MP3 FiddleSticks - Time and Again
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16 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Celtic, FOLK: Power-folk
FiddleSticks is a family musical group that performs folk songs and traditional tunes from the Celtic lands, from England, and from America. Featured instruments include fiddle, flutes, cello, bodhran (Irish drum), guitar and vocals, with occasional hammer dulcimer, fretless bass, drum kit, and various other percussion.
FiddleSticks' music is a lively mix of traditional Celtic and English dance music, together with original pieces by the group's teenaged and fiddler, as well as plenty of storytelling songs of life, love and laughter. The FiddleSticks band maintains a busy performance schedule, with shows throughout the western United States, and occasionally nationwide and internationally. A typical performance also includes a few sets containing Klezmer, continental European, contemporary American folk, and Mormon Pioneer music. At Christmastime they present a variety of English and Celtic carols, Hanukkah tunes, and Solstice songs.
FiddleSticks is a family band: three sisters, Becca (flute/vocals), Kathryn (fiddle/vocals), and Liz (cello); their dad, Marco (guitar/bodhran); and two friends, Tom (bass) and Brandon (drums).
In this fourth recording, the FiddleSticks family band presents a wide array of traditional Celtic music -- plaintive love ballads, raucous jigs and dance reels, silly songs, serene instrumentals, and for good measure a traditional hymn. The collection is called "Time and Again" because it's a bit retrospective: many of the tunes are old favorites the band has been performing since the family started playing together years ago -- in fact some of the tunes appeared on FiddleSticks' first recording in 1998, "The Sampler." The rest are new discoveries or compositions that have become FiddleSticks standards in the past year or so. All the tunes, old and new, take on dynamic new character in this eclectic collection.
FiddleSticks is a family musical group that performs folk songs and traditional tunes from the Celtic lands, from England, and from America. FiddleSticks is made up of three sisters -- Rebecca, Kathryn, and Elizabeth Davis, and their dad, Mark. The core ensemble of fiddle, flutes, cello, voice, guitar and bodhran is joined on this recording by Andrea (Mark's new wife) on dulcimer, and friends on fretless bass, congas and djembe, and even a full drum kit, giving this FiddleSticks collection the most excitement and variety ever.
FiddleSticks Time and Again
1. My Young Love (He Moved Through the Fair) (Irish trad.); Banish Misfortune (Irish trad.)
Voices, fiddle, flute, cello, guitar, bodhran, bass, drums
He (or She) Moved Through the Fair is an old Irish ballad that we have given a contemporary beat. As we like to tell our audiences, you can tell it's an Irish love song if one of the lovers is dead by the end.... But this one has an extra twist, as the lover returns to his fiancee from the grave. Banish Misfortune is a cheery double jig we found in O'Neill's collection, giving the set a light ending to contrast with the darker Irish love song. You can find the lyrics to all the songs on this CD at https://www.tradebit.com.
2. You Ain't Getting None of My Money (Kathryn Davis); Frances's Pajamas (Elizabeth Davis); Sandals in the Snow (Kathryn Davis)
Fiddle, recorder, cello, guitar, bodhran, congas, sampled bass
Kathryn once was asked by a "friend" for a thousand-dollar loan to invest in an internet scheme. Her response was the first tune in this set and, wisely, no cash. The second tune is a musical "thank you" that Liz wrote for our friend Frances Warden's generous Christmas presents. The final tune was inspired when Kathryn made a trek to the mailbox, in flip-flops, one cold January morn.
3. Caribou Gumbo: Caribou Reel (Andy de Jarlis © 1952 Berandol Music Ltd.); Catharsis (Amy Cann © 1989)
Fiddle, cello, guitar, bodhran, bass, drums
Our drummer Brandon calls his favorite funky pattern the Louisiana Gumbo Groove; when Kathryn discovered that it fit our version of Canadian Andy de Jarlis's Caribou Reel, the Caribou Gumbo set was born. The second tune in the set is fiddler Amy Cann's lively tune Catharsis. We first learned Catharsis for a contradance gig in Pioneer Hall in Salt Lake valley - which is only right since Amy's also a renowned Vermont contradance caller. Together, these tunes have become one of our very favorite sets. Caribou Reel and Catharsis: an eclectic Manitoba Yankee Celtic Cajun stew!
4. Green Grow the Rashes (Robert Burns)
Voice, guitar, fiddle, cello, bodhran, congas
Rabbie Burns, the national poet of Scotland, wrote countless poems and songs. We play three on this collection. The green "rashes" in this song are tall meadow grasses -- rushes-- that provided a convenient meeting place for the lovers of Burns's imagination. The words to this tune (with a little helpful translation from Scots Gaelic to English) are posted at https://www.tradebit.com. So don't be shy -- sing along!
5. Grandma Betty's Jig (Kathryn Davis); Iggy & Squiggy (Jerry Holland ©1995).
Fiddle, pennywhistle, cello, bodhran, congas, djembe
This is one of the first tunes that Kathryn wrote - and of course she wrote it for her dear Grandma. It's a happy double jig that just fits the ever-cheerful Betty Jo Davis. Grandma's tune is coupled with Iggy and Squiggy, written by our friend and teacher Jerry Holland of Cape Breton. We'll bet you won't be able to resist "gettin' jiggy" with Grandma and Iggy!
6. Colcannon (Irish traditional)
Voice, guitar, bass.
We learned this tune, also known as The Skillet Pot, from Mary Black; on a visit to Dublin many years ago we happened upon a music store owned by the famous musical Black Family. One of the cassette tapes we bought there featured this nostalgic song about a favorite Irish food, and this catchy song immediately became a family favorite. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish especially associated with the harvest - it's kind of mashed blend of cabbage, leeks, scallions, cabbage, and of course potatoes, sometimes fried into little cakes.
7. The Butterfly (Irish trad.); Ski Do; Scots Reel (Scottish trad.); Butterfly Reprise; Road to Lisdoonvarna (Irish trad.)
Fiddle, guitar, cello, harp, bodhran, bass, drums
The Butterfly is a favorite slipjig which we have joined to two other traditional tunes, one peculiarly called "Ski Do," and the other an apparently nameless Scottish reel. In concert we often try to get the kids in the audience to let the music carry them as they fly around the auditorium flapping their wings like butterflies (or like pterodactyls, if they like that image better). The Butterfly theme returns with a harp/fiddle duet featuring Kathryn on fiddle and Kathryn's mom, Kira, on the harp. Kira was an inspired musician who set each of her daughters securely on their musical journeys - and life journeys - before her early death in 1997 of cancer. The discovery of an old reel-to-reel tape of favorite tunes she performed many years before gave us the chance to do two harp duets on this album, this Butterfly duet and the flute-harp combo in "Drunk at Night," track 10. Thanks, Kira. The final tune, Road to Lisdoonvarna, breaks sharply with the contemplative Butterfly reprise for an energetic climax to the set.
8 . O My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose (Robert Burns)
Voice, fiddle, cello, guitar, bodhran, bass, congas
This famous love song was not penned originally by Burns, but like much of his work was a reworking of a popular pre-existing poem. Though it is well known and often performed, its sentiment rings so true that the song refuses to wear too thin. We combine it with a version of the tune set down as a dance reel in James Kerr's "Merry Melodies," a collection of Scottish fiddle tunes.
9. Brisk Young Lassie (Scottish trad.)
Maybe inspired by her father's recent marriage, Rebecca revives this tune which she first performed, to great effect, as a 14-year-old at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis.
10. Drunk at Night, Dry i' da Mornin (Scottish trad.); Irish Lasses (Irish trad.)
Harp, flute, fiddle, pennywhistle, cello, bodhran, bass
Sue Richards, harper from Maryland, taught us the first tune. Despite its name, this tune is so friendly and sprightly that we've played it in church (though then we called it "Pray at Night, Preach in the Mornin." In a flute/harp duet, Rebecca and Kira introduce the tune, and then the whole band takes it up, Chieftains style. After a couple of repeats, the tune leads into a little jig called the Irish Lasses. More often than not, this jig sees our cellist Liz up and step-dancing with members of the audience.
11. The Three Sisters (Irish trad.)
Voices, fiddle, flute, congas, djembe, shaker
The name of this tune sounds made just for our family, but actually we have updated and modified an old Irish song called "The Two Sisters" to fit our circumstances -- and our sensibilities. In the original version, the slighted girl pushes her rival sister into the river. In our makeover we decided to dunk the foolish boy instead. As one audience member once advised her son after we did this song: "They're nice girls, Jim, but don't date any of them!"
12. Elzic's Farewell (American Trad.)
Fiddle, pennywhistle, recorder, guitar, bass
This ballad-like lament has an old-timey "Ashokan Farewell" feel to it, but unlike Ashokan this is in fact an authentic traditional American tune with roots in the 18th century.
13. Ca' the Yowes tae the Knowes (Robert Burns)
Voice, guitar, fiddle, recorder
The title of this song means "Come the Ewes to the Hills," but in fact it's not really about sheep. The story tells of young lovers wandering in the twilight among the ruins of Lincluden Abbey in Dumfries, Scotland. We've tried to reflect the moonlit towers, the mist rising from the River Nith, and the "ghaistly" atmosphere - no doubt all calculated by the young man to keep his sweetheart hugging him closely.
14. Mystical Encounters of Homer, Aristotle & Sophocles (Kathryn Davis); I Wish You Would Marry Me Now (Irish trad.)
Fiddle, flute, recorder, cello, guitar, bodhran, bass, drums
This set starts out with a piece Kathryn wrote for a litter of three classically named kittens our mamma-cat had a few years ago. The first bit signifies the kittens' peaceful, purring, sleepy mood, and then goes into their hyper, playful, climb-the-curtains mood. "I Wish You Would Marry Me Now" is an Irish reel apparently first played by a frustrated fiddler to his paramour.
15. Nearer My God To Thee (Sarah Adams, Lowell Mason)
Dulcimer, voice, cello, fiddle
Andrea Pitcher Davis created this haunting arrangement of a favorite 19th Century hymn; Andi's imaginative dulcimer, Rebecca's improvised melodies, and the string descant/obligato by Katie on fiddle and Liz on cello combine for a unique modal presentation of this hymn.
Total playing time: 56:20.
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