THE MEMBERS of The Mill Run Dulcimer Band (by no means a run-of-the- mill dulcimer band) clearly aim to set your clock back with "Sweet Songs From Yesterday." And they do it not only by relying on "Old Timey, Traditional and Sentimental Music" (to borrow the album's subtitle) but also through a gentle mingling of string instruments, plaintive vocals and obvious affection for the songs they sing.
The ballads alone are guaranteed to evoke a different place and era. The sextet has chosen a delightful collection ranging from Ola Belle Reed's affirmative plea, "Sing Me a Song," to Charlie Sandage's West Virginia homage, "Rose and Memories," to the inspirational verse, "Deep Settled Peace," equipped with gospel-rooted harmonies.
All the songs are treated to the sort of uncomplicated arrangements that turn-of-the- century tunesmiths could embrace. Yet they also handsomely accommodate Mill Run's ever-increasing string collection: dulcimers, banjo, autoharp, mandolin, bass and guitar. The recent addition of the hammered dulcimer (and the lumberjack who's heard dancing to the dulcimer rhythms on "Whiskey Before Breakfast") brings a lively, percussive twist to Mill Run's cherished music. MILL RUN DULCIMER BAND -- "Sweet Songs From Yesterday" (MRDB-103); appearing Friday and Saturday at 8 at Colvin Run Mill.