CD REVIEWS FOR OCTOBER 2007
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
A River So Wide
British Columbia's own Tiller's Folly have just released their new CD, A River So Wide, in celebration of 10 years of playing music, recording and writing historical songs about British Columbia's history. Tiller's Folly has reached the status of international artists with tours that have taken them to the U.S. and Europe, particularly to Scotland.
When we think of historical songs, we tend to think old-fashioned and unexciting. When Tiller's Folly write and play these songs, they put a contemporary twist on history.
Last of the Royal Engineers tells of when the colony of British Columbia was established in 1858 and how Her Majesty's Royal Engineers were dispatched to the Pacific Northwest, to survey this vast territory.
The song is particularly about Philip Jackman, one of the engineers who remained in B.C. and lived an amazing 69 years in the province. Tiller's Folly have set this story to some lively toe tapping music.
And true Celtic bards, they immortalize in song the beauty of where they were born and raised and Chatham's Reach sings the praises of the natural beauty of B.C's Fraser Valley. It's dreamy and easy listening.
British Columbian's feel pride in these modern-day bards who continue to ensure that our history remains alive and vibrant. There are 10 tracks on A River So Wide and each one a gem.
What's interesting about Tiller's Folly is that not only are they excellent musicians but each one can also turn his hand to writing. The Line up for Tiller's Folly is Bruce Coughlan on acoustic guitar and lead vocals; Laurence Knight on bass and vocals; and Nolan Murray on fiddle, mandolin and five tring banjo.
For more information about Tiller's Folly, visit: www.tillersfolly.com.
Book of Lightning
Many people identify The Waterboys' by their smash hit 1988 album The Fisherman's Blues. Formed by lead singer Mike Scott in 1983, their music has been influenced by Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. Mike Scott and The Waterboys have just released their new CD, entitled Book of Lightning.
But there's more to Mike Scott than meets the eye. In 1993, he saw a video of Eileen Cady, one of the community founders of Findhorn, which is a spiritual community founded in 1962 in the North East of Scotland.
She was talking about the power of gratitude and unconditional love and everything she said rang a loud and profound bell in Scott, and then and there he decided to check Findhorn out for himself.
The Findhorn Community is a sacred place, a community of people working to find new ways of living together on the earth. A spiritual education centre, an ecological village, a centre of the arts. The community life is based on the experience that God is inside, and that there is a perennial and ageless wisdom behind all the world's major religions.
Mike Scott lived at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland from 1994 to 1995, where he wrote and recorded some of his music. It was also there that he started his one-man show called Bring Em All In, which he eventually performed all around the world.
"Among the many things that I learned at Findhorn," Scott said, "I got confirmation that being a musician and singing my songs is still what I'm to do in this world.
"Paradoxically, I had to leave Findhorn to do it and I moved back to London in 1995. But my time at the Findhorn Foundation community was one of the best I've ever had in my life. What a debt I owe the place and the courageous people who live there." Scott is still in touch with the Findhorn Community.
The Waterboys will be at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on November 10 for one night only.
Alive On Pentecost
What a great CD cover with the trunk of the tree as rather sensuous woman and the branches her arms.
Damanta in the Irish language has several meanings, one could be damned or the other meaning deadly which the Irish often use to describe something that is really great or cool.
I first heard Elegwen O'Maoileoin perform at the Dublin Crossing Pub's, halfway to St. Patrick's celebration in September. As I listened to the session music, I thought this is very like some of the sessions that I've heard in Ireland. I was very impressed with Elegwen's talent and the number of instruments he plays... whistles, uilleann pipes along with Irish bouzouki.
Elegwan has an interesting background. He was raised in in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Vienna Austria, before returning to Ireland. Living on Inis Mor and Galway, he takes pride in speaking Irish (Gaelic).
All the songs on Damanta were written and composed by Elegwen. His style is somewhat reminiscent of the famous group Planxty
For more information about the band visit: www.damanta.com or go to Red Cappe Entertainment: www.redcappe.com.