This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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You want polka? We got your polka. In the mood for some yodeling? Yep, got that covered, too. A touch of celtic? Coming right up. Need a little Eastern European sound? No problem. A Norteno fix requested? Here it is. There is something for almost everyone and every taste on this latest release by the Mollys, a high energy musical group with enough presentation styles and rollicking deliveries to jumpstart a corpse.
Rooted in the Southwest, the Mollys open the release with "The Sierra Madre," a mournful tune relating the quandry the Tarahumara in Mexico's Sierra Madre are facing. Loggers and drug dealers (probably one and the same, according to the liner notes) are eliminating the old growth forests and disrupting the time-honored way of life of the region and its people. Under both implied and explicit threat, the Tarahumara are forced into farming marijuana and opium poppies rather than indigenous crops.
"The Lang Town" is a Scottish tale about temperance going just a bit too far. A vote on the question of Kirkcaldy going "dry" is conveniently held when most, if not all, of the men are in Glasgow for a soccer match between Scotland and England. Once they return to find whiskey now unavailable, the men adamantly refuse to return to the pits--"No man goes into the coal mine til he's say of what goes in his mouth." Needless to day, spirits soon returned. Catherine Zavala's snarling delivery of the last lines of the chorus is the highlight of this uptempo cut.
Offering an Eastern European-type sound and rhythm, "Cash For Gold," is a wickedly ironic piece on a bride, unbeknownst to anyone else (including the groom), planning to utilize the dollar value of her wedding ring as her means of escape from her surroundings (including her upcoming marriage). Vocalist Nancy McCallion finishes the song with:
Part of a quartet of tunes batched together, "Holding On," features Zavala in a presentation reminiscient of the evocative chanteuse Edith Piaf. Quirkily, this is followed by a rousing (yes, I said rousing!) rendition of, "I Want To Polka."
Consisting of Catherine Zavala on vocals, mandolin and fiddle; Nancy McCallion on vocals, guitar and penny whistle; Kevin Schramm on vocals, piano and button accordians, bouzouki, slide bouzouski, and rain stick; Dan Sorenson on vocals, fretted and fretless basses; and Gary Mackender on vocals, drums, percussion and accordian; this Tucson-based ensemble is entirely unclassifiable but utterly enjoyable. The Mollys wend their way on a true multicultural musical tour with this recording--make sure you purchase a ticket to tag along
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