Mike Aquilina

Now, That’s Really Rootsy

Sunday October 11th 2009, 10:06 pm

Tiber-hopper Russ Rentler is a blogger and doctor, but perhaps known best for his rootsy American music, hammered out with dulcimers, mandolins, and other such. Russ’s new disk, Way to Emmaus, is out and it echoes the Fathers often. “Untier of Knots” draws from Irenaeus’s image of Mary loosening the knot of Eve’s disobedience. “Late Have I Loved You” is, of course, straight out of Augustine (but personal to Russ as well). Russ’s rendition of “Old Time Religion” brings a smile as he invokes a litany of the Fathers. There are also striking arrangements of two of my old favorite hymns, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” and “Sing of Mary” — but like you’ve never heard them before. Much more, too.