At Large in the World

Mike Cross

From the WV program, September, 2000

"At Large in the World" is Mike Cross' latest way of letting you know he is alive and well and crafty as ever. The CD starts with "The Pig Fair Sailor", a rollicking chantey Mike borrowed from an anonymous poem. He adds his own melody and chorus and slips in a traditional, "Clancy's Jig" to complete the show. The only other non-originals are "Walkin' In Jerusalem" which he credits Bill Monroe, and the traditional "Temperance Reel" to which Mike contrived some catchy lyrics as well as some very salty flatpicking tunes like "My Karma Broke Down" (I'm in purgatory and can't get a ticket on the astral plane!) and "The Big Food Chain" testify to Mike's ever growing wit, while tunes like "Gone Like Yesterday" and "Fast Train to Philly" and "Last of the Freight Train Hobos" reflect his love and skill for blues. "At Large in the World" is a great title for this collection. The title cut, track 12, is one of the finest true to form folk songs I've heard in years. "Mist on the Mountain" (my favorite), "Piping Johnny Home" and the medley "Monterey Bay/Diving Seagull", all Irish flavored Cross creations, display his award winning Sligo style of Irish fiddling and complete a circle of style on this collection which is standard for Mike Cross. With the exception of bassist Rob Link on tracks three and 10, Mike plays all of the instruments on this CD. The overall mix is soft and warm, making each cut easy to listen to and leaving room for you to experiment with your stereo's EQ. To order this CD check out

In the Walnut Valley Festival list of artists: