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6 August 2011

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  • Tom Knapp
    Hello!! 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2011

      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 13,000 reviews, interviews and
      other bits of excitement.) See you there!

      � � � MUSIC

      A music legend gets his due on Long Gone: Utah Remembers Bruce "Utah"
      Phillips. "Produced by veteran Utah musician Kate MacLeod at the
      invitation of Phillips's son Duncan, himself a folk singer, the 18
      cuts of Long Gone revive Phillips originals, along with the Duncan
      composition that gives the CD its title," Jerome Clark says.

      "Straightforward and unaffected, the performances rely on no more than
      acoustic guitar, voice and sincerity. Hearing them, one feels as if
      sitting in a living room with friends as each remembers his or her
      most beloved Phillips tune. One expects that Phillips would have
      wanted that kind of tribute."

      Bob Dylan is the focus of two albums reviewed this week: Tell Tale
      Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 and A Nod to Bob 2: An Artists'
      Tribute to Bob Dylan on His 70th Birthday. "In recent years, as the
      Dylan industry has overseen the reissuing of a host of outtakes,
      alternate versions, concert material and other obscurities in the self-
      mockingly titled 'Bootleg Series,' the effect on many Dylanists,
      including me, has been a surely unintended mounting frustration with
      much of Dylan's 'official' discography. A case in point: when you
      listen to the two-disc Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8, pay
      particular attention to the alternate versions of songs from his
      albums of recent decades, then ask yourself, Isn't just about every
      one of these a considerable improvement on its "official" equivalent?"
      Jerome asks.

      "A modest proposal: Head on over to A Nod to Bob 2. I haven't listened
      to every Dylan tribute, nor do I want to, but permit me to declare
      with no immediately discernible reservation that this is the best one
      I've heard. (The first Nod to Bob, released a decade ago, was good,
      too, but as practically never happens, the sequel tops the original.)"

      The Moon & the Nightspirit promotes Hungarian pagan music on Osforras.
      "Whether you speak Hungarian or not, this world music volume will
      evoke night spirits and woodland dreams," Becky Kyle says.

      "Agnes, the female vocalist, has a power and range that's daunting to
      describe. Her powerful voice is an evocative instrument in itself. The
      male vocalist, Mihaly, uses his voice as backup, beautifully weaving a
      lower counterpoint and sometimes singing percussively along with the

      � � � FICTION

      Ann Halam gets bit by a Snakehead. "If your young adult readers (and
      those young at heart) haven't gotten enough of the Percy Jackson
      series, Ann Halam's Snakeheadoffers another glimpse into Greek
      mythos," says Becky Kyle.

      "Back as a young-adult reader, I could not get enough of mythology.
      There's a good bit sprinkled within these pages, while the stories of
      some little-touched characters are expanded and elucidated. Snakehead
      is a fascinating read, and one I think all ages will appreciate."

      Ed Lynskey casts an eye over Lake Charles. "A violent, action-filled
      thriller ensues," says Michael Scott Cain.

      "If you're a reader who isn't bothered by prose that periodically
      strangles up your mind, you'll find a lot to like in Lake Charles. I
      couldn't get past the use of language."

      P.G. Wodehouse sets sail with Three Men & a Maid, also known as The
      Girl on the Boat. "A beautiful young red-haired woman is wooed by
      three men. Much of the action takes place on a cruise ship traveling
      from New York to London. Now, at least, you know the basis for this
      short novel's two titles," Tom Knapp says.

      "The characters are purposely shallow and laughably entertaining.
      Wodehouse himself appears in the story as its chronicler; he narrates
      with a great many first-person asides to his readers -- a conceit that
      some readers will love, although I personally found intrusive. Still,
      the overall tone of the book is delightful, and I encourage folks to
      sample this frothy and entertaining example of Wodehouse's early work."

      � � � GRAPHIC NOVELS

      Mary Harvey has A History of Violence. "In the story of Tom McKenna,
      history and tragedy are inextricably intertwined. McKenna's past may
      contain a secret whose influence unfolds into the present in a clear
      chain of cause-and-effect. Sometimes history is a tragedy in and of
      itself," Mary Harvey remarks.

      "The self-referential title certainly lives up to its name in both
      theme and content. The violence is as frequent as it is graphic. This
      novel is definitely for mature readers only."

      � � � MOVIES

      Mary Harvey is quite pleased with the new Marvel Comics flick, Captain
      America: The First Avenger. "Though it's lacking in a couple of areas,
      Captain America is a solid summer flick that does a better than
      average job at spinning a good comic-book yarn. Chris Evans was a good
      choice for the title role, fairly radiating sincerity, honesty and
      bravery," she says.

      "It isn't a masterpiece but it's pretty well-done, and lots of fun
      besides. In fact, it's exactly like the sort of movies that were made
      in the World War II era in which CA is set."

      Molly Ebert switches to the latest DC Comics hero on the silver
      screen: Green Lantern, which doesn't stack up well against the
      competition. "Simplicity isn't necessarily a bad thing, but simple can
      quickly morph into boring. In combination with its borderline boring
      story, the Green Lantern's jumpy plot line and flat characters do
      little to make our imaginations light up and our pulses race with
      anticipation," she says.

      "As the leading man, Reynold's isn't charismatic enough to make us
      overlook the film's mediocre plot. He doesn't yet have a star persona
      grand enough to save a film (unlike, for example, Robert Downey Jr. in
      the Iron Man series)."

      You think we're done? Ha!! Come back for more next week.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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