CELTIC MUSIC REVIEWS MAY 2010
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
Bonny Prince Barley
Bonny Prince Barley
Drunkard’s Ambassadors, the first track on Bonnie Prince Barley, starts off with the wild battle yell of a Celtic warrior, followed by the hard driving, ragged whiskey laced vocals of Kyf Brewer and Keith Swanson. Many Barley Juice fans refer to the band members using this term.
There are 10 tracks on Bonnie Prince Barley, and as the title name would indicate the songs are about the juice of the barley.
From the very first track on this CD, the lyrics are fast paced, toe-tapping, hand clapping and downright tongue-in-cheek funny.
Many Celtic songs have been written about the grain of the barley, extolling its virtues and the downfall of those who overindulge in its juice.
Some other tracks on the CD are: Songs For Sinners, hilariously funny about the twisted wit and wisdom done Irish-style. The chorus is: “We’ll all lay together beneath the bloomin’ heather for worse or for better, friend or foe, and sing our song for sinners here below.”
Weekend Irish, is a fist raising anthem to the festival lovers. This shout out chorus is a favourite at every Barley Juice event, and a popular Celtic radio request.
Other songs are: Nancy Whiskey, London Calling, My Bonnie Lassie and Me and Bleary-Eyed-Beauty.
Barley Juice is a Philadelphia based Pan-Celtic rock group. Their sound could be compared to the Pogues, and their style also reminds me a little bit of Black 47.
Barley Juice is inviting their fans to accompany them on a tour of Ireland from March 4-11, 2011. The group will be providing the entertainment each evening. I don’t imagine there will be much sleeping done with these ambassadors!
Bonny Prince Barley has been named Celtic Rock Album of the Year by CelticRadio.net
For more information and to purchase, visit: www.barleyjuice.com.
Jocelyn Pettit is a talented young musician from Squamish, B.C., who has just released her self-title debut CD.
Pettit is an accomplished fiddle player, dancer, singer and composer. At eight years old, Jocelyn was first inspired to pursue music by the lively sounds of the Cape Breton fiddle.
Now arranging and composing with her own unique style, she has earned widespread respect for her skills and innovation. She has performed at special events and festivals from communities across Canada, Scotland and the United States.
There are 12 tracks on the CD, with an eclectic mix of fiddle music, song and lament. The inside liner notes give a nice explanation of each track on the CD.
The Cape Breton style of fiddling that has influenced Pettit, is very evident on Morning Glory, Fiddler’s Welcome and On The Upside. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get-up and dance. I’m very partial to fiddle music since my father was a fiddle player.
With Jocelyn Pettit’s determination, passion and love of the music, she has indeed a bright future in the entertainment industry.
To purchase the CD, or for more information, visit: www.jocelynpettit.com.
THE IRISH TENORS
THE IRISH TENORS
The Irish Tenors are: Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Karl Scully. On their latest CD, Ireland, they present 13 of some of the best known and beloved songs from the Emerald Isle.
This album will take you on a journey across Ireland from Dublin to Galway with such classics as The Irish Rover, Whiskey in the Jar, Toora-Loora, Irish Eyes and Danny Boy. The CD also includes Sweet Sixteen (made famous by the Fureys in 1981) and brings you up to date with Steve Earle’s, Galway Girl.
The Irish Tenors have for many years been tending the flame and passion of the music of Ireland. This passion has taken them to the hallowed soil of Ellis Island to the glitter of the Hollywood Bowl and to Madison Square Garden.
Finbar Wright says of this recording, “When searching for a title of our latest album, we decided to just simply call it Ireland for this nation’s musical tradition, like any respectable whiskey, has been maturing gracefully for thousands of years.
“When you settle down to listen to this fine album, hopefully it will pour you a glass of beauty and you will savour every drop and let your mind rest for awhile on the island of Ireland.
“The Muses have been extra kind to the Irish and there is no shortage of songs (or whiskey!). And every album is a chance to bring you a different vintage and a collection that you will know and love.”
Despite the many copy versions of The Irish Tenors, the trio are regarded as the acknowledged Godfathers of Irish repertoire.
In the words of the great Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, “Unless the clay is in the mouth, the singer’s singing is useless.” The clay is certainly in the mouth of The Irish Tenors.
For more information, or to purchase, visit: www.theirishtenors.com.