Excellent period album…
The Second South Carolina is one of the best period bands, and this is their best album. Not only is the quality of the composition and music high, but the recording quality is also very good (a rarity among period recordings). A good mix of classic period favorites and instrumentals. John B. (South Hamilton MA)
Minstrel Music The Way It Should Be Played…
Oh what a relief to hear minstrel music the way it really should be played; on period instruments without “jazzed up” arrangements and synthesized accompanyments. … For the would be time travelers there is nothing closer to being there, except for watching the 2nd South Carolina’s video “Far, Far From Home,” filmed in a period camp setting near Gettysburg, PA. M.E.O. (Newark, DE)
Enthusiastic Performance of Traditional Music…
This CD captures the sound and the enjoyment of early popular American music. Listening to the 2nd South Carolina String Band you can recognize the roots of Jazz and the “back beat” of Rock and Roll. I highly recommend this truly extraordinary, foot tapping, great music! You will listen to it over and over again. TED (West Newbury, MA)
A living national treasure…
Too often, musical groups that play a traditional genre grow stale after a few years. The 2nd South Carolina String Band, however, continues to raise the bar for the minstrel style with its latest and best CD, “In High Cotton,” which I recommend wholeheartedly. Whether you are a long time fan of traditional camp music or a newcomer seeking to learn, this is the recording to purchase and enjoy. Edgewise (Cairo Egypt)
A Rollicking Good Time…
Listening to even the first few measures of the first song, “Nelly Bly,” it’s easy to tell listeners are in for a musical treat. The 2nd South Carolina String Band is the best group of Civil War musicians in the business, and “Dulcem Melodies” cements their premiere place…
As a bonus, the liner notes provide ample background and context for the songs. These guys aren’t just in it for the music–they’re living historians who are preserving and recreating an important part of America’s cultural heritage, and they make it a point to educate listeners about what they’re doing and why. Chris Mackowski (Limestone, NY)
A Union of Southern Rebels…
This music was just what I was looking for and for a long time already. Somehow this CD is authentic because it reflects and evokes that period in history. The playing and singing are great and man, how I love the banjo! I’m planning to purchase other CD’s from the 2nd South Carolina String Band. They are the real thing! Sean (Mechelen, Belgium)
The songs are authentic, and although the music is ‘archaic’ compared
today’s tunes, it is set in a tone that brings you back in time to
a historical point which gives one an idea of the consciousness of
that generation. Gary W. “bookgary” (Wanchai, Hong Kong)
Kathryn Miller Haines
Center for American Music, Stephen Foster Memorial,
“I’ve heard many interpretations of Foster’s songs over the years, but your group does a fantastic job both with the songs themselves and the intent behind them. I’m duly impressed. By doing such a remarkable job of capturing the joy and pathos of Foster’s lyrics, your performances transport the listener to another time…
I am also impressed by the choice of songs you included. You’ve tackled some particularly challenging repertoire with gusto. I don’t honestly think I’ve heard a recorded version of “Oh Lemuel” aside from a 1930s recording generated by our collection (at the very least, I’m sure you’re the first recording of this song in 21st century). I had no idea what a robust, lively song it was — it was really delightful to hear it as it should be performed.
Civil War Times Illustrated, October 2001
Brenda Wilt. Camp Music
“Just as camp musicians, or ministrel bands, were an essential part of camp life for Civil War soldiers, so they are for modern-day reenactors. One such talented ensemble, the 2nd South Carolina String Band, has produced a video called Far, Far from Home that brings to life not only the sounds, but also the sights of camp life… Filmed on location in Gettysburg, the video really creates the illusion of being in camp with the soldiers, listening to the songs of home.”
Civil War Times Illustrated, March 1999
Jim Kushlan.Fresh from the Past.
“Much like hearing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti performed on period instruments according to a Baroque aesthetic, listening to Civil War songs played on genuine instruments of the period as they would have been in 1860s lets you hear the real sound of a time and place. Still, the real essence of a piece of music is not found in the make of the instruments, but in artful performance done with understanding.
The players of the 2nd South Carolina String Band are clearly “musical reenactors,” striving to re-create the real sound of Confederate soldier-musicians. Fortunately, they also understand the soul of the music they play, and they know how to convey it.”
Banjo NewsLetter, September 1998
Bob Flesher.The Banjo in the Civil War.
“There is a lot of authentic banjo playing going on in the camps of Civil War reenactments today, aside from the old-time music scene. Some of the very best old-time minstrel sounds I’ve heard is a cassette tape called “Southern Soldier” by the Second South Carolina String Band. With a collection of instruments that might have been found in any of the Civil War minstrel bands, their interpretation of what the original sound would have been, I believe, is excellent. It’s beautiful, but with a slight rough edge on it for authenticity. Excellent vocals and harmony and real good instrumentation. The banjo player Joe Ewers plays an authentic 13″ tackhead banjo. And I love the use of the base drum.”
Camp Chase Gazette, September 1998
Will Dennison. Audio Reviews. “Southern Soldier”.
“… There is a nice blend of vocals and instrumentals, serious and light-hearted numbers, and even after an hour and a half and ten minutes I found myself wishing the music wouldn’t end.”