Chronogram, March 2018
North Mountain Rambling is the first album to be recorded at Big Pink since the bootleg Basement Tapes were made there 50 years ago.
This legendary abode in Saugerties was home to members of The Band and became known for the hundreds of songs recorded there with Bob Dylan while he
recovered from a debilitating motorcycle accident.
David Kraai's music continues in a similar tradition of feel over formality, rawness over refinement - as he croons in "Shotgun Rider": "Let's
roll them dice sister and just let it ride." Due in no small part to the accompaniment of Fooch Fischetti on pedal steel and fiddle, Chris Ragucci on drums,
and Amy Laber on backing vocals, Kraai's catchy tunes and down-on-his-luck antics have a way of sticking in your head for days. Dylan alumni Rob Stoner, on bass,
and Eric Weissberg, on banjo, complete the historical music circle.
Poughkeepsie Journal, 12/12/17
Like a worn leather jacket or favorite pair of jeans, the music on David Kraai’s most recent CD is defined by creases, comfort and a sense of familiarity.
Kraai is a hard-working musician and that is reflected on his new, five-song CD, North Mountain Rambling. There is depth and direction, hard turns, soft landings and a priority placed on sonic textures and music that evokes moods.
North Mountain Rambling conjures up colors and shapes. Kraai takes chances and leaps through hoops. And conquers the complexities of composition with simplicity.
Pedal steel guitar player Fooch Fischetti deserve a huge shoutout for his contribution to this CD. His performance is gentle, but leaves a major footprint.
Like the mountains and the rivers of the Hudson Valley, Kraai’s creative expression can draw you in with something of a gravitational pull. And once you explore your surroundings, you decide to stick around.
Adding luster to North Mountain Rambling is where it was recorded — the basement of Big Pink, the legendary house in Saugerties, not far from Woodstock, where members of The Band lived decades ago and recorded with Bob Dylan.
According to Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings, Dylan’s success of the 1960s “came to an abrupt halt in July 1966 when he was reported to have been in a serious motorcycle accident in upstate New York.”
While recovering from injuries, Dylan and The Band, in the basement of Big Pink, recorded more than a hundred songs, according to Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. The tunes ended up on The Basement Tapes and The Basement Tapes Complete albums.
So in addition to the songs, North Mountain Rambling offers some Hudson Valley history. And Kraai sews it all up with stitching that sings.