Reviews of Wind River Crossing

Matthew Smith, FolkWeb Music Director

Wind River Crossing is the debut solo CD by former City Folk member Keith Greeninger. Keith's beautifully rich voice and gorgeous guitar playing shine through on this CD. There is a full band on the album but it never overshadows Keith. The arrangments are tasteful - never too extravagant. A superlative debut!

Kerrville Kronikle, 1999

It was 6:00pm on Sunday 30th May 1999 at the Quiet Valley Ranch in the West Texas Hill Country when the four-piece ensemble led by Keith Greeninger took the stage. One hour later - the verdict - I was helplessly addicted to the music I had just heard. Another of those memorable musical moments had been implanted in this heart - for as long as it dares to beat. It's amazing how a concert grand piano, accordion, double bass, acoustic guitars, resonator guitar and flute can invest what are already stunning tunes, about life, love (lost and won) and death, with such vibrancy.

Come to think of it, Californian musicians have been the source of the most interesting music on my most recent visits to the Kerrville Folk Festival. Back in 1992 it was Michael McNevin. 1996 produced an introduction to Joel Rafael. At the threshold of the next millennium, Keith Greeninger, a 1997 Kerrville New Folk winner, did it......and how.

Over the ensuing months I've played this 1997 album ad infinitum. Some folk around here would probably offer, "ad nauseam." Based on the foregoing act of repetition, Wind River Crossing has ascended to my personal, and rather select, Library of Recorded Fame.

On a number of tracks there's a hint of Jackson Browne's music, principally from his fruitful, collaborative period with David Lindley. No copyist, Greeninger leavens his melodies with a dash of acoustic blues and a considerable measure of the rhythms from the land of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua et al. Vocally, where necessary, there's a throaty roughness to Greeninger's delivery or a heartrending ache that perfectly captures the often anguished situations painted by his words.

Clocking in at just over 64 minutes duration, the only cover on this set is the Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia collaboration "Broke Down Palace." Among the supporting players enlisted by Greeninger are Flaco Jimenez (accordion), Pete "Coke" Escovedo (percussion) and Martin Simpson (guitar).

In "Mercy of the San Joaquin" Maria and the unnamed narrator are fruit pickers in the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley who, unknown to their parents, partake in late night trysts. Their desperate plight is further magnified by the lovers' seemingly unattainable dream of making sufficient money to allow them to return to their homeland, Mexico. Elsewhere there's the delightful "Josephina," the thoughtful hymn to mother Earth "My Religion," and "Catch A Glimpse," a call to stop, untie and find a new way to ensure the survival of mankind on this planet.

Quite frankly, all the way from the gentle opening title cut through to the eleven minute closer "North to Southeast," Wind River Crossing is a musical journey of truly epic and thoughtful proportions. Enrich your life today.

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