6 November 2004
Here's what's new at Rambles.NET, 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 contain more than 7,300 reviews, interviews and
other bits of excitement.) See you there!
Lyrica is a U.S.-based trio; The Crystal Spring/Y Ffynnon Risial is "a
well-crafted and melodic interpretation of some well-known English and
Welsh tunes," says David Cox. "This soft-edged CD should be picked up
by every craft shop in Wales (England, too!) as an introduction to the
music of those neighboring nations."
David Munnelly, the new "Bullet from Belmullett," has music to share,
By Heck. "His accordion playing could be described as magical, he gets
such excellent sounds from the box," says Nicky Rossiter. "Through 14
tracks he brings us a wide range of styles and traditions with the
common thread of quality and love of the music."
The 1996 recording All My Winding Journeys "is just as relevant today
as it was when Colum Sands first sang his songs of life, love and war,"
Nicky says. "Part the great Sands Family, he is one of the best writers
and performers on the Irish scene today."
Redshell earned a new fan with its self-titled release. "It would have
been hard to claim that something was missing from Ray Greiche's
Everything's Fine, a good, solid performance with a collection of
appealing songs," Sarah Meador recalls. "But now it seems there were a
few things lacking, and they were the members of Redshell."
This one hits you Where We Live; the benefit album for Earthjustice "is
admirable in intent and has a few highlights, some unexpected," says
David Cox. "The songs -- some trite, some poignant -- come in all
shapes and styles. The music celebrates solidarity, activism and
standing up for one's beliefs."
CC Railroad checks into the Black Horse Motel for a bit of "urban
folk," Nicky Rossiter says. "This group certainly marries the energy of
modern city living to music of the heart. This is a group with a great
future as performers but also as writers."
Daisy DeBolt "provides two very different performances and experiences"
on Just Mountain Songs, Paul de Bruijn says. "The first set of songs
give you a feel for what the music will be like. The second set of
songs are likely autobiographical. The CD can take a few spins to fully
Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson join forces on 2002's Meant to Be and
2003's Simple Pleasures. "These two discs offer masterful piano jazz
and jazz/pop vocal music performed by old friends who so enjoy playing
and singing this music that the joy literally pours forth from the
speakers," says William Kates. "Both provide an excellent showcase for
these performers to do what they do best, and they do make it sound
The Incombustible Men make the ukulele "integral to the old-time
flavour of this great CD," John Bird says. "Set broadly in the Memphis
jug-band tradition of blues, hokum and early jazz, Lou Ow is the first
release by a brand-new trio from Winnipeg, Canada."
Pinetop Perkins is still a Ladies Man, Tom Schulte reports. The
legendary blues pianist "gets several talented women to back him, a
different one on nearly every track of this upbeat, swinging blues
album," he says.
Luke Guy Reed has No Hat on this CD that proves even an Isle of Wight
native can be a downhome country boy. "His convincing, sincere and
heartfelt sound is evocative of Canada's country gentleman, Tommy
Hunter," says Virginia MacIsaac. "Both men's voices create a range of
mood values that are highly entertaining and popular with fans."
Wolfe Bros. take us along on some Old Roads & New Journeys. "They take
old tunes and make them new without losing the eternal spirit of the
genre," says Nicky Rossiter. "Their choice of material is uncanny."
Carool Kersten says Music from Vietnam #5: Minorities from the Central
Highlands & Coast might be of more interest "to documentalists and
researchers of traditional music." Still, he says, "the listener should
also realize that he or she is witness to a rapidly disappearing aspect
of mankind's cultural diversity."
Our Celtic Colours coverage continues (say that five times fast!) with
Tom Knapp's report on Wind on the Water, a Bras d'Or performance
featuring Buddy MacDonald, Anna Massie, Troy MacGillivray and Le Vent
While you're there, check out Tom's interview with renowned Cape Breton
dancers Burton MacIntyre and Sabra MacGillivray on the thriving island
Richard J. Moll's passion for the subject is clear, Laurie Thayer
concedes, but in Before Malory: Reading Arthur in Late Medieval
England, he buries his knowledge under too many layers of academia. "It
is clearly not intended for the lay reader," she says.
Kim Cool found ghosts, which makes Ghost Stories of Sarasota much more
interesting than her previous collection, Tom Knapp proclaims. "You
won't read Ghost Stories of Sarasota with a shudder and a chill, nor
will it give you sleepless nights afterwards," he says. "But the book
is a fun, entertaining look at a community's haunts; Cool provides a
peek into a different kind of Florida retirement!"
Several writers take a look at native issues in Nation to Nation:
Aboriginal Sovereignty & the Future of Canada. "The book offers insight
into how many people feel about the struggle and the need for education
on the subject," says George Schaefer. "I don't see these issues being
resolved easily, but it is good to know that many people are working
together to find mutually beneficial solutions."
Mary Hoffman returns to her alternate Renaissance Italy with
Stravaganza: City of Stars. "City of Stars lives up to the promise of
its predecessor," says Laurie Thayer. "Filled with engaging characters,
the story is well-paced and enjoyable."
Noel-Anne Brennan follows the succession of Saiditin in The Blood of
the Land. "Brennan has created an interesting and unique setting,"
Laurie says. "To readers used to the traditions of
pseudo-medieval-European fantasy, where women wear skirts, are
oppressed and are the heroines only when they're bucking the
establishment, Saeditin can at times be a little confusing."
Elizabeth Brundage evokes shock, anger, love and despair in The
Doctor's Wife, says Nicole van Zanten. "The novel is beautifully
written and compelling."
Patrick O'Brian details The Fortune of War in the next Aubrey/Maturin
novel. "There's treachery, assault, murder, a daring escape, courage
and nobility at sea, romance -- and a sea battle that will make your
heart swell with pride for Britain's once-great navy," Tom Knapp says.
"O'Brian writes historical fiction as easily as some folks might write
their grocery lists."
Miles O'Dometer deconstructs Alias Betty, which is "-- on the surface,
at least -- the story of Betty Fisher (Sandrine Kiberlain), as its
French title, Betty Fisher et autres histoires, makes perfectly clear.
But Betty's story is really just one of several. ... Making it all
plausible is an ensemble of actors and actresses who are convincing
from the outset and only get better as their stories unravel." Hoopla,
Miles! That's movie review #250!
The Taliban makes its presence known in the movie Osama, which refers
-- not to that Osama, mind you, but to a young girl in the Taliban's
male-dominated world. "Osama is full of nightmarish, foreboding scenes
of power run amok," Janine Kauffman says, "but it's the sounds, too,
that will catch your breath: the hush of scissors cutting off Osama's
braids as she sleeps, the padding of a disabled child's feet as he
stumbles down the hospital's hallway, abandoned in a rush to evacuate."
That's all for another day here at Rambles.NET. Hurry back!