This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/05
Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews
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In a twist from previous Colcannon releases, this one is
storytelling set to music.
Band member Mick Bolger has written two
tales and also performs as the seanachie, while he and the rest of this Colorado-based
band join in on reel, air and hornpipe interludes betwixt and between each chapter of the stories.
Calling upon elements of Celtic mythology, Bolger speaks
of the faery folk, the 'real' word and the 'other' world, hospitality, generosity
and other subjects while spinning his yarns. Employing catchy rhymes
and a few puns, along with his County Kerry lilt, he transports the
listener back to a form of entertainment in the Ireland of yore.
The first yarn, "The Pooka and the Fiddler," has nary a Jimmy
Stewart nor a rabbit sighting in it. Instead, a young man who neglects
his chores and sleeps through the day in order to fiddle all night in the pub, remains a screecher and a scratcher on
his chosen instrument. One might
say, yes, he is fiddling his life away. His existence changes
dramatically upon an encounter with a goat-like pooka, as does that
Merry Sisters of Misery (gotta love that name--it sounds like they must
be related to the Magdalene Sisters). This cut is primarily
Tale two, "Happy As Larry," sounds like a riff on comedy
phenom Larry, the cable guy. Instead, it portrays a humble, generous,
good soul of a Irish blacksmith,
who has a quirky passion for the ukulele. This gentle giant, in all his
simpleness, brightens the
lives of all those in his orbit, be they dirt poor peasant or regal
authority. Colcannon backs this chronicle with lush instrumental
Three cheers to Colcannon for going 'experimental' and reviving a lost art.
A suggestion:: put this CD on, switch
off the lights to eliminate visual stimuli, settle back and enjoy the
For any DJs concerned over the viability of using this release--worry
not. Each cut contains various chapters and come clearly marked.
Colcannon consists of Mick Bolger on vocals, bodhran and trombone; Jean Bolger on fiddle, concertina and bowed psaltry; Mike Fitzmaurice on base, guitar, baritone ukulele, bass harmonica, tenor banjo and bad fiddle!; Rod Garnett on flutes, clarinet and fife and Brian Mullins on guitar, mandolin, cittern, tenor banjo, tuba, bowed psaltry, flute and whistle.
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