15 February 2002
- Sorry for sending this twice ... I forgot to include the URL the first time
Here's what you'll find on the What's New page at Rambles
... http://www.rambles.net ... ... ...
We put this week's edition up a bit early to mark Editor's Birthday, soon to
be an international holiday celebrated in diverse cultures, with numerous
quaint and colorful customs and, of course, the day off for all postal
workers and other government employees. Now, before Tom dashes off for some
German chocolate cake, let's read some reviews!!
Veema Kysac certainly wasn't disappointed with Tidal Wheel, the sophomore
release from Cape Breton Island flutist Elizabeth Patterson. "Elizabeth's
music on this recording is like a bouquet of roses with exotic ferns and
local blossoms woven into the spray," Veema says. "I would have been happy
with just the roses, you know, but am not unappreciative of the creative
Nicky Rossiter expected more madness in the music of Four Shillings Short.
Still, he says, the music on The Boggy Spew is largely good, and the band
"has a knack for combining some excellent haunting instrumental work with
vocal tracks." (Today seems to be a day for anniversaries; this review is
Nicky's 50th for Rambles!)
Dulaman blends Irish and bluegrass sounds in the Cheshire band's self-titled
EP. See why Tom Knapp says Dulaman "is a band to watch."
Stephanie Giamundo makes a welcome return to Rambles with her review of
Mountain Thyme's CD West Virginia Chose Me. The six-woman band has "a
wonderful ability to demand the listeners' attention by subtly luring them
in with their lively dancing tunes that are performed with a passive
demeanor," Stephanie says.
Donna Scanlon says Kinin demonstrates "a stark, rough-edged yet appealing
sound" on the Celtic duo's debut CD. Musicians Sarah Cheffins and Pete
Millard, Donna says, bring "an original and fresh artistry to their
arrangements, and it will be a pleasure to see where their talents take
Donna says Beyond the Pale has packed a lot of grand klezmer into Routes.
"The most significant element about this CD is how beautifully the band
meshes the musical lines," Donna says. "Melodies are handed back and forth
in gorgeous arrangements that bring out the best in each performer."
(Hoo-ha! This is Donna's 375th review for Rambles!)
Naomi de Bruyn is happy with the work of Jim Layeux on his new release, Red
Dust. "I'd like to know where Layeux has been hiding, for I've not heard of
him before this, and this isn't his first release," Naomi says. "He is
firmly ensconced as a favourite, now!" (Also worth noting, this is Naomi's
25th Rambles review!)
Angie Palmer's CD A Certain Kind of Distance is a very promising debut,"
says reviewer Lynn McLachlan. The album, she says, is "not perfect, but
honest, gritty and soulful."
Lynn says the years of experience show on Terry Tufts' latest CD, Walk On.
"Tufts' songs are straight-ahead and honest, with elegant melodies and
memorable lyrics," Lynn says. "Not a purely traditional 'folkie,' Tufts is a
contemporary songwriter in the vein of David Wilcox and James Taylor."
Sheree Morrow says East-Westercism: Vol. 1, a blend of electronica and
worldbeat music, "will get under the skin and hang around awhile. It's the
sort of music you don't really have to think about."
Paul de Bruijn says the New York Trio Project's Fifth House is a good place
to be for smooth jazz. "Somehow they have instilled the feel of a late-night
jazz cabaret into the music," Paul says.
Chet Williamson is thrilled with the top-notch musicianship and musical
variety found in the Susquehanna Ensemble CD Conversations: Music by Thomas
Reese. "It's certainly an uncommon aggregation, and it makes for a
distinctive and lovely sound," Chet says.
Chet also isn't scant with his praise for the Crooked Jades, a bluegrass
band he calls "the best old-time aggregation I've heard since Dirk Powell,
Tim O'Brien and John Herrmann got together a few years ago to do Songs From
the Mountain." Here, Chet reviews the band's CD The Unfortunate Rake: Vol.
1, as well as their documentary soundtrack Seven Sisters: A Kentucky
Ellen Rawson says it might have been easy to dismiss Rachel Bissex's Between
the Broken Lines rather quickly. "Then I started really listening to the
lyrics," Ellen says in her 50th Rambles review. Read on to see what she
Melissa Kowalewski says Liberty Heights, a too-brief sampler by Mary Hornik,
is a grand introduction to the singer-songwriter from New York. "Her style,
a combination of Fiona Apple and Natalie Merchant, makes for a distinctive
sound that will leave people not only wanting more, but feeling oddly like
they have heard this talented new artist somewhere before and wanting more,"
Nicky says the songs are good but the overall sound is bland on Requiem Mess
by country singer Bill Lyerly. "Every track on this CD has a story to tell
and tells it well, but I find that none of them grabbed my attention enough
to stand out," Nicky explains.
And now, we turn our attention to things literary.
Jane Yolen and Shulamith Oppenheim recently sent Tom a copy of their new
collaboration, The Fish Prince & Other Stories: Mermen Folk Tales, and Tom
is very happy they did. "It's a fun, educational read, shining its light on
an overlooked segment of the world's diverse cultural folklore," Tom says.
Tom also took a liking to Disaster Science, a kid-friendly book teaching how
and why things go boom. "Disaster Science is a cunningly disguised textbook
of sorts, a guide for learning the science behind destruction," he explains.
Tom sets aside his usual dislike for time-travel stories and enjoys DC 2000,
a book featuring the Justice League and Justice Society of America. "This
two-part book is a fun read, combining the characters of two great teams at
their peak," Tom says.
Wil Owens says Terence Shannon's science-fiction thriller, What Happened to
the Indians, is full of good storytelling and a great many questions.
However, Wil says, there are holes in the story that leaves too many
questions at the end. (We're still going! This marks Will's 50th review for
Beth Derochea enjoyed the story in Gloria Hartman's science fiction novel
Race for Doroon, but says the pace was too fast for her liking. "I would
have liked more detailed characterization of the main players and more
insight into their inner motivations," Beth says.
Elizabeth Badurina enjoys the tradition of Mehndi: The Timeless Art of Henna
Painting, detailed here in a book by Loretta Roome. "If you're thinking at
all about picking this up, either as a historical reference or as a how-to
guide, you won't be disappointed," Elizabeth says.
Lynne Remick says she just couldn't find it in herself to like God's
Greatest Gift -- Grandparents, a collection of poetry written by children.
Read her incisive review to learn why.
Janine Kauffman says recent Reese Witherspoon vehicle Legally Blonde loses
its charm if you seek too much logic in the plot. "To ask her to live by the
same laws of physics as the rest of us would rob Legally Blonde of its
sparkle," Janine says.
Tom flashes back to 1952 for The Quiet Man, a classic John Wayne movie set
in Ireland. "It's easy to overlook the old classics in this day of big
budgets and special effects, but The Quiet Man deserves to be seen by anyone
with a fondness for good filmmaking and solid storytelling," Tom reports.
"It's an Irish-American treat that has deservedly survived for the ages."
That's it for today! Now where's that cake knife...?