Michael Aukofer
Brad Layher
David Dibbern

(The only three person quartet in the known universe, since the fourth member, jack a. lope,
is not a person)
Music reviewed by suzan

Three musicians who do exclusive concerts in Kansas  put out a CD. This is a project I never expected to be exposed to.   No, not shouted from the mountain tops by a publicist, but whispered with joy and pride to me by the Spirit.   Oh the power of the Spirit.  The Spirit moves and connects people in ways you need to just accept and not question.  Interlocking these three guys together was pure Spirit.

This CD arrived on the ideal day October 30th.  I couldn't wait to log in the track titles, plug in the earphones and have a private concert.  The day already had major ups and downs, not minor waves in life.  Getting this music in the mail was going to more than tip the scale up.   Yes this project is stamped with heart, soul and the Creator's inspiration. 

Read the interview of Michael Aukofer that gives you some insight into the making of this awesome project at
 Michael Interview

One of the unique appeals of this project was that the artists keep the recorded arrangements true to the original music performed in concert.  So the music is pure, not studio enhanced with music magic that can never be performed for an audience.  Another twist is it's pure instrumental, no vocals, except listen to the last couple seconds of the last track, what a fun project! 

This CD is a reflection of dreams fulfilled, dedication, musical excellence, and creativity and inspired renditions of favorite Christmas music that will not be contained to that season.  My only fear is that the CD will wear out.  I know it will get some favorite play time because it's just spectacular background music.

What a gift of musicianship these artists are sharing.  Most of the receivers of this music treasure will not make it to a Kansas concert.  So my prayer is that they simply share this music in their homes, and give the gift of it's love to friends and family. 

I would strongly encourage people to support this project and Order the CD at:
Order Form  Let the Spirit comfort and guide you and bring you peace.

Track # 1  ~  carol of the bells ~ What an expressive arrangement of this glorious song.  Crisp, bracing yet decisive instruments set the tone for your senses to begin the appreciation of the unique sounds these guys have achieved throughout the whole project.  The only flaw on this track was that it was too short.  But with user technology of setting the repeat function on, the flaw was fixed.

Track # 2 ~ carol of the drum/nothing but the blood of Jesus/i saw three ships ~ 
This has incredible percussion sounds, and the hammered dulcimers are dancing with the angels.  I can feel God's smile on the beauty of another spectacular orchestration.

Track # 3 ~ joy to the world/amazing grace ~  One moment your rocking to joy to the world and then in a blink amazing grace takes over and your sure these two songs were always meant to be delivered together.  The sounds of lap dulcimer, harmonica, washboard, popcorn tin, soup cans are stirred together with amazing results.  And when those instruments were not enough, they did a little body percussion. 

Track # 4 ~ we three king/angels we have heard on high ~ These combination songs are outstanding.  Forget the length of the track, in essence you are getting more treasures in one.   Moving base sounds, with cool percussion sounds and guitar delight you.  Yes  if you had them in a room, you'd ask them to just jam those sounds on and on..

Track # 5 ~ be thou my vision ~ If someone said hey let's put an accordian with a guitar and dulcimer together; I would think what, too much cough medication?  Well they did it on this track and on other songs achieving wonders for your senses.

Track # 6 ~ have yourself a merry little christmas ~ Invigorating rendition of a favorite childhood christmas tune.  Hey did Phil Keaggy have a clue when his fingers were dazzling the guitar strings this would turn out this marvelous? 

Track # 7 ~ what child is this?/o come, o come emmanuel ~ Yes another two song prize.  Passionate base, accordian and guitar serenade you on what child is this. Followed by a forceful and commanding performance o come, o come emmanuel.  This song could also go on and on.. and no one would mind, until it stopped.

Track # 8 ~ go tell it on the mountain  ~ The beauty of this short tune is with the trio mix of lap dulcimer and guitar blended with that dazzling bass.  I see the trio smiling when they perform this one, and God's going isn't life good!

Track # 9 ~ messiah ~ Confession time, I'm not sure what sounds are mandolin, mandola or mandocello, but this adaptation is exhilarating!  Thank you jack a. lope for conducting the trio to perfection. 

Track # 10 ~ it is well ~  Yes, it is.   The pace changes on this one are moving.  It starts and ends in reflection, with the middle electrifying as they dance over the strings.  All through this masterpiece, the title reflects the mood of the tune, because it is well.

Track # 11 ~ good king wenceslas ~ Three guitars sequenced on this melody to give you a clean rendition of another classic.  This is a classic treasure mixed to perfection.    I imagine trio guitar arraignments are a challenge to play. 

Track # 12 ~ holy, holy, holy ~  The hammered dulcimers duet on this track alone is worth the price of the CD.  Guys the Spirit made this extraordinary for us.  Listeners, let the CD keep running.  Jack a. lope must not of been done; after over a minute of silence you get a hidden track! 

Isn't God good!   So are the guys; you can feel the joy and excitement poured into this project.  Makes you want to go to Kansas to see them live.  The only thing on my christmas list is a video of a performance.. oh to dream.  Enjoy this treasure and thrill people during the holidays with it.  Trust me, your gonna get asked who are those guys, and where do we buy it!

Please don't hesitate; support this project and Order the CD at: Order Form   May you find and share the blessings this project received.

Read Brad Layher interview on this project at:   Brad Interview

Read Michael Aukofer interview on this project at: Michael Interview

Return to the awesome website supporting this project at: Appalachian Home 

To support his ministry, order music and the book directly from the official

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