Here's what you'll find on the What's New page at Rambles
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Well, 2002 seems to be off to a grand start! Truth be told, our editor --
exhausted after his Irish band energetically played in the New Year as part
of the local First Night celebration -- wasn't sure he'd have this week's
edition ready in time, but never let it be said that Rambles leaves it
readers wanting! So, without further ado....
Cheryl Turner gets things going with her 60th Rambles review: Raglan Road's
live CD, appropriately titled Live. "Anyone enjoying a mix of traditional
and contemporary sounds in the Celtic vein should enjoy this recording,"
Alanna Berger is coming up Four Shillings Short, whose CD Dodging Lodging
has some flaws as a live recording. However, Alanna says, "the overall
personality of this CD is fun, alternative, clever, energetic and perfect
for folks who like their traditional music served up in a nontraditional
Charlie Ricci returns to the welcome sounds of Black 47 for the band's
latest CD, On Fire. "The new live CD could be named Live in New York City,
Volume 2, as this live material replicates the prior disc's unrehearsed
looseness of the performances, showcases the band's vibrant, irreverent
personality on stage, and gives listeners the same high quality recording,"
Ellen Rawson takes a listen to the latest effort from British folk-rockers
Equation. "The Dark Ages makes it clear that they haven't lost touch with
traditional material," Ellen says.
Over in the Maritimes, Tom Knapp is startled to be posting an unfavorable
impression of native Cape Breton fiddler Sandy MacIntyre's Steeped in
Tradition. "For the most part, it sounds like MacIntyre rushed his way
through the recording and didn't bother going back to polish his work," Tom
Gilbert Head takes a bit of a detour, stopping off in Hungary and
Transylvania to report on the Ökrös Ensemble's new CD, I Left My Sweet
Homeland. Read how this album breaks the Hollywood mold of Gypsy music!
Switching to jazz, Ken Fasimpaur says Boptronica by Mitges "forms a
diverting if sometimes only sporadically engaging quilt, woven from
patchwork elements of jazz and dance cultures."
Lynn McLachlan marks her 10th Rambles review with some Woodland Tea from
Dave McCann & the Ten-Toed Frogs. The folk album from Canadian is "something
you'll want to savour as long and as frequently as possible," Lynn asserts.
Lynn keeps the ball rolling with her report on country folk-rocker Effron
White's Day in the Sun. "With well-crafted songs and an inviting voice,
White clearly belongs in the spotlight," Lynn says.
Amanda Fisher makes a welcome appearance with a Wake Up Call from Michelle
Willson and the Evil Gal Festival Orchestra. "Willson is true to the spirit
of the blues, while expanding the sound of roots blues into some exciting
new areas," Amanda reports. "It became an instant favorite in my house."
Donna Scanlon checks in with our final CD review for the day: Untraveled
Worlds by Chorus Angelicus. This children's choir developed by Paul Halley
has prepared "a beautifully executed compilation of sacred, traditional and
original music from around the world," Donna says.
So, do artists, musicians and writers have a social responsibility to
uphold? Elizabeth Badurina addresses that question in a new rambling on the
arts and social responsibility.
Veema Kysac opens the book section of this edition with Jigs & Reels for
Classic Guitar, a tunebook by Ed Munger. "The book is a hearty addition to
the tools of Celtic exploration that many musicians are experimenting with,"
Naomi de Bruyn turns to mystery with Lawrence Block's novel, Out on the
Cutting Edge. "You'll be amazed at the end of this novel, and at Lawrence's
incredible plotting skill," Naomi predicts.
Donna explores Empty Cities of the Full Moon with science-fiction novelist
Howard V. Hendrix. "Rarely have I read a book that makes me think so much
about its content," Donna says. "Hendrix's writing is rich in philosophical
constructs and effective literary device, and while the reader's brain might
boggle at comprehending the multiple levels unfolded, it will also rise to
Tom slips back in with a review of Maritime Mysteries and the Ghosts Who
Surround Us and More Maritime Mysteries: Everyone Has a Story, a pair of
haunting books by Bill Jessome. "It's interesting, atmospheric stuff," Tom
says. "But it could have been better."
Tom also offers a peak into Realworlds: Superman, a graphic novel that gives
a mediocre ending to an otherwise enjoyable series from DC Comics.
Our final book review of the day comes from Wil Owen, who tackles the
long-titled nonfiction tome The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the
Everlasting Dead by Heather Pringle. "Heather has managed to breathe life
into the subject of the dead," Wil enthuses.
Could we have anticipated a positive review of Dude, Where's My Car in the
pages of Rambles? Not for a second. And yet, Miles O'Dometer manages it,
explaining why the movie "might never make it to the art houses in New York
and Los Angeles, but it contains just about as much fun as you can squeeze
into an 83-minute film."
Janine Kauffman closes the day with a checkup from Nurse Betty. "What makes
it so funny -- aside from a couple jarring moments of too-sudden violence
that are too graphic for the rest of the film -- is the chemistry between
some great big-name actors and some smaller, offbeat names who deserve a
shot at the limelight," Janine says.