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On the Air
Album Cover: On the Air
Across the Blue Ridge
Album Cover: Across the Blue Ridge



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  • Chance and Susette Shiver have issued a new CD, THE SHIVERS ON THE AIR, and I am happy to declaim: IT IS GREAT! But, what is it? Is it a neat selection of well-performed old-time country songs? It is indeed that. Or is it a delightfully funny old-time radio program? It is certainly that too. Well, to tell the truth, it is both!

    Chance and Susette have joined together with fellow musicians Scotti Giambusso, Robert Spates, and Robbie Robinson, radio announcer Michael Scanlan, and producer/engineer Bob Hitchcock to record a well-paced, old-time rural radio program complete with mock commercials, hilarious dialogues, and great songs, with appropriate live audience responses. The selection and performances are all good. My current favorites are "Cannonball Blues" (great guitar work and play), "Crow Black Chicken" (makes me hungry), the story of Aunt Flory's abduction by aliens (they returned her to earth after she cooked them a meal), and the commercial about the wind-up vacuum cleaner, the Honeyville Hummer ("It really sucks!"). And Susette's vocal on "Foggy Mountain Top" reminds me very much of one of the Kossoy Sisters (but I can't tell which one).

    All in all, and in a word: "It's Great Music and Great Fun!" and "Don't Miss It If You Can!"

    Commentary by: Joe Hickerson, retired (would you believe five years ago!) Head of the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture.
  • And now, for something totally different, I give you the Chance and Susette Shiver Show, ON THE AIR. This is a show within a show within a CD. Are you still with me? Imagine, if you will, an old fashioned radio show complete with silver-voiced announcer, organ fanfares and honest to goodness sounding commercials.

    Picture, if you can, a husband and wife team reinventing, what sounds to me to be, the old George Burns & Gracie Allen "Lambchops" routine and separating the two-liners with Old Timey duets. Project, you must, ordering this singular CD from such random venues as CD Baby, CD Street, Amazon.com or their very own site, www.theshivershow.com.

    I can guarantee you have nothing in your record collection like it. (I wonder if that's Harry Von Zel on bass?)

    Michael Miller, Tune-Up, a publication of the Philadelphia Folksong Society