Music Review: Musical Cousins

AN EVENING IN THE VILLAGE: The Music of Béla Bartók by Jake Schepps (Fine Mighty)

| November-December 2011

  • An-Evening-in-the-Village-sm.jpg

  • An-Evening-in-the-Village-sm.jpg

Hungarian composer Béla Bartók got his best stuff from rural folk, and banjoist Jake Schepps takes Bartók’s music back to the countryside—American style. Leading a grassy roots ensemble of banjo, violin, mandolin, guitar, cello, and bass, Schepps adroitly balances the refined and the rustic while indulging Bartók’s ear for spirited melodies and swelling emotionalism. It’s a marriage so natural that you might hardly notice when “Cousin Sally Brown” strolls through the proceedings.

168-cover-thumb.jpgHave something to say? Send a letter to This article first appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Utne Reader.