Pretty Little Feet“The Mountain Runners”
Allegra Ziffle and Matt Novak are Pretty Little Feet, a duo that hales from Bellingham, Washington. To hear their music without that fact known one might think they were from the Ozarks or Appalachian hills. There is a very old thread weaving through this music, which is not only played & produced well, but is relaxing as well.
“The Mountain Runners” is music that was recorded for a film documentary about the Mount Baker Marathon of 1911-1913. Having lived at the fork of the Nooksack for a summer and fall, I feel for some reason I should have heard of this somewhere along almost a years worths of travels in that area. But, alas not a morsel of memory is to be found in the memory banks. One thing that is remembered well regarding that area of the state is that it could well be the Ozarks or Appalachian hills in it’s traditions. This is a tight knit, ethnically diverse community up north on the border. From it stems a long lineage of story tellers of their history, which is one of the aspects I loved while living there. The weather, that’s another story for another review.
This project was engineered, mixed and mastered by Paul Turpin at Champion St. Sound in Bellingham. Novak and Ziffle cover all the instruments recorded with Ziffle on Fiddle, banjo, accordion, vocals and clogging. Novak covers guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo as well as vocals.
This reviewer would have appreciated the video component or partner with this work as it is apparent that these tunes are covering aspects of content, but alone there is a feeling that I am missing something. That said, this is a well represented recording of music long forgotten and missing from today’s culture of instant messaging, this is story telling of a time long ago, but not forgotten.
If you like early music, before the folk, country, bluegrass, or any other label; this is the listen you’ve been waiting for. Stories told, no frills, telling of tales with a simple yet compelling musical background.
[Christopher Brant Anderson]