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Rambles - 6 July 2002

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  • Tom K
    Here s what you ll find on the What s New page at Rambles, your best source on the Internet for roots and traditional music, fiction, folklore and movie
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2002
      Here's what you'll find on the What's New page at Rambles,
      your best source on the Internet for roots and traditional
      music, fiction, folklore and movie reviews!

      ... http://www.rambles.net




      Whooo! Still a little dazzled by some spectacular displays of fireworks;
      here in southcentral Pennsylvania, several communities -- including downtown
      Lancaster -- have outdone themselves this year to celebrate the Fourth! We
      hope everyone in the U.S. and Canada enjoyed their respective days:
      Independendence Day, here, and Canada Day, north of the border. Now let's
      enjoy some fireworks here as Rambles lets loose with another colorful bunch
      of reviews!

      Tom Knapp chats with Gaelic Storm frontman Patrick Murphy about surviving
      Titanic and developing a first-class band along the way. Check out this
      interview!

      Cheryl Turner leaves her beloved Cape Breton fiddle/piano duets behind for
      the moment and returns to the Scottish roots with Legacy of the Scottish
      Fiddle, Vol. 1 by Alasdair Fraser and Paul Machlis. "It is an excellent
      collection of tunes with outstanding musicianship, and those who enjoy
      traditional Scottish tunes -- particularly airs -- played with heart will
      love this album," Cheryl says.

      Bill Knapp jumps back in time to the days of when Irish soldiers battled for
      the Union in the American Civil War. Rock of Erin, recorded by the 69th
      Pennsylvania Irish Volunteers, "is exactly what you'd expect it to be:
      rousing, inspirational and toe-tapping," Bill says.

      Nicky Rossiter says Brother doesn't give you much to go on -- only five
      tracks -- on the CD I You You Me, but it left Nicky wanting more. "The group
      sounds equally accomplished at driving rock and thoughtful reflection," he
      says. (And for more, you can check out our reviews of three previous Brother
      CDs and, in a week or so, read a new interview with a brother from Brother!)

      Tom can't get enough of Howie MacDonald, a Cape Breton fiddler and musical
      "institution." Take for example MacDonald's CD The Ceilidh Trail, which Tom
      describes as "a great taste of Cape Breton musicianship." Read on to see
      why!

      Lynne Remick takes a dip into the musical pool of northern Canada. But the
      mixed bag in Charlie Ningiuk's Inuit Nunangani, Lynne exclaims, is "too
      weird for my tastes!"

      Chet Williamson takes a peek at the early days of Les Daniels, Martin Mull
      and Sam and Bob Tidwell, all working together as the Double Standard String
      Band. This self-titled release of early material is "a fun, quirky set of
      songs, unfortunately marred by the sub-par vintage recording techniques,"
      Chet reports.

      But Chet feels let down in a big way by Dolly Parton's latest release, Halos
      & Horns, which fails to live up to the standards set by her recent Sugar
      Hill CDs. For an in-depth analysis of the album's litany of woes, follow the
      link and see what Chet has to say!

      Paul de Bruijn says Michael Plishka has split the tracks on Spit, Sputter,
      Blow....; some are very good, Paul says, and some are very much not. Read
      Paul's review to see what divides them!

      C. Nathan Coyle says Carl Cacho demonstrates a unique folk-rockin' style on
      his new CD. "Spark offers a lot and delivers in every song," he says.
      "Cacho's lyrics are smart, subtle and amusing while his guitar covers a
      broad range of influences."

      Charlie Ricci likes the sound of Four Bitchin' Babes member Megon McDonough
      on her early recording Day By Day ... but says she needs to sing a few less
      sentimental folk-pop songs and develop more of an edge.

      Turning to blues, Nicky says Frank Morey's CD Cold in Hand "is a fascinating
      album. ... Oh, how I wish some of these songs could get a wider audience, to
      replace some of the trash that radio stations offer."

      Wil Owen says hello to Antibalas, "THE party band of NYC," when he spins
      Talkatif, a progressive jazz disc heavily leavened with various world
      influences. "It certainly sounds as if this group of musicians had quite a
      bit of fun making this CD," Wil says.

      Erin Bush says pianist Jim Wilson "mixes smooth jazz and new age styles with
      hints of Celtic, pop and classical music to create a soothing yet expressive
      sound" on his second album, Cape of Good Hope. "Wilson is hardly breaking
      new ground in this genre, but for the most part Cape of Good Hope sounds
      more fresh than derivative," Erin notes.

      While on the subject of jazz and in the wake of Independence Day in the
      United States, don't miss Sheree Morrow's review of Homeland: A Tribute to
      the Spirit of America.

      The Gosford Park soundtrack made a good impression on reviewer Paul de
      Bruijn. "Patrick Doyle has created some incredibly elegant and graceful
      music, with a sense of formality that unifies the CD," he says.

      Ellen Rawson takes us to the Borderline stage for a London performance by
      Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart. Check out Ellen's review of the show!

      Mary McLaughlin makes sean-nos singing possible through her new Mel Bay
      tunebook, Singing in Irish Gaelic. "If you want to enjoy the rapidly
      reviving art of sean-nos singing it will get you on the right track," Nicky
      says. "Even if you do not aspire to being a singer, this book and CD are an
      excellent value."

      Tom put Jane Yolen's The Fairies' Ring to the ultimate test, and it passed
      with flying colors! "Yolen has collected and adapted some marvelous pieces
      of fairy lore in this slim volume," Tom says. "I know two children whose
      bed-time reading list has just expanded."

      Conor O'Connor delves into our cultural past with Turn Off Your Mind: The
      Mystic Sixties & the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius, an exploration of
      those tumultuous years by Gary Valentine Lachman. Lachman, Conor states,
      "approaches the subject not as one who participated in the making of that
      heady decade, but as somebody who seeks an understanding of what happened at
      that point in our history, and why."

      Nicky isn't entirely convinced, but he still says Feathers Brush My Heart:
      True Stories of Mothers Touching Their Daughters' Lives After Death by
      Sinclair Browning "will provide an emotional solace to the bereaved and may
      open some people's minds to the possibility of contact by a deceased
      mother."

      Donna Scanlon explores a range of unusual styles of writing in Mark Dunn's
      Ella Minnow Pea: a Progressively Lippogrammatic Epistolary Fable -- a tale
      in which various letters of the alphabet are disappearing from the language.
      "Dunn does a remarkable job at realizing his characters and story through
      the epistolary format, the difficulty of which is compounded by the
      disappearing letters," Donna says.

      Erin is pleased to see Juliet Marillier's excellent novel Daughter of the
      Forest continued with such skill in Son of the Shadows. Based on Irish
      legends, the book "is a fine work in its own right, brought to life by a
      gifted storyteller," Erin says.

      Wil isn't a baseball fan, but he still enjoyed The Youngest Hero by Jerry B.
      Jenkins. "The story lacks the realism we probably all expect with
      professional sports and perhaps life in general -- but that doesn't take
      anything away from the tale," Wil says. "If stories could not focus on the
      more positive, gloss over the negative and paint a surreal view of the
      world, it might be a dismal life indeed."

      Tom has a real passion for Shakespeare, but says Michael Almereyda's remake
      of Hamlet, starring Ethan Hawke in the title role, "falls short of the
      mark."

      Miles O'Dometer takes us back to the big-hair, heavy-metal days of the 1980s
      with Rock Star. "The result is a mixed bag -- hardly great drama, but
      surprisingly good theater, recreating the heavy-metal concert scene of the
      '80s right down to the last mascara-sketched detail," Miles says.

      Tom shares his experiences on a pair of whale-watching excursions in There
      be whales here! Read about his visit with the humpbacks off the
      Massachusetts coast.

      Another day come and gone ... we hope you enjoyed today's update, and we
      look forward to seeing you next week!
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