Review by Graham Blackley
While I was stuck in an endless traffic jam on a dreary rain-drenched winter’s afternoon in Melbourne, the perky sound of the Three Forks album by the Appalachian Heaven String Band brightened my mood and seemed to blow some of the ominous clouds away. This lively Australian quartet, who delivers American “old timey” music with a bourbon-barrel-load of skill and enthusiasm, has played at a myriad of events such as the Maldon Folk Festival, National Bluegrass and Traditional Music Convention, Healesville Music Festival, Blackwood Fiddlers’ Convention and Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival. The liner-notes for Three Forks are a veritable treasure trove of interesting facts that provide the historical and cultural context for the music. After a few minutes of intense reading the knowledge-hungry listener will be equipped to explain what “Squirrel Hunters” and “Chinquapins” are and may even be able to discuss the ancient origins of the wonderfully wild and foot-stomping Black Eyed Suzy. I challenge anyone to resist the temptation to sing along to the infectious Mole in the Ground which is sufficiently jaunty to banish the darkest of clouds from a rain-streaked sky.