The Quiet American (Aaron and Nicole Keim): Wild Bill Jones
No Producer Listed
The Quiet American is the name of a duo made up of a husband and wife by the names of Aaron and Nicole Keim. The instruments they play are too numerous to mention. They include many traditional bluegrass instruments like guitar, banjo, lap steel, and many others, some Aaron built himself. He spent time in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon where he worked as a luthier for Mys-Moe Ukuleles. Prior to that he lived and performed in Colorado with a band called Boulder Acoustic Society, after which he went back to basics and old time folk music. Nicole is a musician and artist and met and teamed up with Aaron in Oregon where they both shared a love of old traditional folk music.
The Album starts out with upbeat bluegrass tunes, Apple in the Fall, Give the Fiddler a Dream, Come Walkin’ with Me. Posey’s Song has the feel of an old Irish folk song from long ago and is sung by Nicole to a mythical character named Wild Bill Jones, whose tale is told in the song Wild Bill Jones.
The duo also includes old fashioned bluegrass style gospel music such as Keys to the Kingdom:
“I’ve got the keys to the kingdom
Please unlock the door
I’ve got the keys to the kingdom
The world can’t do me no harm.”
Some of the songs are written by the Keims and some are traditional songs arranged by them and three are by other authors. One of the more well known traditional songs is Gallows Pole:
“Lover did you bring me silver
Lover did you bring me gold
Lover did you bring me anything
To keep me from the gallows pole
You didn’t bring me silver
You didn’t bring me gold
You just came to watch me hang
Hanging from the gallows pole”
The album is supposedly about the old West character Wild Bill Jones but most of the songs could really be about anything in history and about the old West in general. The musicianship is excellent and the sincerity and feeling is evident in their treatment and performance of the music. They display skill and background with their instruments and include a few others on three of the tracks on bass, fiddle, harmonica, and guitar. The album comes across to me like a very romantic journey through the old West. It is filled with upbeat bluegrass, old time gospel and ballads like What Are They Doing In Heaven Today. The music is entirely acoustic and would appeal to those who like old guitar and banjo folk music.