A Review of
Rebel in the Woods

Cathy Barton, Dave Para, Bob Dyer
“Rebel in the Woods”
by Andrew Limanni

It is with great joy that I call to everyone's attention the latest CD release of that most delightful and talented duo of Missouri folk musicians, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, who with their friend, Bob Dyer have created yet another richly textured and flawlessly performed work that resonates as well with a sense of history and deep folk scholarship, while still remaining lots of fun to listen to. Kind of a neat trick to do all of that at the same time, but Cathy and Dave have managed to do it over and over again, whether in recordings of hammered dulcimer music, Christmas folk tunes or Civil War material, as in their latest Rebel In the Woods, which is part II of a set, the first having been the 1993 Johnny Whistletrigger.

This is pretty serious Civil War stuff, and a sense of the story of what happened in Western Missouri during that time of terrible Guerrilla war is helpful, although not necessary due to the extremely extensive notes on each song given in a beautiful and photo-filled 40 page book that comes with the CD.

Some of my favorites were the rollicking Atchison's Buccaneers and The Death General Lyon. Kelly's Irish Brigade is a genuinely funny song about recruiting Irish for the Confederate side - something not usually thought of in conjunction with Civil War history. The song Daniel Martin contains lots of history and sings of almost every battle fought in Missouri. There is an extremely chilling Anderson's Warning, taking the viewpoint of one of the most dangerous guerrillas of the war, written by none other than the gentle Cathy Barton! There's even a song about Jesse James.

All in all, lots of history, lots of spirit and fun and entertainment by some of our region's best cultural historians. The engineering on this recording is excellent and extremely professional throughout - you will enjoy it immensely .

FolkFire, May/June 1996