Butch Waller’s Waltz Collection (Big Chicken Records, BC 102) is a recently release, an EP length collection of six of his own compositions played by the mandolin ace accompanied by an excellent cast of north Californian bluegrass musicians, some of whom are his band-mates in High Country.
Waller, a long-time devotee of the Monroe style of mandolin playing, volunteered, “They are numbers I have had with me, some for many years, that I finally decided it was time to record.”
There are five instrumentals – Pine Valley Waltz, Roberta’s Homecoming Waltz (an imagined reception for an English damsel on her return from a shipwreck [from a novel by Butch’s wife, Corless Smith]), Jagged Blue Waltz, Daydreamer’s Waltz and Valentine Waltz. The one song is Golden Gate Waltz, which those with very long memories will know comes from Waller’s Rebel Records’ release Golden Gate Promenade (REB CD1753, 1999). Explaining why he has recorded the number again Waller says, “Since then I have written words to it, and we gave it a different treatment”.
The treatment includes one tune, Pine Valley Waltz, with multiple mandolins and three, Roberta’s Homecoming Waltz, Daydreamer’s Waltz and Valentine Waltz, feature string sections, “Sometimes with three fiddles.”
Assisting Waller, who sings lead on Golden Gate Waltz, are Tom Bekeney (fiddle); Larry Cohea (banjo); Glenn Dauphin (guitar and bass); Brian Godchaux (fiddle); Chad Manning (fiddle); Jim Mintun (Dobro®); Jim Nunally (guitar); Steve Pottier (guitar); Sandy Rothman (banjo); Alan Senauke (guitar); Paul Shelasky (fiddle); and Juniper Waller (vocals).
The CD is available from Waller at the High Country website.