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8 November 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 , Nov 7 3:45 PM

      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 5,800 reviews, interviews and
      other bits of excitement.) See you there!

      Indian summer (in this part of the world, anyway) has put a nice cap on
      autumn. But now that cooler weather is prevailing, it's time to retreat
      inside, grab a mug of hot tea or cocoa, and snuggle up with your
      computer and a new edition of reviews. Enjoy!

      Our coverage of Celtic Colours picks up momentum with two featured
      reviews this week. Cheryl Turner chimes in with her impressions of Home
      I'll Be, a Big Pond concert by Tracey Dares-MacNeil, Lunasa, Howie
      MacDonald and Gordie Sampson. Tom Knapp has his own tale to tell about
      Bards & Ballads, a songfest with Dave Gunning, Sian James, Tim O'Brien,
      Karine Polwart, Gordie Sampson and Tommy Sands. Read both reviews here!

      Tom Knapp had a chance to sit down with Dermot Hyde, the piper with
      Irish duo Pipeline, in the green room behind the Festival Club stage at
      Celtic Colours. Read his interview to see Hyde's thoughts on the state
      of modern Irish piping -- and the important of being heard.

      Patrick Street is a major street in Cork and a major influence in the
      world of Celtic music. Street Life is an excellent addition to the
      supergroup's discography, says Nicky Rossiter. "This is a very valuable
      addition to any Irish music collection."

      Barleyjuice "has the relaxed, very casual flair of a highly polished
      pub band," Tom says after spinning the group's self-titled debut CD.
      "There are excellent production values here, too, so don't expect the
      rough edges of a live pub show."

      Kathleen Keane, perhaps best known for her time as the fiddler with
      Gaelic Storm, shows diverse talents on her self-titled CD. "I expected
      amazing fiddling and got so much more," Tom admits. "Now the only
      question is what she will tackle -- and master -- next."

      The McKrells mix it up a bit in Better Days, a CD blending Celtic and
      bluegrass styles. Chris Simmons says the album should appeal to fans of
      both genres.

      Biruta Ozolina shares the music of Latvia on Sirdsgriezi (Heart
      Solstice). "This is one of those albums that sneaks up on you rather
      than grabbing you by the throat," says Jennifer Hanson. "This music
      entices the listener into another realm and its enchantment is
      difficult to shake off."

      Melissa Gibson draws on the traditions of Mary Chapin Carpenter and
      Joni Mitchell with her new release, Welcome to Stay. Nicky says this
      album of original songs is top drawer! Congrats, Nicky, on review #250!

      Todd Snider's live recording, Near Truths & Hotel Rooms, is an adequate
      snapshot of a show but, says Jerome Clark, "you won't listen to this
      one more than once."

      Bryan Masters is Thundar, the Boy Giant, and Sarah Meador says the CD
      is the perfect tool for knocking other music out of your head.
      "Avoiding simple lyrical schemes and one-note stories, Masters manages
      to capture the more intriguing, less well-defined moments of life," she
      says. Congrats, Sarah, on review #150!

      Adrian Rose catches Tom Knapp's eye in Nothing But Pearls, a musical
      postcard from a New Orleans jazz club. "Adrian sings from her timeless
      core, sultry and flirtatious with a slice of heartbreak, equal parts
      Clara Bow and Macy Gray," Tom says.

      Hiroshima revisits its brand of seamless world fusion on The Bridge.
      Wil Owen, a long-time fan, says it's "nice to know that this band still
      knows how to put out great jazz." Congrats, Wil, on review #150!

      Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, both mandolin giants, leap Into the
      Cauldron, an album Chet Williamson says "will have fans of both
      (musicians) deliriously happy at the outcome."

      Deana Carter has fallen off the radar for some country music fans.
      Peter Harris says her holiday album, Father Christmas, should win back
      some true believers. "It will never sell in huge quantities, but its
      simplicity is refreshing," he says.

      James Cohen explores the Latin blues on the High Side of Lowdown. His
      guitar playing, says Virginia MacIsaac, is "exciting but also fun,
      mysterious, joyous, skillful, creative and simply amazing."

      Ray Abshire & Friends share some Cajun tunes For Old Times Sake.
      "Either as an introduction to Cajun music or as another album for one's
      Louisiana collection, I think this CD is a pretty good find," Will
      opines. "The only things For Old Times Sake is missing is a washboard
      and a mess of boiled crawdads!"

      This Canyon Records collection explores Yaqui Ritual & Festive Music.
      Alicia Karen Elkins says it's a CD that will "have you on your feet,
      moving with the beat and clapping your hands."

      Monsters don't have to be evil, according to story editors Brian M.
      Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg. "The Repentant collects clever horror
      stories -- with a twist," says Tom. "Kudos to these authors and editors
      for taking a new look at hackneyed creatures of evil!"

      C.J. Cherryh flies back to her ongoing science-fiction universe in
      Explorer. "Her construction of worlds, characters and cultures is
      complex and convincing," notes Donna Scanlon.

      Katie Macalister's novel Men in Kilts is "riotously funny," says
      DeborahAnne MacGillivray. "She gives her readers of real slice of
      Scotland and has done her research well into the ups and down of sheep

      Carolyn Parkhurst's first novel (and audiobook) The Dogs of Babel "is
      chock-full of little mysteries to titillate the reader into following
      this author's line of thought," says Jean Marchand. "If the end-purpose
      is to enlist sympathy for dogs, and I doubt that, it succeeds. How
      wonderful that dogs demand so little from us!"

      Tom, usually a fan of the Vertigo line, takes a dim view of the story
      in Witchcraft, a story of female victimization in the guise of female
      empowerment. " James Robinson's story "is sexism of a different color,"
      he says.

      Tom also doesn't like Gothic, a Batman collection that takes the hero
      "into places even he shouldn't go."

      Michael Vance says the Generic Trade Paperback "is parody of the
      industry that creates and merchandises, and the fans that sustain,
      superhero comic books." Unlike others in the field, he says, "this one
      is funny."

      Janine Kauffman dips into a Possession of a literary kind in this film
      starring Gwyneth Paltrow. "Possession bears a lot of flash and more
      than a little heat, but a plot shrunken and jumbled from its novel
      namesake," Janine laments.

      The 1993 film Leprechaun isn't a lighthearted romp about fanciful
      sprites, Dan Jolley reports -- although there is a pot of gold. "In the
      world of horror movies, Leprechaun is mediocrity personified," he says.

      That's all for another day here at Rambles. Cheers!
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