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Features arrangements of French and Italian early music, Celtic classics, and some great Neal Hellman originals. Virtuoso mountain dulcimer player Hellman is accompanied by musical friends Joe Weed, Kim Robertson, Robim Petrie, and others on Celtic harp,
Neal Hellman chose his favorite time of year to inspire his bittersweetly lovely title tune - other originals include Durango, Little St. Anne, Picnic on the St. Croix and La Mort de Coucy. Oktober County also features arrangements of French and Italian early music including Douce Dame, El Tutu and Lauda de Maria Maddalena; O'Carolan's Sheebeg Sheemore, and more. Traveling down Highway One between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz on a fall day with the ocean on one side and the pumpkins on the other and the sky this incredible blue coming alive with the songs of the gulls, pelicans and cormorants...
A walk through the New England countryside in the same month of October with all the trees saying their multi-colored goodbye till next spring...
It's such a bitter sweet time of the year: a time of the harvest and fulfillment and yet a time of sadness for one knows the beauty of Autumn will soon be gone.
October has always been my favorite month. Whether traveling down the California coastline, driving through the high desert at late afternoon or just walking up Fifth Avenue in New York City and gazing at the warm sun through the reflection of the Chrysler Building.
Oktober County is those feelings I have for this time of year set to music. Many of the compositions on this recording have that "happy-sad" theme.
Durango is a fall song for Colorado while La Mort de Coucy is my homage to the brave 14th century knight. Little St. Anne is my tribute to a courageous young handicapped girl while Oktober County is my musical impression of central California during pumpkin season.
Picnic on the St. Croix was inspired by Americana and Robertson's Unreel is for harper extraordinaire Kim Robertson. It was from Kim that I learned the two Laudas which are ancient Italian church melodies. El Tutu was gleaned from the playing of the group Calliope and Sheebeg Sheemore is the legendary tale of two fairy hills written by the blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Oktober County.