A Review of the Redbird CD

by Redbird

Copyright 2005
Signature Sounds

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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1 + 1 + 1 = infinite possibilities. No, this isn't some sort of new or fuzzy math, it's Redbird, the artistic collaboration of Jeffrey Foucault, Kris Delmhorst and Peter Mulvey, with backing by David Goodrich.

Spending three summer days in a living room could have produced many outcomes but in this case, it birthed this release. The married pair of Foucault and Delmhorst are rising folk stars and musical purveyors of weary angst. (Wanna bet their next releases contain at least a few cheery, chirpy love songs?) Mulvey is a relative folk veteran known for his exquisite guitar work and edgy songwriting.

One of the treats of this release is that it allows fans a peek (well, in this case a listen, too) at selections not normally associated with these performers. Germinated during a tour of England by the trio, this release contains the songs musicians might play for each other after the curtain falls and lights go out on a show. There is a wide variety of songwriters are featured (Greg Brown, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, REM, Tom Waits and others), including each artist singing tunes written by one another.

The highlights:

Greg Brown's "Ships," begins the offerings,featuring the personas of Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Elvis Presley.

This reviewer obviously needs to get out more because the riveting Mitchell Jayne/Joe Stuart-written "The Whole World Round" was brand new to these ears, as was the traditional cut "Moonshiner," a stark depiction of a still owner's life.

Delmhorst is achingly lovely on Mulvey's contemplative "Ithaca." Mulvey returns the musical favor with Delmhorst's "Lullaby 101."

Delmhorst inhabits the late Mark Sandman's "Patience," and leads the vocals on Ry Cavanaugh's "Lighthouse Light," a song about patience and faith, among other subjects.

REM's "You are the Everything" is acoustic here, with Foucault fronting the vocals. "Down by the Sally Garden," certainly picked up while this trio was in the UK, is rougher hewn than the usual sweet versions.

Foucault, with the bleak "Drunk Lullaby" offers the next to last cut, followed by Tom Waits' companion piece, the bittersweet "Hold On," with all three performers trading vocals.

In keeping with the spirit of the production, the liner notes are fairly minimal but it would have been nice to learn why each song was chosen here.

Unlike the St. Louis Cardinals, who failed to make it into the World Series, this Redbird is a winner and more than enough consolation. Check out this music for musicians release.

Jeffrey Foucault, on vocals, guitar and papoose, Kris Delmhorst on vocals, guitar, fiddle and papoose and Peter Mulvey on vocals, guitar, papoose and lap slide guitar are joined by David Goodrich on vocals, guitar, mandolin, slide guitar and papoose.

Track List:

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