Here are a few record reviews of  Goin' Back

Old-Time Herald:
This is an album of fine old-time music…
The Reed Island Rounders have a conservative, old-fashioned approach to their music. They take a technique-should-be-in-the-service-of-music-and-not-the-other-way-around approach. And although the Reed Island Rounders may not show off their technique, they certainly have plenty of it; and they combine it with skill and taste to produce excellent, straightforward, no nonsense music equally suitable for dancing as well as for comfortable, enjoyable listening.

A characteristic that distinguishes the band is how well each musician's playing is integrated with the others. Cornette's solid rhythm guitar provides the foundations for Vornbrock's fiddle and Jones' banjo and her occasional vocal, and each instrument blends in with and complements the others. Betty's fiddle weaves in and out of Diane's banjo line, which in turn punctuates and accents the fiddle while the guitar supports the whole structure. There are sections in "Yew Piney Mountains" where Betty's fiddle flows down a scale with short, swinging, graceful strokes of her bow while Diane's banjo drops with her, matching her step for step and note for note, in a descending helix of musical interplay. Jones is a fine clawhammer banjo player who can use that often hard-driving technique to bring a relaxed sense of rhythm and melody to a tune occasionally using a brush stroke to insert a well crafted arpeggio--all of which is much harder than just playing fast.

But to a great extent this is Vornbrock's album. It is her fiddle that shapes and defines most of the tunes, dancing through the album like a prima ballerina in a pas de trios (trois?). Even on "Coo Coo", which Jones' banjo opens with the well known Galax Lick arpeggio that Clarence Ashley's 1929 recording more or less welded into the song, it is Vornbrock's pulsing fiddle that not only carries much of the melody but also provides the rhythmic drive. She has both the skill to infuse her playing with clear, crisp articulation and the musicianship to use that articulation to keep the themes fresh and inviting no matter how often they get repeated in a given selection.

Most of the selections are instrumentals, but there are a handful of vocal pieces for which Jones is the lead singer. Her singing voice is low, rich, and expressive. She is a fine singer and she brings a relaxed, comfortable quality to her songs that make them most enjoyable.

<snip>…and fine it is-- not only for the quality of each selection, but because of the overall consistency. The Reed Island Rounders set a high standard on the opening selection and maintain it all the way to the end. This is an album without disappointing selections which, along with the full package of more than 73 minutes playing time make it a generous, enjoyable album.     ~ by A.V. Shirk, OTH Summer 2003

Bluegrass Unlimited:
The Reed Island Rounders are a trio from southwestern Virginia with roots deep in the traditions of West Virginia. That is the source for the majority of their music. The addition of Diane Jones on vocals and banjo has added a new dimension to this band. Her forthright banjo style and no-nonsense vocal style bring renewed life to old songs like "Goin' Back to the Yew Piney Mountains" and "Cherry River Line". Betty Vornbrock, the fiddler, places her distinctive stamp on a great variety of tunes from "Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies", to Ernie Carpenter's "Elk River Blues" and Ed Haley's "Indian Squaw". She weaves the notes with a vigorously delicate bow. Billy Cornette plays guitar and adds to the vocal mix. His rock steady playing supports the performances on banjo & fiddle.

The liner notes provide the details for banjo and fiddle tunings for those looking to learn the tunes. The Rounders give us a skillful program of old-time music that seeks the best from the nooks and crannies of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky's rich musical heritage.  ~ Bob Buckingham, BU Summer 2003

Here are a few record reviews of  Wolves in the Wood

Old-Time Herald:    "This cassette (and CD) of 21 instrumentals features the fine fiddling of Betty Vornbrock. The majority of the selections are modal tunes and waltzes, and the group is at their best with these pieces. Frankly, Betty is one of the best waltz fiddlers I've ever heard.
   Andy Buckman's melodic banjo compliments Vornbrock's fiddling very well. The mix is a good one, nicely highlighting the interplay between the fiddle and banjo."
~Dale Morris 
Fiddler Magazine:    "Betty's fiddle and Andy Buckman's banjo are of one mind as they wend their ways through these tunes. Billy Cornette's guitar shadows the two melodic adventurers.
   This set of well-played tunes should be in every old-time music lover's library. Even if you think you already know these tunes, these folks have put something special into them that makes them come alive all over again."
~Bob Buckingham 
The Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette:    "The Rounders know their music and are comfortable playing together. With tasty versions of 21 well-chosen tunes, "Wolves in the Wood" offers the right balance of fiddle, banjo & guitar."
                                                                                                       ~Paul Gartner 
The Old Time News:
(Friends of American Old Time Music and Dance,
FOAOTMAD Gainsborough, England):  
  "I sometimes feel that some of the modern Old Time bands play dance tunes too fast to dance to, so perhaps that's why I like this tape so much. Many of the tunes are well-known ones but not played in that kind of frantic way that takes all the swing and subtlety out of them. And subtle & tasteful is what this playing is, without losing any of the drive and rhythm essential to this music."
                                                                                                       ~Fiona Cameron

Bluegrass Unlimited:     "The Reed Island Rounders is an old-time trio that has a firm grasp of things old-time and melodic. There are some mighty fine waltzes to be heard on this recording, along with some of those great crooked West Virginia tunes. Betty's bowing has an organic grittiness to it that inserts a pointed drive to the tunes.
      Billy Cornette & Betty Vornbrock are close friends with J.P. Fraley. As a result she not only plays some of J.P.'s tunes, she gets the same feel and touch on them. She is a natural with fiddle harmonies and twins her own fiddle here to great effect. Billy is a solid guitarist who fully understands the role of the guitar in old-time music.
      This is not a knock-down kind of old-time music, it is far more subtle than that. The power is the sum of the three strong performances and that undeniable mountain modality. A recommended listen for fans of classy string band music."               
                                        ~ Bob Buckingham

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