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MP3 Celtic Nots - Rope Tricks

Raw traditional and original Irish tunes & songs - a nice mix of the slow and fast, great instrumental and rhythmic virtuosity.

15 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Celtic, FOLK: Traditional Folk

"Rope Tricks" is the first offering from the Celtic Nots, and was recorded mostly "live in the studio", giving it a raw yet compelling feel. Originally realeased on wax cylinders, then on vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette, (don''t pretend you know what those are - you''re WAY too young to remember the pre-digital nightmare!) and finally, on CD, this recording has proved surprisingly popular and resilient - which is why we are now offering it on CDBaby. We hope you enjoy it as much as people ''round these parts have!


Celtic Nots is a Spokane-based acoustic band playing music based on the Celtic Music traditions of improvisation, layered harmonies, and interspersed melodies. They draw from folk music traditions from England, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Galicia, and America, throw in some Middle Eastern, Far East, jazz and rock influences, and add some humorous irreverence for good measure.

The Nots are:

Carlos Alden, host of the "Nacho Celtic Hour" on KPBX public radio and a well-recognized figure in the local Folk music scene. Carlos plays cittern (a 10-string bass mandolin thingy), guitar, banjo, percussion, and vocals.

Nigel Elliott, a Londoner who grew up in Northern Ireland and Africa, and a seasoned drummer who toured with some of the most famous popular rock acts from England in the 80s and who has been in so many bands he can''t remember them all. Nigel plays bodhrán (the traditional Irish frame drum), djembe (a powerful African "healing drum"), cajón ( "the big box") and all manner of percussion, and he also sings.

James Hunter, another well-traveled Englishman, plays flutes, whistles, uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes), didgeredoo, percussion, and vocals.

The Nots formed in Spokane, Washington in 1995 and have performed hundreds of times in the region, becoming regular features at various local and regional festivals, and collaborators with an increasing number of artists in the region, including Columbia Ballet Theater, The Haran Irish Dancers, and Moments of Clarity. They currently have four CDs in their catalogue, which feature a wealth of original material as well as their unusual treatment of Celtic Traditional music: "Rope Tricks" (1996), "Not Music" (1998), "Deep Midwinter" (1999), and "Live at the Shop" (2000). They are also featured on two live CDs from the Spokane World Music Summit (''98 & ''99).

The Nots have proven to be very popular wherever they play. The music is driving and powerful, based on solid African and Celtic rhythms. Their performances are intense, including furious and complex melodies, soaring improvisational solos, warped humor, and occasional sets of Irish and British sing-a-longs, and they encourage audience participation with handouts of lyrics and percussion instruments. In spite of this, there are still some Celtic music lovers in the area who haven''t heard them, and the Nots would like to invite them to come and join the fun at forthcoming gigs.

For more information, see the Notsite at https://www.tradebit.com

Who are these Celtic Nots? There is a great deal of scholarly controversy about the origins of this group of iconoclastic troubadours. Rumors abound. Some say they came from the wilds of the Old World, others claim to have heard early tapes of their work in distant lands, where men prove their worth in huge thumb-wrestling competitions. Who are these people? Where did they come from? Why do some of them move and some of them stand still? Will we ever know? The Truth Is Out There. . .

Carlos Alden, it is said, was spawned from parents who were exposed to massive radiation leaks while working on a goat ranch near the original Hanford site, although he claims to be adopted. His musical roots are so diverse that hints of Django Reinhardt, Belá Fleck, Hendrix and other muses bubble up through his playing, often in the same song. His rhythmic precision and sensitive treatment of the music notwithstanding, he plays with a passion and sense of humor that instantly captivate and uplift the soul.

Nigel Elliott is a full-blooded Celt, displaced to London in his formative years. An accomplished session and tour drummer (having played for Sheena Easton, Toyah Wilcox, Paul Bliss and countless other British musicians), Nigel''s simultaneous adoption of Irish and African drums and styles was maddeningly effortless. He plays with his eyes closed, and with an exuberance that gives the Nots their polyrhythmic, crossover feel.

James Hunter is of mixed and perhaps questionable ancestry. (He regularly describes himself as "three-quarters Irish, a quarter Scottish, half English, and a pinch of Canadian, shaken but not stirred"). The truth is that he grew up amid Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Arabic musical traditions: from the jungles of Malaya, he wandered with the Bedouins in the Sahara, taught the Queen''s English to flesh-eating pygmies in Borneo, and studied shakuhachi with Zen monks in Japan. Fleeing this checkered past, he stumbled across Spokane, a cultural oasis and "Great Place to Live". James subscribes to the theory that all music is part of the same cosmic song, but is frequently at a different point in that song than the rest of the band, much to their annoyance. He has just returned from two years in Japan, cloistered with Zen monks and attempting to find the one, perfect sound.

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