Over The Waterfall – Jamie Stillway & Eric Skye

Upon realizing that Over the Waterfall was a collection of guitar instrumentals played by Jamie Stillway and Eric Skye of the Pacific Northwest, I went in expecting tunes at fast tempos with lots of dazzling licks. What I soon discovered was that this album is completely opposite of all that, which in actuality is its greatest strength.

Stillway and Skye’s debut release, Home On The Midrange, consisted entirely of original tunes, whereas Over the Waterfall is completely centered around traditional old time pieces. Recorded with one stereo microphone and both guitarists seated a foot apart from it, the duo approached this project in as traditional a sense as possible.

Most of if not all eight of these tunes should be familiar to any longtime listeners of traditional acoustic music. One thing that jumped out at me from the first few bars of the opening track Cold Frosty Morning is that both players are playing it at a much slower pace. This is the case with all these pieces. While it might get monotonous for some, I feel that this was an appropriate choice as it allows the listener to hear the melody of the tune more clearly. It was especially a wise choice for the title track Over the Waterfall, as well as Sergeant Early’s Dream.

Another strong aspect of this project is both guitarists ability to improvise on these pieces without taking away from the original melody. This is best demonstrated on the last three tracks, Cattle in the Cane, Chinquapin Hunting, and Red Haired Boy.

Over The Waterfall provided a pleasant listening experience. While casual listeners would enjoy listening to Jamie Stillway and Eric Skye’s interpretations of these tunes, this project could most likely benefit guitarists who are attempting to learn these pieces since they’re played at easy to follow tempos. This release is a well done, resourceful effort.

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About the Author

Braeden Paul

Braeden Paul has been involved in various capacities of bluegrass music. A Texas native, Paul has been part of several Dallas-based bands as a mandolinist. He also serves on the board of directors of the Southwest Bluegrass Club in Grapevine, TX. As a writer, Braeden has also contributed numerous music reviews to the Bluegrass Society of America Facebook page, and is the co-author of Texas Bluegrass History: High Lonesome on the High Plains.