Rick Nelson's 'The Garden Party'
Jack here. The Green Man offices are closed for the week, so come back on December 1st for a new issue. In the meantime, I dropped in while touring locally with Danse Macabre to check out the music library for that 8 mm tape of Cats Laughing in concert that Will Shetterly says he shot. Ah, I found it! Hold on a moment -- A Blowzabella album I haven't heard of? And tapes of Na Caberfeidh? Bloody interesting ... And do I see a complete screenplay for The War for the Oaks on that shelf? My, oh my! But so long for now as I must get back soon to playing another one of our all-night dances. I'll wear me Eddi and the Fey T-shirt as it's so much fun puzzlin' folks who think they know all the cool bands, but don't recognize this one... Join me at the dance tonight at midnight -- just 'member to bring your soft-soled shoes!
18th of November 2001
It was Christmas and Kinlocochbervie had a festive atmosphere about it. Decorations and fir trees decked out with tinsel stood in windows, lighting the dull afternoon with flashes of cheerful Technicolor brilliance, and the door to the Compass was adorned with a massive wreath. The smell of burning wood was in the air, as the wind tugged at the ribbons of smoke issuing from most of the chimneys. I walked past the Compass, and my nose was assaulted by the wonderful odor of roasting chestnuts, something I had not smelled in years. It conjured many images of Christmases past, and as I walked to the first of the shops on my list, I was whistling a merry carol. -- Paul Brandon's swim the moon
Horslips' 'Drive the Cold Winter Away' is playing as I write these notes, with a hard, cold rain falling outside the window. No, it's not yet that cold, but winter is definitely on the way! Once I get used to it being really nasty outside, I enjoy the luxury of long periods inside as long as there's a pot of Earl Grey tea brewing in the kitchen, and interesting music to play as I work in our office. I always get more planning done in the winter because it's easier to stay in when it's cold and windy outside.
It's always pleasing to see how well-written Green Man reviews are, be they an omnibus review of a half dozen fairy tale collections, a look at an entire series of novels, or a detailed review of a single roots album. No matter the format, they are all excellent!
We have an interesting edition for you this week, with a crop of wonderfully entertaining reviews. First up is a Michael Jones' review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- perhaps the most eagerly awaited and certainly most hyped film in recent memory. How good was it? Finding Michael to ask him might be difficult, as '...[i]f anyone needs me, I'll be standing in line to get tickets to another showing'. But you can read the details in his review, which has earned him a an Excellence in Writing Award.
Naomi de Bruyn starts us off in the book review department with a review of Lord Brocktree, a book for young readers and adults, about a badger lord and his faithful followers who must drive the blue horde away from the throne of their country. Naomi loved the book, admitting, 'Not since reading Watership Down by Richard Adams have I been so completely delighted and able to believe in such a wonderful place.'
Eric Eller reviews another animal novel, Silverhair, by Stephen Baxter, about life through the eyes of woolly mammoths. This premise may sound amusing, but Eric assures us that Baxter does an excellent job of creating a realistic world view for the mammoths, and believably recreates the Arctic. (We receive many admiring letters from mammoths and badgers each week, and I know they will be happy to see their literature represented here.)
Gary Whitehouse was charmed by Terry Pratchett's new novel, Last Hero, about heroes who have become old and irrelevant. They decide to ensure their immortality, and Gary says their plan 'combines the best features of Lord of the Rings and Apollo 13.' If you enjoy Pratchett's work, you won't want to miss this installment of the Discworld series.
Shhh! Let's all creep over to Maria Nutick's house tonight; she's got amazing dinner plans. She gave herself away in her review of Suzanne Rodriguez-Hunter's book Found Meals of the Lost Generation, where she says, 'Tonight, I'll be dining on Jugged Hare and Red Currant Jelly-Wine Sauce with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.' I'm there! If you like cookbooks that include interesting text, you'll want to read this book. Judith Gennett gives us another of her useful reviews of a music book, this time exploring Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes, transcribed and annotated by Jeff Todd Titon. Gennett discusses the book and her experiences trying to play the tunes. She gets an Excellence in Writing Award for this piece. And David Kidney looks at another music-related book, this time the biography of James Taylor, Long Ago and Far Away, by Timothy White. David is a fan of Taylor and of White, and recommends this book.
Michael Jones does nothing but read. I don't even think he eats. This week he reviews five books, including In Legend Born, by Laura Resnick, a complicated novel about an oppressed people struggling for freedom, with lots of intrigue and alliances. Next, he gives a review of Wild Angel, by Pat Murphy (read his review to find out whose name is actually on the cover). This is a novel about a feral child in a gold-mining town. Michael also comments on two Shakespeare-related books, as well: A Shakespeare Sketchbook, by Renwick St. James and James C. Christenson, and Shakespeare on Fairies and Magic, by Benjamin Darling. These books are packed with quotes, essays, and information from and about Shakespeare's works, as well as wonderful illustrations. Michael enjoyed these books very much.
He finishes with Einstein's Refrigerator, a book of fascinating and little-known facts compiled by teacher Steven Silverman to entertain his students. Michael found scads of useful (or useless) trivia here, and suggests, 'Next time you're on a date, and running low on topics, just turn to your companion and say, conversationally, "The man who invented Vaseline ate a spoonful every morning for good health, but I know some better uses ..."' (We care about your romantic life here at GMR.) Michael wins an Excellence in Writing Award for this review.
We've got lots of interesting music reviews this outing including two superb omnibuses! Both of these concern English traditional music, a genre well-liked by both our reviewers and our readers. First up is Michael Hunter's detailed look at three re-releases of great albums by Dave Swarbrick: The Ceilidh Album, In The Club, and Lift The Lid And Listen, an informative and thoughtful review that earns him an Excellence in Writing Award! Michael notes 'These three very worthy albums fill in a noticeable gap in the issue of Dave Swarbrick's work on CD. Recent years have seen the reissue of albums from most aspects of his long and hugely influential career in English folk, from his early 60s work with the Ian Campbell Folk Group and his duo recordings with Martin Carthy, through his many years as mainstay with Fairport Convention to his albums with Whippersnapper and plentiful session work.'
In our second omnibus, No'am Newman looks at these very English albums: Will Duke and Dan Quinn's Scanned - music for lungs and bellows, Bricks and Mortar'sTwo Left Feet, and Reformed Characters' Flowers And Frolics. He says 'I sometimes dream of an England where it's always Sunday afternoon, where the sun is always shining, and I'm sitting on the neatly trimmed grass outside a country pub, sipping from a glass of fresh lemonade. What can bring such dreams? Discs like these three, full of good traditional English music. I think that it's the major keys and the accordions or melodeons that give these discs their distinctive flavour, as opposed to the minor keys and pipes/whistles/flutes of Scottish or Irish music. '
The 2-CD set, Scots Women Live from Celtic Connections 2001, according to Mike Stiles is 'is a welcome addition to my collection for two reasons. First, the stellar array of artists presents some of the finest roots music that Iíve ever heard from anywhere. Second, it's a Greentrax product straight from Europe, meaning that no American company meddled with the arrangements, repertoire, or production. A raise of the glass goes to producer Brian McNeill for pulling this project off.' Kevin Crawford's In Good Company draws this comment from Patrick O'Donnell: 'It's a selection more suited for chamber-music types than pub-music aficionados, it's worth adding to your collection. You may end up lending your ear a little culture.' And Silver Arm's Never Despair pleased Lars Nilsson who says 'In all this is a fine album, which I have really enjoyed over the last weeks. The members of Silver Arm know what they are doing and they seem well researched when it comes to their music.' We finish the Celtic material out with the popular Irish trio Last Night's Fun's Dubh CD. Stephen Hunt, a new Green Man staffer, says that the 'greatest mystery, is perhaps, why Last Night's Fun aren't already numbered among the major players of the folk world. This release should go a long way to remedying that.'
Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, have released The Swing Album which Ed Dale says is a misleading title as 'While this gargantuan ensemble certainly swings, this isn't a "swing" genre album. What we have here is largely serious rhythm and blues, boogie woogie, a bit of calypso, and even a New Orleans shuffle.' More offbeat is Andean Fusion's The Magical Music of the Andes: Dreams which Jayme Blaschke notes 'packs quite a punch, and contains more than its share of earthy, unpretentious music.' Sliding in the back door to your favorite music club, we find Judith Gennett listening to Rick Robbins with Rory Block on Don't Deny My Name, an album she say is 'a mix of modern, classic, and traditional folk songs.' Speaking of folk songs, One Voice: a tribute to Norm Hacking is a tribute album to, as David Kidney aptly puts it, 'a big man, with a big heart and a lot of friends.' Reads his review to get all the details!
We finish out our reviews this edition with two gig reviews. First up is Ed Dale's commentary on the Oysterband in Vancouver, British Columbia , Canada in August of this year. Not surprisingly to you, our devoted readers, Ed says 'With well over a dozen superlative albums to draw from, the diehard fan, including this one, was bound to be disappointed by the many songs left unsung. But after close to two hours of near nonstop music, it's hard to complain.' And Vonnie Carts-Powell was treated by Green Linnet to Andy M. Stewart and Gerry O'Beirne at The Burren, in Somerville, MA earlier this month. Vonnies notes 'Maybe it's experience -- Andy Stewart was cutting records before I was born and has been touring in this format for nearly a decade, since Silly Wizard broke up. Maybe it's timing -- his control of both the songs and the patter between songs appeared effortless and deft. And although the jokes weren't new, they didn't feel tired, either. Maybe it's both those things combined with style, that pares away everything from the songs and their performance except the essentials that touch our hearts.'
We're off next week for the American Thanksgiving holiday, so we'll see you on the 1st of December, two weeks hence. Now we're away to order our Thanksgiving turkey from a local butcher from the live birds he grows for this holiday. We'll stuff him with cornbread, onions, and wild mushrooms and cover him with strips of Hickory smoked bacon, so he'll stay nice and juicy. Sweet yams and cranberry sauce -- homemade of course -- will complete our repast. Ymmm! Needless to say our eight feline companions will also eat well that day.
11th of November 2001
The roasting, the feasting and the hours of horseplay helped to create a special warmth on this cold, hard day. Then the fire was stoked and fed to make a warm place where there could be dancing until darkfall. Martin was very drunk. Rebecca danced alone, wide skirts swirling, hair flowing as the accordion wheezed out its jig, and feet stamped on the stone flags at the edge of the field, where the pit had been dug.
Robert Holdstock's Merlin's Wood
Let's put on some music before I sit down to write these notes on this cold, windy November afternoon. Ah, there's an appropriate choice among the thousand or so CDs in our personal collection -- The Morrigan. As Jack noted in his review of their first three albums, 'The Morrigan is music for the Wild Hunt -- wild, exuberant, and more than a bit scary.' And perfect for this time of year!
Let's start off this edition by offering our congratulations to Michael Jones. A quote from his review of Charles de Lint's The Onion Girl are being used on the splendid bookmark for the novel. The quote reads: 'This isn't just his best work to date, it's his most satisfying, filled with tragedy and magic, reminding us that while we are what the world makes of us, we're also what we make of ourselves.' We've reviewed more works by de Lint than any other online zine, so we are pleased and honored that a quote from one of our reviews was used in this manner. And my thanks to Charles for sending these bookmarks along to me!
It should not surprise you that we take music very seriously, which is why our standards of reviewing are second to none. Just take a gander at Lars Nilsson's superb commentary concerning Pierre Bensusan's Intuite. His comments include this choice note: 'There has never been any doubt about the fact that Bensusan is a guitarist extra-ordinaire, one of those to make you wonder why you really bother with the instrument at all -- and this is an album to enhance that reputation. It also shows him able to move in different styles and across musical borders. If you are a guitar freak, like yours truly, there is no reason why you should not purchase it, and if you are not, buy it anyway to get a sense of what can b achieved with just an acoustic guitar.' After that review, move on to David Kidney's review of the dulcimer-centered Sweetwater's Now and Then album, about which he notes, 'There is a sense of humor at work here, a real love for these songs and expression of joy in the lovely vocalizing. Maybe it's not an album for everyone, but when I played it in the office people were tapping their feet, and humming along before it was half over. "Hey, that's not bad!" they said. High praise indeed!'
Meanwhile Brendan Foreman looked at a trio of Danish folk CDs: Fenja Menja's Katten I Saekke, Serras' Second Hand, and Tumult's Wallegnav. He says that 'There's a lot going on in the musical world of Denmark these days, and this trio of CDs, recently recorded in the homeland of the Jutes, boldly attests to that activity. Each of these represents a particular method of filtering the Danish musical traditions through the lens of modern sensibility. The prerogative of all of these musicians tends towards rock music, but other influences such as the blues and ska come through as well. All three of these CDs are well worth seeking out.'
Rebecca Swain was pleasantly surprised by Can't Complain by the Bacon Brothers. The Bacon Brother?!? Kevin Bacon from the Tremors film?!? Is this a sick joke by some A&R person with too much time on her hands? Not according to our reviewer, who says, 'I'd heard that actor Kevin Bacon and his brother had started a music group and were touring and putting out records, but when I saw The Bacon Brothers in my pile of CDs to review, I didn't at first register that it was them. When it hit me who I was about to put in my CD-ROM drive I laughed out loud. Now I'm kind of sorry I laughed. Clearly the Bacons are serious about their music, and this CD isn't bad.' (Editors note to Kevin Bacon fans -- Tremors is one of my favorite films!) Rebecca also turned in a review of four CDs: Jenn Adams' In The Pool, Andrew McKnight's Turning Pages, Toni Price's Midnight Pumpkin, and Steve Tilston's Solorubato. She sagely notes, 'this review has a little of everything -- a little blues, a little folk, even a little history. Anyone who likes singer-songwriters ought to find something here to please them.' Read her tasteful review to get all the details.
Big Earl Sellar says of Aziz Herawi's Memories of Herat that '[a]s timely as it can be, this delightful disc showed up with the current crop in my mailbox. Subtitled "Instrumental Music of Afghanistan," this disc opens a new musical horizon for yours truly. Afghani culture is millennia old now, a culture that's been affected by several attempted invasions and incursions, the touch of literally hundreds of different traditions passing through (whether in commerce or warfare), and the relative isolation from the outside world to be influenced but not overwhelmed by others.' And he says of Ensemble Bürler's Volume 1 that '[t]he more I listen to what there is in the world, the less I realize I have heard. What the Ensemble Bürler bring to these ears is simply superb, a breathtaking soundtrack to a land nobody knows. A stunning disc.' This is yet another great CD from our Swiss friends at Face Music!
Gary Whitehouse found two singer-songwriter albums that he sort of liked: Nicole Edward's On With My Day and Kim Barlo's Gingerbread. He notes ' Nicole Edwards and Kim Barlow are two Canadian singer-songwriters who offer slightly different takes on contemporary North American folk rock.' OK, you'll need to read his review to see what he liked and what he didn't!
Kim Bates, our indexer par excellénce this outing, found Cork Folk Festival Archive to be truly superb. She comments 'Live music is the real music -- there is a certain magic between audience and performer that is difficult to translate to the digital realm. Studio music often preserves the idea that inspired the artist, and creates a different magic with all it's sound-enhancing gadgets. So the live recording is often the unfortunate orphan -- neither spontaneous nor technically pure. It's the rare live recording that captures the magic of a concert, or the fellowship of a folk festival. Perhaps you really do have to be there. But, for those of us who can't get to them all, this type of celebration of an ongoing festival can provide an enticing sense of what might happen if you could just get on that plane, into that car, or across that road where the magic is being played. And Cork Folk Festival Archive does just that -- it provides some glimpses, some great moments that might make me consider taking the journey to Cork one August.'
Grey Walker found Ballydowse's Out of the Fertile Crescent to be... Oh, let's cut to her comments directly: 'I'll come straight out with it: Ballydowse, which has its origins in the Jesus People USA movement in Chicago, is openly, unabashedly Christian. But it's a Christian that is completely removed from the "CCM"--Contemporary Christian Music -- scene coming out of Nashville these days. It's a Christian that strives for basic life, and stands in resistance to the prevailing current image of Christianity as a frozen set of repressions. They sing defiantly in their song "Blood in Our Guts," "Great board of wine and laughter when the watch of the night is done. Sing of some pale Galilean, greying the world with his breath? This wraith is not my master; in fact we've never met." Out of the Fertile Crescent is gritty folk music.' And Mike Stiles looks at Isle of Light, 'the debut CD of a Californian Christian group with a knack for Irish music. Not surprisingly, it was produced by William Coulter. The music on this CD is a bit on the subdued side, at times reminiscent of the more ponderous and melancholy output from de Danann. For an American group, the sound is very definitely Irish (except of course for the Californian accent in the vocals!).'
Jennifer Byrne joins us with the first of what I hope will be many African music reviews. She looks at Tribal, Folk and Café Music of West Africa, which is a 2-CD collection. She says this 'is a two CD set containing field recordings made in the late 1940s by New York writer Arthur S. Alberts and his wife. Incorporating the music of a vast area, comprising modern-day Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, this is a beautifully presented package.'
We can always count on Gary Whitehouse for crisp, insightful reviews. His review of country performer Paul Thorn's Still No Hits CD is no exception. He says, 'Paul Thorn is a consistently entertaining singer-songwriter in the Southern country/folk/rock tradition'. Read his review to get all the details.
We have three books for you this week, one musiclore and two novels. Judith Gennett reviews Beverly Bush Patterson's The Sound of the Dove: Singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist Churches. She liked the subject matter, but not the way it was written. She says, 'It is an interesting topic for those interested in music and culture ... The academic prose, however, is a flaw for consumers who may ponder these questions: What was I reading before I dozed off? What will I be tested on? Why do we subsidize folklorists to write for each other and not for us?'
Gary Whitehouse reviews a children's novel by the wonderfully humorous Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. The story is a twist on the Pied Piper legend, with Maurice being a cat in charge of a group of smart rats. Gary enjoyed the book, saying, 'But mostly The Amazing Maurice is an entertaining read, and it aims to instill wholesome values like teamwork and tolerance and friendship and fair play, all the while seeming to be mildly subversive ....' And Rebecca Swain reviews The Eight, by Katherine Neville, a long, complicated, but enjoyable novel about a powerful chess set and the people throughout the centuries who struggle to win it and its power.
We're off to Portsmouth later today for some shopping, so I'll wrap this edition up. After we return, I must indulge in some reading. My current reading list includes a re-reading of Jane Yolen's The Wild Hunt, more of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series, and dipping into Robert Holdstock's Merlin's Wood, which I just found the hardcover edition of! And finishing, of course, Paul Brandon's swim the moon.
Blessed be until we meet again.
'Haunted places all, true springs of the matter of Britain. Bronze Age barrows littered our landscape; Celt and Anglo-Saxon merged in our faces; Arthur invaded our daydreams; the Welsh legends our darker dreams at night.' -- Susan Cooper
Now that was a celebration! The hundredth anniversary Green Man All Hallows Eve feast and all-night dance was judged by all who attended -- and were able to remember the event with any semblance of clarity -- to be a smashing success. Danse Macabre -- which for some reason called itself Danse De Le Vie for the occasion -- played 'til dawn, after which Wake the Neighbours took over for the breakfast that closed out the celebration. The succulent roast pig was completely consumed down to the last juicy rib, as was everything else of a consumable nature. After a hearty breakfast cooked by the good folks who run Down Under catering, everyone went home -- or crashed with friends -- to sleep the next few days away. Now we're back with another bonnie bunch of reviews for you.
The book review department turned in some very fine reviews this week. Mike Stiles (you should have seen his Halloween costume!) loved The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, opining, 'This is a must-have compendium for your coffee table, even if you don't own a coffee table. The authors have combined their formidable editorial talents with insightful illustrations and maps from Graham Greenfield, Eric Beddows, and James Cook to produce a classic.' Michael Jones enjoyed the four books he read for his Harry Potter companion book omnibus: Lindsay Fraser's Conversations With J.K. Rowling, Connie Neal's What's A Christian To Do With Harry Potter? David Colbert's The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter, and Allan and Elizabeth Kronzck's The Sorcerer's Companion. His review is entertaining and informative, as always, and (I'm getting tired of saying this!) he wins an Excellence in Writing Award for this review. Michael also reviews The Corsair, by Chris Bunch, assuring us, ' Corsair is recommended, not just for fantasy lovers, but for those who have the call of the sea in their blood.'
Naomi de Bruyn brought the best jack-o-lantern to the party; it looked just like J.R.R. Tolkien. She looks at The Rover, by Mel Odom, a Tolkienesque novel about a halfling who works as Third Level Librarian in the Vault of All Known Knowledge. Naomi enjoyed the characters and adventures in this book; read her review to see if you will, too. Naomi also liked Ill Met by Moonlight, by Sarah Hoyt, a fantasy novel that presents an intriguing version of Will Shakespeare's life and literary inspiration.
Grey Walker gives us an insightful look at Writing Fiction for Children, by Judy K. Morris. Grey promises, 'People who collect books about writing the way some of us collect cookbooks will want to add this one to their collections .... Onthe other hand, someone who is looking for just one good resource on writing for children could equally well choose this book.' Read her review to find out why she says this.
Big Earl Sellar was quite pleased with Altai Maktal, by Mongolian artist Nohon. He notes, 'I really enjoyed this disc. As I've stated before, I love the music of Central Asia, and discs like Altai Maktal confirm all I love about the songs of these people. Simple, yet demanding to perform, Mongolian music is a sadly overlooked branch of the musical world.' Meanwhile, Gary Whitehouse, fresh from attending a contradance with music provided by the Nettles, a group Green Man staffers are very fond of, got the honor of reviewing Sviraj's 'new' CD, Balkan Jam I. He comments, 'quality Balkan music is still relatively rare in North America, and fans of Sviraj should enjoy having this early work available in this format.' Read his review to see why you should be dancing to this CD!
Speaking of dancing, Buckwheat Zydeco's Zydeco Party had Big Earl Sellar dancing the night away. He exclaims, 'I have been blaring Zydeco Party almost incessantly since I received it. Ironically compiled from a scant four discs, this is probably the best "best of" you'll find in any Zydeco section. Buckwheat Zydeco has channeled a decade of keyboard and accordion work in the genre and other Louisiana offshoots into on incredible hot act. Man, this disc just sizzles!'
No'am Newman was not at all pleased by the English Folk Collection CD he heard recently. Indeed, he comments that '[t]his disc is a real cheapo production, almost contravening the Trade Descriptions Act. The sparse booklet has one panel listing the K-tel International Music Series, which include this disc; the description given is 'Classic English Folk songs by such luminaries as Bert Jansch, Ewan MacColl and June Tabor.' I suppose that this sentence is true, but there are twelve tracks on this disc, and most of them are certainly not classic English folk songs.'
Years ago, I tried to listen to everything that came in for review, but I gave up some time ago due to the sheer volume. That means that I really do enjoy reading the reviews when they come in. And so it is with Mike Stiles' look at two CDs from the Irish group called Bevel Jenny: Above the Clouds... and Still Searching (CD Single). He says, 'Bevel Jenny is a diverse group of Irish musicians who have been touring the Islands and Europe for a few years now ... As far as I know, the group's name is the first in history to make a chimera of tools instead of beasts. A bevel scores at an angle. A jenny spins threads. The aim of the band is to put their own mark on the music they spin, and they succeed gorgeously.' Mike also listened to Dreamcraft's Echoes of Ancient Songs, about which he says, 'In case you couldn't tell, I enjoyed this CD immensely. The band is aptly named for its elaborations on the themes of fantasy and dream. Well, one of my pipe dreams is to open a hashish parlor in Dublin. Were I able to do so today, Dreamcraft would be a leading contender for the house band.' Go ahead and read his review to get an explanation for that comment.
Another Celtic omnibus from Eric Eller gives us a look at some very interesting CDs: Christopher Delaney's Brighten Up My Days; Beggar's Row's Soldiers of Peace; Mairi MacInnes' Orosay; and Siansa's self-titled debut album. He notes, 'One of the best aspects of traditional Celtic music is the rich overlaying and blending of different instruments to produce melodies that deliver strong emotions and vivid images. This effect is generated whether the music is only instrumental pieces or are sung, and these images can call up a specific place or time, deliver a theme or message, or bring to the listener's mind other musical styles.' Read his review to see if these CDs indeed were this good!
And Mattie Lennon rounds out our music reviews with a CD set, Call from The Musical Heart of Cavan, that at 4 CDs forms its own omnibus! Suffice it to say that he wraps up his look at this musical journey through Cavan, Ireland by noting, 'here are 102 tracks on the four CDs, so I've hardly scratched the surface of what this collection has to offer. And in this project producer Martin O'Donohoe has captured the evolution of almost every aspect of the unique style of the wonderful Cavan music. Go out and buy it and hear the sons and daughters of Breffeni at their best.'
That's it for this edition. I'm off to work on publicity for a local bookshop which is doing some cool author presentations in the next few months. And after this weekend I'll be reading more of Paul Brandon's Swim The Moon, a novel of mystery, magic, and music set in the Scottish Highlands that Charles de Lint wholeheartedly recommends. And I'll also be dipping into Meditations on Middle-Earth, a book of essays on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien that has essays by Charles de Lint, Ursula LeGuin, and other fine writers. With enough books, music, chocolate, caffeine, and fine companionship, life can be very, very good!