaires
LP: Live the Right Way
Song: "The Ninth Hour"
[ listen ]
Song: "When I Come"
[ listen ]

Here's a little Sunday church music for you. If they featured stuff like The Violinaires at LDS church services, I'd probably still be Mormon! The group, ofttimes officially called "Fantastic," recorded this 1968 LP six years before they made the only other Violinaires record I've found so far. "Live the Right Way" is one of the things I picked up at Domino Sound in New Orleans a few months ago (the cover seems to have taken a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina). Though nothing on the LP explicitly says so, The Violinaires' songs on this one are pretty darn fantastic. According to the notes on the back of the sleeve, the group's 1968 lineup includes tenors Robert Blair, James McCurdy, Robert Wilson and Isaiah Jones, along with baritone James Byers. That's only five, and there are six fellows shown on the cover, so I'm not sure who got shafted in the notes and why. I have, however, found two Facebook pages (here and here) and two websites for The Violinaires (one where they're fantastic, another where they're not), so I'm guessing that there may have been some drama. My hunch is that this could be one of those situations where a rift in the group caused certain members to split off to form their own alternate group, both of them claiming to be the authentic Violinaires, thereby causing much confusion and consternation. I'd probably be able to sort the whole thing out if only I could read German

(A few minutes later) - I just found some English-language info on the group here. It seems like maybe everyone's been getting along after all, which is fantastic!

[ The Fantastic Violinaires, nowadays ]

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