Rob Laurens' CD, "The Honey on the Mountain," was nominated for "Best Debut Folk/Acoustic Album" by the 1999 Boston Music Awards. Produced by acclaimed songwriter Ellis Paul, the album features 10 songs written and performed by Laurens, with accompaniment by several well-known national folk artists, including Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, among others.
"The Honey on the Mountain" is Laurens' first full-length album, and features songs written in Laurens' signature style: telling compelling stories through the use of subtle and resonant detail, plot, and metaphor.
Folk songwriters Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky (who recently have toured with Dar Williams as "Cry, Cry, Cry") perform on several songs, and a hidden track features Laurens and Paul singing a duet version of Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd."
"Rob is a great contemporary songwriter who demonstrates a clear knowledge, love, and respect for the tradition of the folk ballad," says producer Ellis Paul. "Both timeless and contemporary, his songs often transport us back to ballads past while holding our attention within a framework of contemporary sound."
"Cotton-Eyed Joe," the first song on the album, tells the story of a rural town gathering together in a vain attempt to put out the fire that is consuming their church. The instrumentation grows from Laurens' voice and National steel guitar to include acoustic bass, drums, old-timey fiddle, B-3 organ, electric guitar, and a full choir of 20 voices. Like all of the songs on the album, the basic tracks were recorded live in the studio, a deliberate choice to avoid the standard - and too often soulless - technique of over-dubbing to a click-track.
Other songs on the album include the spacious "Wondering How You Are," which has received much air play on the nation's folk music stations, and "The Fields of Kingdom Come," the story of a Confederate soldier struggling with death, honor and war.
On the album, Laurens is accompanied well-known musicians from both the national and Boston folk scene, including Laura Risk (Cordelia's Dad), fiddle; Tom West (Susan Tedeschi Band), Hammond B-3 organ; Don Conoscenti (Ellis Paul Trio), electric and lap steel guitars; Jackson Cannon, acoustic bass; Phil Antoniadas (Barbara Kessler Trio), drums.
"The Honey On The Mountain" was engineered and mixed by Tom Eaton, at Thomas Eaton Recording in Newburyport, Mass.