A Review of the Colcannon CD
"The Pooka and the Fiddler & Happy as Larry"

"The Pooka and the Fiddler & Happy as Larry"
by Colcannon

Copyright 2005 - ORP 801
Oxford Road Records

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 of the Merry Sisters of Misery (gotta love that name--it sounds like they must be related to the Magdalene Sisters). This cut is primarily fiddle-backed.

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 backing.

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 experience.

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.

Track List:

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