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7 June 2003

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  • Tom Knapp
    Hello!! 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2003
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      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!

      Go to http://www.rambles.net to access the new edition and much, much
      more! (Our archives now contain more than 5,200 reviews, interviews and
      other bits of excitement.)

      Gaelic Storm has reshuffled its lineup and added a touch of
      improvisation to its sound. Tom Knapp, who interviewed band member
      Patrick Murphy in 2002, pays another visit to the popular Titanic band,
      this time chatting with Steve Twigger about the new course they're

      Colcannon makes its presence known with its latest release, Trad. "The
      overall sound remains classically Colcannon, featuring clean, exciting
      instrumentals and the rich, heartful voice of Mick Bolger," Jo Morrison
      reports during a welcome visit to Rambles HQ. "If you are looking for a
      fine collection of traditional music with an Irish flair and
      outstanding musicians, this is it."

      Nicky Rossiter dips into the Scottish tradition with Auld Lang Syne, a
      compilation disc from Culburnie that "is blended liked good whiskey and
      leaves a listener thirsting for more."

      Anita Best performs Crosshanded, and Rachel Jaft has a positive report
      on this Newfoundlander's work. "Best is a talented singer whose voice,
      especially without musical accompaniment, is full of passion and
      sadness -- and the joy of passing on the songs of her childhood to
      another generation of listeners," she says.

      The Baltimore Consort "may have created the perfect Christmas album
      with Bright Day Star," says Sarah Meador, who is perfectly aware that
      it's nowhere near Yule. "I've listened to this album on the coldest day
      of the year, when everything was wrapped in ice and the sun was hiding
      in angry blue clouds, and in rushing spring, with pollen blanketing
      fields of flowers," she says. "No matter when it's played, Bright Day
      Star sounds fresh and fitting."

      The Bottomfeeders won April Chase's affections with Waterview, a
      "uniquely Canadian offering" with touches of folk, jazz and bluegrass
      blended in its East Coast sound.

      Swap's self-titled CD blends the sounds of British-Celtic and Swedish
      music to excellent effect, says Jennifer Hanson. "Whatever a melody's
      source, Swap weaves it seamlessly into the music," she says.

      The Finnish band JPP shares a Kaustinen Rhapsody, and Jennifer gives
      the music a high rating. "The abundance of strings gives JPP a lush
      sound, even more so in concert than on disc, but the arrangements are
      never saccharine," she reports. "The inherent dissonances lurking
      beneath the surface of Nordic music make sure of that."

      The Young Grey Horse Society preserves a piece of Native American
      history with Songs of the Blackfeet. "The harmony of these young
      performers is outstanding," Alicia Karen Elkins reports.

      Alice Gomez's Obsidian Butterfly is "the second-best CD available today
      in contemporary Native American music," Alicia claims. "Every selection
      is awesome!"

      Ray Greiche says Everything's Fine, and Sarah appears to agree.
      "Greiche has created songs that can be quiet companionship for a busy
      afternoon, or tangible comforts when time allows careful listening,"
      she says.

      The Mailman's Children have produced a Stranger Thing in their latest
      CD; Paul de Bruijn says the folk collection "shows the beauty of
      darkness. From the first note to the last the edge is there, the music
      and the lyrics combining to paint stark and wondrous pictures."

      Gianmarc Manzione shares the Silver & Gold mined from the folk-rock
      talents of Neil Young. "The intimacy of these songs make you feel like
      Neil recorded this album in your living room; it is some of the most
      comfortable music he has ever put to tape," he says.

      Raymond Fairchild Plays the Classics and earns accolades from Carool
      Kersten. "Apart from providing a wide-ranging sample of bluegrass
      music, this collection also allows an agile performer like Fairchild to
      show off his versatility and dexterity," Carool says.

      Wildfire plays bluegrass Where Roads Divide; Jerome Clark says the
      Knoxville-based musicians are "already among the more interesting young
      bluegrass outfits" on the market. The CD "offers the sort of modest but
      honest pleasure one experiences in first-rate minor poetry, and there's
      nothing wrong with that."

      Spyro Gyra's Original Cinema is "a departure in style to some extent"
      for the decades-old jazz ensemble, according to Jenny Ivor. "This is an
      essential purchase both for Spyro Gyra fans and those who have
      forgotten why that name sounds so familiar -- listen to Original Cinema
      and get some pure sound relaxation back into your life!"

      David Cortopassi's third jazz CD, Embrace Destiny, put Alicia into a
      doze. Don't hurry away, though -- read why Alicia thinks that's a good

      Nelson Faria and Cliff Korman take you Inside the Brazilian Rhythm
      Section in an instructional book-and-CD set that Sarah says is a great
      resource -- but it's not for beginners.

      The enigmatic gods of the north raise their heads in H.R. Ellis
      Davidson's classic Gods & Myths of Northern Europe. "The writing is
      lively and descriptive," Alicia says. "There are no lulls in this book!
      It will keep your attention focused and your imagination engaged."

      Joseph Bruchac carefully unwraps The Native American Sweat Lodge:
      History & Legends in an informative book Alicia says "will make the
      culture come alive!"

      John A. Kinch shares A Journey for All Seasons: A Cross-Country
      Celebration of the Natural World, and this "powerhouse of information"
      impresses Alicia quite a lot. "Kinch's writing style is vivid, dramatic
      and quite descriptive," she says. "He is a strong writer who can take
      you on a journey to these places and leave you feeling as if you
      actually saw it."

      Charlaine Harris pays a visit to Club Dead, and Tom says the latest in
      a series of "down-home vampire stories" is an engrossing stretch for
      waitress/heroine Sookie Stackhouse. "The story takes unexpected turns
      and there are plenty of satisfying resolutions, but not everything is
      resolved neatly or completely, either," Tom says.

      Scott Nicholson's The Red Church is "one of the best horror books" that
      Alicia has read in year. "He is a master of the craft of layering
      subplots and manipulating tension and intrigue," she says.

      Virginia MacIsaac passes time at Quinlin's Estate, a Christian novel by
      David Ryan Long. "Good dialogue and salient points of mystery carried
      the story," she says. "I would have liked more clarity so it would take
      less effort on my part when reading the journal entries, but Long does
      pull together a story that makes you want to keep on reading."

      Sarah spends a Summer Knight with Jim Butcher for the fourth
      installment in The Dresden Files, a mystery set in a fantasy setting.
      "Summer Knight fuses horror, detective work and high fantasy, and
      succeeds in every aspect," Sarah says.

      The story of Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin revolves around the bushido code
      of 17th-century Japan. Its hero is a rabbit. Want to know more? Read
      Mark Allen's review!

      Tom says The Nail, a Justice League story from DC Comics, is a potent
      graphic novel about a world without a Superman, where heroes are
      outlaws and criminals hold hidden power. Writer Alan Davis "whips the
      story into a frenzy and walks away with one of the best Elseworlds
      tales of recent years," he says.

      Michael Vance likes the art in Dan Brereton's book, Nocturnals:
      Witching Hour. "Visually, this is a fun Halloween romp as real monsters
      mix, undetected, with kids in costumes," he says. "Brereton is blessed
      with an extra helping of talent, and a deep understanding of cartooning

      Alicia says In the Name of the Father is an eye-opening film,
      particularly for anyone interested in Irish history and the British
      legal system. "This movie is drama at its finest," she says. "You will
      be astounded at the miscarriage of justice in this case and the lengths
      the authorities went in an attempt to keep the truth covered up."

      Miles O'Dometer takes a lesson from Le Pianiste ("The Piano Teacher")
      and says the film "is as brutally honest as it is brutal; a voyeuristic
      look into the lives of three dysfunctional figures, it's almost as hard
      to watch as it is to turn away from."

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