A pleasant musical surprise

As we've been digitizing our music from albums and cassettes (replacing if we can, ripping if we can't), I've been listening for the first time to some of Dani's music. One of his tapes never jumped off the shelf at me: it has a hand-written label and was recorded by someone he corresponded with via email some years back. She plays hammer dulcimer and sent him a tape of her stuff. Everything about the appearance of this tape screamed "living-room recording" to me. Nothing wrong with that (I've made those too), but I just never got that far down in the queue.

It is not a dub of a commercial recording -- or if it is, it's a commercial recording we have been unable to find via Google. Dani sent email to his best guess at a valid address; no reply. Probably stale.

So I was pleasantly surprised when "Ellen Eades: The First Thirty Years" turned out to be quite high quality, both musically and technically. (Dani, it turned out, already knew that but didn't know I didn't.) If this was made in a living room, it was made in an accoustically-adjusted living room with good equipment. And it's not just one track! There are rich arrangements on a variety of instruments here. Very pleasant listening. (Alas, a couple glitches that seem to be the media, not the recording, so I can't do anything about that.)

Google tells me that Ellen Eades plays a bunch of different instruments. The sparse label on this tape doesn't identify any other musicians. I wonder if they're all her. :-) I also wonder if this was a demo tape or a draft that never made it to publication, or if it did get commercially published but has since gone out of print, or what. This is good stuff; I'd like to hear more from her.