A Review of the Muses CD
"Passing Time"

"Passing Time"
by The Muses

Copyright 2005

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 6/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Lots of whoops and hollers. Infectious to the degree that it's difficult to remain sedate. A expresso blend of celtic music.

The pattern in these descriptive lines aptly characterizes The Muses' musical style. Not that they don't also intersperse the softer and slower-paced along with the brisk--they do--but boldness is the leitmotif of Tanya Brody and Matt Gurnsey, The Muses.

Combining harp, guitar, pennywhistle, hammered dulcimer, bodhran, mandola and concertina (the primary instruments of Brody's and Gurnsey's repertoire), along with guests adding violin, keyboards and bagpipe drones, all combine for a veritable celtic orchestra.

"Cape Cod Girls," a sea shanty not anywhere near an east coast version of "California Girls," opens the release. Penned by Brody, "The Ballad of Jack O'the Lantern," sounds as traditional as that of anything from a couple of centuries ago. "Jack Haggerty" is among the most enjoyable cuts here, aided by this classic lament from the mouth of a spurned and sorrowful raftsman suitor: "...To cast off the riggings that God was to tie..."

Written by Ron Hynes, the engaging "Sonny's Dream" depicts a would-be sailor landlocked by his allegiance to his mother. "The Bonny Ship The Diamond" is a whaling song most different--it's optimistic with nary a disaster befalling the crew. It's followed by the equally sanguine "Little Beggarman."

Robert Burns' epic masterpiece, "Tam O'Shanter," is given a superb go here. Just sit back and enjoy the imagery framed in these particular lines:

"...gathering her brows like gathering storm
nursing her wrath to keep it warm...

...but pleasures are like poppies spread
you seize the flower, its bloom is shed...

...the carlin caught her by the rump
and left poor Maggie scarce a stump..."
Bob Stuart's calming "Come For To Sing" appropriately concludes the release.

Although certainly still enjoyable and worthwhile, inclusion of the lyrics would be a major plus for following the songs in this release. Do enjoy this collection of songs and the music that surrounds them.

Track List:

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