This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Jed Marum. Sounds like the name of a lawyer or maybe a private detective on CBS. You agree? Is that your final answer? Are you sure?
Sorry, but this Jed Marum is a professional musician. And, no, there won't be a weekly television show anytime soon featuring a folk musician. Not even on Fox.
So, you'll have to "settle" for this release but there will be little, if any, disappointment.
Marum is a New England refugee now ensconced in the Texas music scene. This CD amply demonstrates his talent for both writing his own material and selecting songs of others, while arranging and presenting all in a very enjoyable manner. A tick or two over 60 minutes of music is offered here and close to everything works.
Three of his four originals, "Desolation Island," "Banks Of The Mobile" and "Letter From Lilac Acres," demonstrate a sharp talent for turning novels or stories into compelling songs. His fourth original, "Soul Of A Wanderer," is a lovely fictional tale.
An old Andy Stewart tune, "Ferry Me Over," evokes longing-for-home wistfulness. "The Sons Of Liberty" presents the mixed allegiance of Irish lads fighting for King George in the Revolutionary War.
"Drill Ye Tarriers" provides a touch of humor as a railroad laborers' supervisor proves to be an exceptionally strict interpreter of labor laws. The changing of rhythms in "Phil The Fluther's Ball" works well with the song's cleverness.
Marum rewrites "Wild Mountain Thyme" into a dedication to a friend who has passed on--entitled "Sarah's Mountain Time."
The only quibble is another version of "San Antonio Rose." Nothing is "wrong" with this one but nothing makes it stand out, either.
Marum's vocals are pleasing and he presents the Celtic-flavored offerings with an engaging lilt. Simply put, he can write, select, arrange, sing and play. Many of the cuts feature atmospheric backing that develops the flavor of the song and adds to the enjoyment. There may not be a song here that gets in your head and refuses to leave but, collectively, you'll be wanting to play this CD again and again. It's a nice one.
Marum, on vocals, harmonica and guitar, is ably supported by Rick Fielding on guitar, autoharp, mandolin and background vocals; Dennis Pendrith on string bass; Curly Boy Stubbs on guitar, mandolin, 12-string guitar, classical guitar and resophonic guitar; Brian McNeill on fiddle; Don Reed on fiddle and violin; Wendy Solomon on cello; Betty Blakley Waddoups on whistles and background vocals and Mick Lane on background vocals.
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