Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LOST & FOUND

Found: Single baby blue and purple plastic gloves nestled in the grass deer beds lining the shores of Nicasio Reservoir—no, not a fleet of eccentric English ladies tossing perfectly good orphan gloves after their lost mates from a train in those old black & white movies, or modern day dairyworkers tooling down Nicasio Valley Road, littering the shoulders with their single uniformed plastic gloves as I first assumed—as they fit either hand equally. Then it hit me, hand in glove: poor man's prophylactic.



©2010 Maureen Hurley

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Last AmieStreet Music REC

Too late I found out that a wonderful experiment I got to be part of for four years, the indie pioneer music store, AmieStreet.com, was going away forever. AmieStreet was a unique online music store, powered by an amazing cyber word-of-mouth—an on demand social network driven selling scheme, where uploaded songs were initially free, but became a penny more expensive with consecutive sales—(the exact formula was a well-kept secret) and eventually the songs maxed out at $.99.

As of midnight tonight, AmieStreet was acquired and then immediately shut down by Amazon.com. Like many indie music afficionados, I took AmieStreet for granted, assumed they'd be around forever. So when I got the news last week (Sept. 7)—me, and about a million other indie music lovers (well, maybe 100,000 of us) desperately tried to spend all our credits, write our final RECs (recommendations) all at once before the final curtain call.



Whenever I tried to login to use my credits and to download my music, the AmieStreet sever was completely overwhelmed. It had to be the indie music firesale of the century, and it was almost impossible for any AmieStreet member to purchase or download music. I'd love to see the number of visits for those last few days of AmieStreet. I wonder how many tracks/musicians total were uploaded onto AmieStreet. Up to the very end (tonight), folks were still uploading albums.

Though I had used most of my AmieStreet credits, I still had a lot of recommendation (RECs) credits left. I thought we had 'til 3 AM tonight to use them all, but I didn't realize that it was East Coast Time. I didn't take into consideration that California is not an even playing field with New York time. So I never used up all my RECs.



And fittingly, I was cut off mid-REC (Sonny Lowe's "Red is Making me Blue") when the AmieStreet site suddenly became shockingly, blaringly Amazon—with no fanfare—other than a little blue "Welcome AmieStreet Users" line. And that was it. An ugly little pit of sadness pooled in my gut—so I wrote this blog entry.

Backstory: How I got to here—was because four years ago, I was looking at alternative ways to market the music of my partner, singer-guitarist, Neil O'Neill, and I stumbled upon AmieStreet. 



We uploaded some public domain music (because of the selling structure, it wasn't feasible to upload songs that also had digital copyright royalties to pay—you'd have to sell an awful lot of songs to make a song pay for itself). I really had no idea what I was doing. But it was a thrill to watch as people began downloading them. It was a foray into the great unknown.

Eventually as AmieStreet caught on like wildfire, Neil's music got buried in the plethora of new songs being uploaded. That's when I suggested that AmieStreet create a Celtic genre. What was cool is that the guys at Amiestreet actually listened to us. I felt like Star Trek's captain, Jean Luc Picard baldly saying, "Make it so!"



Perhaps the most exciting AmieStreet addition for me was when CD Baby began uploading their more obscure recording artists—especially in the Celtic genre. Daily, there were fabulous new musicians to discover. 


I like songs with unpronounceable Gaelic names like: Fear a' Bhata, Mile Marbhphaisg Air a'Ghaol, Chi Mi na Morbheanna, Cad É Sin Don Té Sin, Siúil a Run, and Si Do Mhaimeo for starters. 


And I like modern Celtic songwriters that few have ever heard of: Ralph McTell, Ewan McColl, Eric Rigler, Eric Bogle, Phil Cunningham, Christy Moore, Dougie MacLean. Logically, you'd thing that a site like AmieStreet, catering to hip-hop, rap and grunge music, wouldn't have music to my taste. But there's a vast ocean of Celtic musicians out there.


I was like a poacher collecting salmon as they migrated upstream. I have a rather peculiar and obscure musical taste—Irish and Scots Gaelic folk songs—many with melodies that are centuries old. (My folklore roots are showing.) 


Soon, I had more music at my fingertips than I could listen to in any given lifetime. And that was only in one genre. I spent days trolling through the World genre—Native American chants, Tibetan circular breathing, African village songs. Cuba libre! Shades of Marshall McLuhan's global village—the Zim Kids were a favorite of mine and of AmieStreet friend, Matthew Gair. Social bonding was going on all over AmieStreet. 


There was Marina V, Limpopo, The Greencards, The Minor Canon, The Be Good Tanyas, Lee Rogers, Barry Mc Cabe, Dead Can Dance, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Great Big Sea, Black 47, Broceliande, MacTalla Mo'r, Ockham's Razor, The Muses, Bad Haggis, even The Wicked Tinkers!


Then, independent record companies joined the fray, and began to upload their labels. Grammercy, Seanachie, Daptone, Nettwerk, INgrooves—labels I'd never heard of. (When the Big Bhoys began uploading labels, Columbia, Sony, etc., I should've guessed the end was in plain sight as they charge full rates ($1.29-.99) for tracks. The model was broken. But I digress.)


During those early days of browsing AmieStreet's ever evolving cadre of musicians, when I found an anonymously attributed version of  "Chan-Chan" on an obscure label, I actually screamed. I recognized that famous lick. That was a recording of the Buena Vista Social Club—lifted from obscurity by Ry Cooder. I began comparing songs, guessing who the artists were. Listening in a new way. The great musical Easter egg hunt was on.


That's how I got into RECing songs. When you find a hidden Easter egg in software, you gotta tell somebody. I remember, I was tired, did a weird keystroke sequence in an Apple program, and to my surprise, a gorgeous Easter egg  icon filled the screen—that's where the term comes from. Hidden software programmer surprises to delight the adventurous ones.


I also discovered that if you gave a song a REC, it began to sell. Then, AmieStreet had a neat Facebook music charts game, Famtasy Record Label, that maximized on the whole REC idea. Weirdly, I became one of the top players as it were, and managed to "sell" or "move" a lot of music outside my genre of interest. The more successful RECs you had under your belt, the more Street Creds you got. (Street credits).

I made many AmieStreet friends and listened to a lot of music I wouldn't otherwise have had a chance to hear. Before the advent of AmieStreet, Barenaked Ladies was about as alternative as I got, and that was only thanks to Apple's Quicktime demos packages with Mac operating systems.



As AmieStreet melted back into the cybervoid tonight, I had a browser tab open and I managed to quickly copy my RECs just as the page morphed into Amazon. I thought I didn't get it onto the clipboard, it was that close—but I pasted it and lo! The last cyber artifact of a little company that could. 


I'm posting my last AmieStreet page here (below). Alas, the masthead didn't copy, only the graphics and text. (And the little album cover graphics are disappearing as Amazon does the coup de gras.)

The RECs we reviewers wrote also earned money. Every time the price of a song went up, so did the value of the REC. So the reviewer was paid as well. Talk about getting your two cents worth in. Penny by penny, I think I earned a grand total of $3.78 in four years for my writing—the last 20 cents in the past 24 hours—but oh, what a learning curve it was. 



See, I didn't think I had anything useful to say about music but I had no idea that the guys at AmieStreet were actually reading my crazy little RECs. When they asked me to write more—especially "crazyeyes" Julian (also Elliott, Elias, Adam & Josh), I was floored.

At Julian's insistence, I developed one rambling REC into a guest blog piece on Jazz Memories—remembering jazz great, Lenny Tristano. It got a lot of attention and I received emails from many people including lennie's son, Guy Tristano who informed me that his half-brother, my gradeschool classmate Steve, was not dead from an overdose as previously reported, but alive and well and dried out and living in Oregon. 



Perhaps my most cherished email was from the late Harold Leonard, the legendary jazz photographer—praising my writing for AmieStreet. (Dave Brubeck once wrote me a letter of praise after the Russian River Jazz Fest, but that was a rarity.)


The past year-and-a-half, I haven't been as active on AmieStreet as I was in the past. They changed web format late 2007, and it was not Mac friendly— it was almost impossible to get Safari to work with the new site that kept asking me for IE6. 


I had a whole pile of mental RECs I'd written in my head, and notes for others. I kept meaning to get back to it, but with a tanked economy, basic survival has been challenging at best. I always meant to get back to writing those RECs but time slipped away, and now we're at the end of it all.

Ironic, just as the AmieStreet site was forever folding, I earned a final 15 cents on a REC I wrote that I couldn't cash out o,n but I managed to catch it here in passing. I assume the stories I wrote will be truncated, as they're wider than the blog column width, but there was no other way to gracefully move them over to my blog and retain rich text formatting. But I think you can get the general gist.

(The RECs in their entirety, in plain text, sans formatting were reposted next to this blog entry. T
he hot links no longer link to musicians, but to a static Amazon welcome page. 


I wondered what Amazon got out of the transaction—acquiring AmieStreet like that—and I realized, Amazon got a huge readymade alternative and indie music fanbase. But it just won't be the same.)

This be my last REC for AmieStreet itself. Long live AmieStreet. Thanks for the memories.

NOTE BENE: Hey, but it ain't over quite yet, the fat lady's gonna sing next and it's on Songza. Follow AmieStreet folks in a new listener created radio playlist on Twitter
@songza. Or visit their new web page at: http://songza.com


While you're there, listen to my CelticNation radio station http://songza.com/listen/celticnation Vote early & often for songs you like. Give them the old Thumbs Up.


mohurley
  • Street Cred: 393 
  • RECs Made: 41
  • Cash out potential: $0.15
  • You've made: $3.78

  • My Recommendations



Track: Love Theme (From "Barry Lyndon") ( $0.99 )
Album: Film Cuts
Artist: The Chieftains
“How poignant & sad that one of the last songs I'll ever REC for AmieSteet is the Love Theme from Barry Lyndon—one of my all time favorite pieces. The lament is a unique ancient Irish art form—whether it be poetry or music, for at one time they were one and the same art form—Ireland's gift to the world. And truly I will mourn the passing of AmieStreet, for it gave so many great independent musicians their start, and the Celtic genre was my brainchild, as the music of the Seven Nations was lost amid the plethora of other genres. Because of AmieStreet, my exposure to Celtic music and musicians expanded exponentially. So I am especially sad to see its demise. Go raibh maith agaibh to the folks at AmieStreet who made so many musicians' dreams come true. —Mohurley & Neil O'Neill & the Celtic Tyger signing out.”




Rec'd this on Sep 21, 2010Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Track: Health to the Company ( $0.26 )
Album: Storming Heaven
Artist: Avalon Rising
"Friends and companions come join me in rhyme..." This is one Bay Area band not to be missed. Eclectic, brazen, brash and innovative. "Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine..." I adore the lead singer's voice. It's all about the authenticity of voice. Yeah. Who is this guy? He sounds like Shay Black. Ya, I know a lot of Celtic singers and he's got some fine tenor pipes. "For we may might never all meet here again." Dang, and I'm outa credits. "Here's health to the company..." AmieStreet that brought us all this incredible music. "Until we meet again."”
Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Track: Leave Me Standing ( $0.76 )
Album: Drawing Clocks
Artist: Lee Rogers
“As I write my final RECs to the musicians I admire most on AmieStreet, Irish singer-songwriter, Lee Rogers is one of the very best—and the songs I wanted to REC, alas, I don't own them and so, I can't sing their praises—as I had them from another source. And I've cashed out almost all my credits.I definitely would REC "Brian Writes Poetry" and "Ida." I love Lee's gravelly voice—like a Springsteen or Van Morrison (both Belfast bhoys). This is my favorite album and Brian is a song that plays in the jukebox in my head—even 4 years later. Great knowing ya, Lee. Slán.”
Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Track: The Parting Glass ( $0.23 )
Album: Ockham's Razor
Artist: Ockham's Razor
“Ockham's Razor is another fab group I learned about on AmieStreet. And the simplest explanation for choosing this particular song is: "The Parting Glass" is a traditional Irish song of farewell, a last call at the pub, if you will. "Oh all the money that ere I had, I spent it in good company..." And so we did. I hope to see these guys live someday soon. Great lead singer. They're not to be missed. ”
No money earned from this REC yet.
Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010


Track: Geordie ( $0.23 )
Album: Out Of The Woods
Artist: Two Tall Women
“For some reason this is a hard song to track down. Few record it. I probably first heard Joan Baez sing it—or maybe Mimi Fariña at the Lionshare in San Anselmo. Heard Kris Kristofferson that night too. But I digress. An AmieSteet friend steered me to Two Tall Women. Sweet voices and harmonies. I still haven't found the perfect rendition but this version gets close. See, there was this fox in my English 1A class at College of Marin, and he sang this song to us with such angst and testosterone. So nothing quite matches up to his version. Grade school classmate Adair Daly was in my class too. She was a folk song in the making: she got married to the teacher, wrote a column, got divorced, remarried, changed her name to Adair Lara, got sorta famous. Not like my other classmate Robin Williams.OMG! Check out her latest book, Naked, Drunk, and Writing. Wow. I've gotten way off track. NO, not nekkid or drunk. Guess the pressure to write 33 RECs before 3AM is getting to me. Focus. Breathe. And to think they'll all go into the void at 3 AM with one touch of the delete button. Adieu.”
Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Track: John Riley ( $0.15 )
Album: For Earth and Her People
Artist: First of May
“This is one fine folk album, and I'm very sorry to have found it so late in the game. Sincere authentic voices. I just had to get past the awful title and to the music. I don't know anything at all about this group other that they're from the same label as Broceliande and they sound similar. And it's free. Did I say free? Snag it now, before it's forever too late. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the album. Usually I'm a cautious buyer—even when songs are free, but after two listens, I decided this one was a keeper—too good to throw back into the pond. This is exactly what I mean about the great service that AmieStreet has provided during these past four years. And now I must needs to race the clock to use up all my RECs before the final call, so the rest of the album will have to wait. What a great find and what a great time it's been. Thank you all. We were all awesome, weren't we?”

Track: O Ro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile ( $0.21 )
Album: Women of Ireland
Artist: The Twilight Lords
“For a while I was hooked on this 16th c. song, welcoming home the pirate queen, Grainne O'Malley to Galway. I collected it in every style. Fiery redheaded Grainne had the temerity to stand up to Queen Elizabeth, and win—to keep her lands. Ken is a great storyteller with the gift of the gab, and he's a native speaker—so he's actually saying real words. A living language, he''s not mouthing sounds like so many so-called Celtic singers with too many vowel movements. Sineád O'Connor also has the Irish, and you can hear it when she sings—there's an electricity, an aliveness, and authenticity of speech act, as my UCB folklore professor Alan Dundes might say. If I could, I would buy this album thrice over. Speaking of O'Malley, Ken's namesake, I recommend the other album, O Maille, three times nine.”

Track: Carrickfergus ( $0.17 )
Album: The White Seahorse
Artist: The Twilight Lords
“Labor Day weekend I was teaching kids silk painting in the Living History section of the Pleasanton Highland Games and Ken was playing on the Gazebo, so i got to hear his sets several times over—a great voice and energy, Ken is even better live, whether as a solo act or with The Twilight Lords. I first saw him at the Cayuga Vault in Santa Cruz—but he had a cold so his voice was raspy. More like Van Morrison. But he can croon a balllad too. Ken hails from Dublin, but is based in LA, he's definitely worth seeing live. The real McCoy. Authentic through and through.”




Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Track: Il est Bel et Bon ( $0.32 )
Album: Broceliande
Artist: Broceliande
“I remember learning this song in my regional French culture classes at Sonoma State—weekends we ate, drank and sang our way around a proverbial France with French-Canadian artist Marguerite Pendergast. So this song is an old friend. Fun to sing this as a round. Broceliande does a fantastic job in the blended harmonies.”
No money earned from this REC yet.
Rec'd this on Sep 22, 2010

Artist: Broceliande
“I was pretty excited when Broceliande appeared on AmieStreet. I'd heard bits and pieces of their songs over the years—and may even have even seen them perform—so I snagged this album as soon as it appeared. There were so many abfab Celtic albums being uploaded by CD Baby, etc., that I felt like I was a poacher, and the music, fish winnowing upstream. Enough of that. This Galician cantiga quickly became my favorite. The one that almost got away. This one, and Gaudete back-to-back. Very medieval. I'm sorry I didn't REC it and a thousand other songs—who knew AmieStreet would go away and leave us high and dry? Sob.”
Rec'd this on Sep 21, 2010

Track: Mile Marbhphaisg Air A'Ghaol ( $0.19 )
Album: Shelton: A Thousand Curses Upon Love
Artist: Jennifer Licko
“"Mile Marbhphaisg Air A'Ghaol" (A thousand curses on love) is one of the few Shelton/Licko tunes that's not too overproduced or "atmospheric." This is a tweed waulking song from the Hebrides, a work song, meant to be sung by women felting tweed cloth—who sit at a table and lift and thump down the length of tweed in unison. The call and response, and the table used as drum creates a very tribal sound. Licko's fiddle interlude is a welcome addition, and her Scots Gaelic is decent. The Browne Sisters do a terrific version in harmony—yet manage to hold onto the utter wildness of the tune. Licko's got a great voice but sometimes I wish she'd back off from all the New Age bells and whistles and just trust her voice.”
Rec'd this on Sep 21, 2010

Track: Down to the River to Pray ( $0.17 )
Album: LiLiam
Artist: Brid Hughes
“I always meant to REC this fine song, but somehow the opportunity just slipped slipped away from me like a wild fish—caught in the river of time and now here we are at the 11th hour. So into the void these words will swim... Brid's strong voice is well suited for this acapella gospel piece. I loved the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, and Brid's version is equally as good as Alison Krause's. Great album. I'm sorry it didn't get much play. So many gems buried in the back pages of AmieStreet. That's why it was such a fun site—you never knew what you might uncover.”

Track: Flower of Magherally 'O ( $0.42 )
Album: Down by the Sea
Artist: Ashley Davis
“Ashley Davis has the voice of an angel, her intimates singing style is clear as a bell, her accompaniment, lusciously direct so that nothing comes between the listening and experiencing. She weaves the old and the new into an exciting amalgam of Celtic silver and gold.”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: Who's Been Talking ( $0.19 )
Album: 100 Proof
Artist: Sonny Lowe
“A sultry blue smoke and Four Roses kind of song, silken, sleek, sequinned and satiny smooth. Slow harmonica licks ease you into the blues. Wait! Erase all that. Sonny always went for the peach schnapps—said it helped his playing, not that he needed help playing the mouth harp—but that messes with the metaphor. Can't do that. If you can, catch Sonny live in N. CA. He really smokes.”

Track: If You Love Me Like You Say ( $0.15 )
Album: 100 Proof
Artist: Sonny Lowe
“When Sonny Lowe & The Blenders were playing at Jasper O'Farrel'sPub in Sebastopol, this tune was guaranteed to get everybody up & groovin' on the dance floor. Sonny is a versatile mouth harpist & singer—even more dynamic live, than in the studio. But ain't that the alchemical story of the blues? It's all in the mix. ”

Track: Rock Me (Muddy Waters With James Cotton) ( $0.35 )
Album: Best of Blues vol.3: The Golden Age of Harmonica Blues 1956
Artist: Muddy Waters with James Cotton
“I remember as a teenager, sneaking into Eli's Mile High Club in the seriously rough part of Oakland in the early 1970s just to hear the legendary Muddy Waters play. We were in high school and (the only white chicks in the club), so I guess you can say I was bitten by the blues at a tender age. When you've been bitten by the blues, there ain't no cure, 'cept for more blues. Chicago shuffle or Delta Miss'hippi blues, I done sold my soul at the crossroads long since This track also features James Cotton. The entire album is a must-have for your collection if you want authentic blues experience. Forget Clapton. These be the real bhoys of blues.”

Track: Boom! Boom! ( $0.34 )
Album: Alone Vol. 1
Artist: John Lee Hooker
“Boom Boom Boom Boom remains one of my favorite John Lee Hooker songs. I got to see him at the Great American Music Hall with Bonnie Raitt and friends. Fascinating to watch him play. He used a board under his feet for percussion. When He died, everyone turned out. We were too shy to go inside, but we listened to a musical tribute from outside the doors at the Oakland Cemetery. Heavenly music indeed.”

Track: Hey Miss Bessy ( $0.15 )
Album: 100 Proof
Artist: Sonny Lowe
“Sonny Lowe & the Blenders sure know how to cook up a good BBQ of blues. Hey Miss Bessy is one of my favorites—I'm not partial I was Sonny's neighbor for a near decade so I know hos Chicago style playing through and through. Influences: Charlie Musselwhite & Norton Buffalo (God rest his soul). How can you possibly go wrong? ”

Track: We Shall Overcome (Live) ( $0.99 )
Album: The Essential Pete Seeger
Artist: Pete Seeger
“It's hard to choose just one song on this album, but the one song that's been a constant in our lives, is We Shall Overcome—made famous by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. it was the acting song of our generation. We sang it as high school students protesting the Vietnam war—we were the first and only high school to shut down a (San Rafael) draft board in the nation. We sang it as we marched in protest against the first Gulf War. We sang it as we marched down San Francisco's Market Street during the Iraq war—with Martin Sheehan (of West Wing) as our "Acting" president. Pete Seeger has been the voice of social consciousness forever and a day. I pay homage to a man who changed folk music forever. I've heard him sing at rallies, colleges and nightclubs. And he was always approachable, he always had the time to hear our stories too. He taught us to Sing Out, and that we really could change the world, one song at a time. —Mohurley”




Rec'd this on Sep 21, 2010

Track: Suzanne (Live at Isle Of Wight Festival, UK) ( $0.99 )
Album: Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
Artist: Leonard Cohen
“This must've been some festival on the Isle of Wight, Great Britain's own Newport Folk Festival (or Woodstock). In fact, many of the performers on both the Isle of Wight 1970 festival were at the Newport festival too. The other album, Message To Love: The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970, with Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull, The Who, The Moody Blues, and Kris Kristofferson, is well worth checking out too. But I am especially drawn to Leonard Cohen's Suzanne. In 1970, it was just climbing the charts, and we were all frantically trying to learn the chord progression and keep the melody in line as our finger ran an arpeggio down the guitar neck. It was one of the first songs I learned well enough to perform in public. So I'm also paying homage to Leonard. I also have another connection to him via a friend the late Boschka Layton (sister to Donald Sutherland & wife of Canadian Poet Laureate, Irving Layton). Leonard was a friend of hers—and her daughter Naomi, so I heard many Leonard stories from Betty, as she was known in those days. —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 21, 2010

Track: The Hazel Wood ( $0.32 )
Album: Alive On Pentecost
Artist: Damanta
“"Hazel Wood" is a song that's sure to create a fire in the head...once you hear it, it will burn through your psyche. And it's one of the few newly minted songs in the Irish/Celtic genre that has staying power of Silly Wizard's "Queen of Argyll." Multi-talented Canadian singer-songwriter-composer of the Irish folk group, Damanta, Elegwen Ó Maoileóin wrote: The line for Hazel Woods was stolen by Yeats as well from mythology — it's a very old line, the fire in the head, from the druids. The group Damanta's name, is derived from an old Irish word, Damned. It means damn or deadly, which is way 'cool' in Ireland. They say, "Tá damnta é," "He is deadly." Elegwen says the band name came from a Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill poem. Various members of the group hail from Vancouver, Belfast and Dublin Ireland. Check out "Alive on Pentecost." It's a bit like Ashley MacIsaac and Planxty, Tannahill Weavers and Silly Wizard all rolled into one. Damnta fine.  http://www.myspace.com/damantaofficial  ”
Rec'd this on Mar 13, 2008

Track: Lough Graney ( $0.34 )
Album: Roadwise
Artist: Steven McClintock
“The sean nos (acapella) lament opens with a compelling violin intro reminiscent of the wild gypsy solo strains of Fiddler on the Roof, and prepares us for a journey to the Irish Otherworld where anything is possible. "On the banks of Lough Graney I saw the past inviting me...[a ghostly king] showed me how to love the land, and make Ireland my home...and every dream will soon unfold on the banks of Lough Graney." Perfect for your upcoming Celtic holidays playlist. A departure from songwriter Steven McClintock's Top 40 song hits and movie scores, Lough Graney, is a brilliant addition to the ever evolving Celtic genre. Lough Graney just won second place in the John Lennon Songwriting Series Music Contest. Way to go, Steven.”
Rec'd this on Jan 29, 2008

Track: White Rabbit ( $0.87 )
Album: Live In Monterey
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
“Nothin' like Grace Slick crooning this one... One time we snuck into her house near the Haight, The front door was unlocked. Both it and the wooden portico columns were painted black, so was the living room. Black. There was a shiny black baby grand, some red roses, a homemade sunken hot tub covered in tiny tiles the color of the sky... Grace crabbily shooing us teenyboppers out. We wandered into the kitchen, someone took toke and the white rabbit found Alice. Now the pills that the Red Queen mothers gave us did a lot more than open the doors to our minds... Feed your head! Yeah. Ya hadda be there...”
Rec'd this on Jan 29, 2008

Track: Somebody To Love ( $0.76 )
Album: Live In Monterey
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
“Hey, my mom was at that concert! Jefferson Airplane used to live in Woodacre and they had a toy biplane hanging from a live oak in the driveway...we used to ride by on our horses and twirl the twin props. yeah, we knew all the lyrics in every dimension. Keep on Groovin on. ”
Rec'd this on Jan 27, 2008

Track: One Of These Days ( $0.41 )
Album: The Peace Within
Artist: Barry Mc Cabe
“ Think down home Chicago shuffle, oldtimey vocal sound punctuated genre-bending uilleann pipes on adrenalin and a banshee wailin' dirty kick-ass keyboard lick. U2 move over! The Barry Mc Cabe band is a rockin' and knockin' it down right here on Amie Street. Voted one of the top blues songs by Finland's Backas Jazz Society in 2006, "One of These Days," features Ireland's National Living Treasure, special guest uilleann piper Davey Spillane of Riverdance fame. Irish Blues-Rocker, Barry's debut Celtic Blues fusion album, "The Peace Within" is guaranteed to disturb more than your soul at the crossroads. Fookin' Brilliant!”
Rec'd this on Jan 27, 2008

Track: The Emigrant (dedicated to Rory Gallagher) ( $0.39 )
Album: The Peace Within
Artist: Barry Mc Cabe
“The Emigrant opens the heart chakra and maybe the doors to the Otherworld with a haunting low flute melody that needs no words but flies directly into the soul. It literally gave me goosebumps upon first listen. Barry Mc Cabe's articulate guitar accompaniment provides a dark harp-like counterpoint to the soaring melody that takes flight like wild geese across a mist shrouded lake. This track —featuring the far-fabled uillean paper Davey Spillane? of Riverdance fame—is a tribute to Rory Gallagher, Ireland's unsung guitar god. Barry played support at Rory's last gig at The Paradiso in Amsterdam. The Emigrant, a lament to that Undiscovered Country from which no traveller returns, reminds me of the Chieftains' flute solo in "Mná na h Éireann," Lament for the Women of Ireland (aka Love Theme from Barry Lyndon), and Táimse Im' Chodladh,—guaranteed to linger and haunt the far shores of the mind. Check out Barry's debut Celtic Blues fusion album, "The Peace Within." Be sure to get Barry's campy blues composition "One Of These Days," voted one of the top blues songs by Finland's Backas Jazz Society in 2006.”
Rec'd this on Jan 1, 2008

Track: When The Saints Go Marching In ( $0.68 )
Album: Louis Armstrong - The Ultimate Collection
Artist: Louis Armstrong
“Well, the old year is dead, gone & buried, praise the Lawd. The new year is gonna be one hot momma. Because Satchmo is not perdido, Satchmo is not dead, he is not lost. He has not left the building, nor the planet. Satchmo is alive and well and living, not in Queens, but on Amie Street. —You can even send the grandaddy of jazz a message ferhevinsakes! Not sure about the postage note. Maybe COD, or a blue note. But be cool, go and march in that numbah. For he's the man who invented the solo improv. Who changed ragtime into Jazz. He defined jazz. 


Some say he even invented jazz and scat singing. Go resurrect the gravel-voiced Louie Armstrong & the All Stars. Give the founding father of Jazz a hearty house welcome. Now, make a New Year's Resolution. I Double Dare Ya. Go and get his songs, and REC the whole effin' double album. And praise it. Praise it. The Ultimate Collection. For there can be only One Satchmo. Hallelujah. What's not to love? Bon ton rollez! And let the good times roll. 


Happy New Year Amie Street folks—from The Big Easy! May the sun always shine on your hearts. And may this world be a better place. When the Saint himself, comes marching right on in. "Red beans and ricely yours," mohurley (NOTE BENE: This track is but a fragment of the song but the lyrics deserve some dusting off.) WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN Oh when the saints go marching in/ When the saints go marching in/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// And when the sun refuse (begins) to shine/ And when the sun refuse (begins) to shine/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// Some say this world of trouble/ Is the only one we need/ But I'm waiting for that morning/ When the new world is revealed// When the revelation (revolution) comes/ When the revelation (revolution) comes/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// When the rich go out and work/ When the rich go out and work/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// When the air is pure and clean/ When the air is pure and clean/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// When we all have food to eat/ When we all have food to eat/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// When our leaders learn to cry/ When our leaders learn to cry/ Oh lord I want to be in that number/ When the saints go marching in// We are traveling in the footsteps/ Of those whove gone before/ But well all be reunited (but if we stand reunited)/ On a new and sunlit shore (then a new world is in store). ”
Rec'd this on Dec 29, 2007

Track: Autumn Leaves ( $0.23 )
Album: All Star Jazz Chillout
Artist: All Star Jazz Chillout
“A bright scat- jazzy west coast rendition of the 1945 Jacques Prevert ballad,"Les Feuilles Mortes" better known to the world as the jazz standard "Autumn Leaves," made famous by crooners Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. This track on All Star Jazz Chillout features Stan Getz on tenor sax (not the more redolent 1955 Roost recording.) Check out the 1980 clip of Stan playing on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0KCECnR5XI (NB this track is essentially the same version on the Jazz Café Stan Getz album-both from Odessa Mama Records label.) "But I miss you most of all, my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall." ”
Rec'd this on Dec 22, 2007

Track: Power ( $0.15 )
Album: The Weapon of the Future
Artist: Beltaine's Fire
“Yep, you got it awright, Celtic fusion meets hip hop and why not, it's the gift of the gab right from the horse's gob and all that. The Weapon of the Future is the Bay Area band, Beltaine's Fire's debut album and if you come to the Livermore Games in May, they'll be onstage-a highland games groundbreaking—and I do mean groundbreaking event. What a way-fab winter solstice treat it is to hear the incredible virtuoso, Oakland's own Michael Mullen (of Tempest fame) on the fiddle. When Michael fiddles, it's the devil himself who get tied up in a Celtic knot at the crossroads. Go raibh maith agat, mo chara Michealin! Yer blindin' me wi' yer light, mo lad! I'll shut my gob now.”
Rec'd this on Dec 9, 2007

Track: The Corncrake ( $0.30 )
Album: Not Only, But Also
Artist: Roy Gullane
“I love the birdlike opening plicatta—reminiscent of Sting's Englishman in New York— of this traditional Ayrshire (Burns Country) song, The Corncrake, about a good roll in the clover. In Roy's liner notes: There is a phrase in the lyrics which speaks volumes about a Scotsman's idea of a sound relationship. "disputes we seldom had". Now here's the pun: the secretive quail-like corncrake, or landrail, has a metallic call like its Latin moniker, Crex crex. Not exactly blissful. Alas, harvester combines have destroyed its habitat. 


Glasgow born Roy Gullane is better known as the lead singer/songwriter of the Scottish folk group, The Tannahill Weavers (wi' 17 albums to their credit) and this was his first solo album. Most of the songs are his own works done in the Scottish folk style, but Friendless Mary and Corncrake are traditional songs he's always wanted to record but never quite got around to it. 


Not Only But Also is a tranquil album in a rare and endangered genre. Well worth a listen. 


This is Roy's fine balladeering at its best. In case ye canna ken the wee words: The Echo Mocks The Corncrake The lass that I loo'ed best of a' Was handsome young and fair Wi' her I spent sae many's the nicht Doon by the banks o' Ayr Wi' her I spent sae many's the nicht Whaur scented clover grows And the echo marks the corncrake Amang yon whinny knowes We loo'ed each other dearly And disputes we seldom had As constant as the pendulum Her heart beat ever glad We sought for joy and found it Whaur yon wee burnie rows And the echo marks the corncrake Amang yon whinny knowes Ye ladies fair and pleasure dames Come fae the banks o' Doon Ye dearly pay yer every scent To the barbers for perfume But rural joys are free for a' Whaur scented clover grows And the echo mocks the corncrake Amang yon whinny knowes The corncrake is noo awa' The burn is tae the brim The whinny knowes are cled wi' snaw Tae tap the highest whin But when cauld winter is awa' And summer clears the sky We'll welcome back the corncrake That bird o' rural joy For a Scots Glossary go to: http://members.aol.com/tannahills2/glossary.htm”
Rec'd this on Dec 9, 2007

Track: My Man ( $0.46 )
Album: Jazz Memories
Artist: Jazz Memories
“The double album collection features jazz divas including Billie Holiday crooning My Man , Sarah Vaughan's Embraceable You , and Ella Fitzgerald's sultry How Long Has This Been Goin... -- all are national jazz treasures.”
Rec'd this on Dec 6, 2007

Track: Tune Up ( $0.51 )
Album: Jazz Memories
Artist: Jazz Memories
“Don't be put off by the hard bop intro of Tune-up, it's really two songs in one and it gets oh so mellifluous replete with lounge solos when the lights dim. Worth a listen. From what I can tell, Tune-Up/When the Lights are Low is from Miles Davis' legendary 1956 Prestige album, Cookin' With the Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane on tenor-sax (or Sonny Rollins), Red Garland on piano, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer "Philly" Joe Jones. Whether it's Rollins or Trane on the sax is moot, it's still all pure groundbreaking Miles on the trumpet.”
Rec'd this on Dec 4, 2007

Track: Judy ( $0.48 )
Album: Jazz Memories
Artist: Jazz Memories
“ The double album, "Jazz Memories" really is a perfect introduction to the Ultimate Jazz Experience. "Jazz Memories" is an extraordinary compilation of works from all the great jazz the masters including jazz divas Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, with jazz legends "Satchmo" Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington, to name a few. "


Jazz Memories" is yet another Amie Street solid gold sleeper. These are all clean tracks of major hits—not muddied side B recordings. Blue Monk is my fave, and Art Tatum's Willow is a close second. No, make it Firenzie...aww, just buy the whole album. 


OOPS! For the record: I RECd the wrong song in that Lennie Tristano was on track 29/13, "Judy," not 28/12, "St. Thomas" by Sunny Rollin. Maybe my mind was on the tropical sun (for it's raining today). The only excuse I can give is that I'm dyslexic and distracted by problems downloading the album... Then I found I'd RECd the wrong song! They're both great songs. 


Tristano's " Judy" is downtempo with some lovely ivory trillings (New York in the snow?) while Sonny Rollin's mellifluous sax in his famous calypso, "St. Thomas," is steamily tropical. But now I gotta make amends and REC the right song, "Judy" (for Lennie Tristano's vocalist Judy Niemack?) 


My story remains the same: In the late '50s, I went to Lagunitas School out in the wilds of West Marin with Lennie Tristano's son, Steve, who, during recess, played us "Tea for Two" and the rockingist "Boogie Woogie" you ever heard, by heart. The ivories trilled. Steve pounded it down. The ebonies remembered their tropical homeland. We could literally see the cenozoic dust motes rising up and in the sun from the top of that old blond upright piano that never played anything racier than "America the Beautiful." 


Eight year old Steve, the piano prodigy, was standing on the piano bench hammering out a progression of locked hand chords by ear before Elton John knew there was an Elvis and we were all dancing and rocking out like American Bandstand. 


When the recess bell rang, our 2nd grade teacher, the matronly Miss Burge opened the classroom door and had a fit of absolute and anacreontic apoplexy replete with vibrato shriek (she was the school music teacher). But the damage was done. We were Boogie Woogied by the blind piano man's son, Steve. 


Sadly, Miss Burge did NOT see Steve's obvious inherited talent. I remember meeting the blind piano man. I thought you had to be blind to play the piano as Scott Weaver's older brother, the Valley piano tuner, was also blind. but Steve had eyes to see with. Fine eyes, his father's brow. We lived charmed lives. Then the 60s happened... 


Last time I saw Steve was at the Forest Knolls bus stop. He boarded the magic bus, he saw something on the horizon and like so many of our generation, and never came back.Steve's best friend, Pete Sutton was in our class too. Alas, their fathers, Tristano & Sutton may have been great NY jazz legends, posthumously inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, but they were among the vast the army of invisible dads... I saw them maybe once or twice. But we children of the Beat generation were all mostly fatherless living out so far from town. ”
Rec'd this on Dec 4, 2007

Track: St. Thomas ( $0.51 )
Album: Jazz Memories
Artist: Jazz Memories
“This double album really is the Ultimate Jazz Experience; an incredible compilation of works from all the great jazz the masters including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. Check the track titles on CD Baby and you'll see what I mean. It's yet another Amie Street solid gold steal. Blue Monk is my fave, but I gotta REC this cut as the pianist Lennie Tristano is featured on it. In the '50s, I went to Lagunitas School out in the wilds of West Marin with Tristano's son, Steve, who, during recess, played us the rockingist Boogie Woogie you ever heard – we could literally see the cenozoic dust motes rising from the top of that old upright. We were all dancing and rocking out. When the recess bell rang, our matronly 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Burges opened the door and had absolute and anacretonic apoplexy replete with a vibrato shriek. But the damage was done. We were Boogie Woogied by the blind piano man's son. Then the 60s happened... we lived charmed lives. Steve's best friend, Pete Sutton was in my class too. Alas, their fathers, Tristano & Sutton were great NY jazz legends, posthumously inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 2002, but invisible dads... I saw them maybe once or twice. But we were all mostly fatherless living out so far from town.”
Rec'd this on Nov 17, 2007

Track: Chan Chan ( $0.27 )
Album: Hot Cuban Favourites
Artist: The Cuban All Star Band
“Talk about finding solid gold on Amie Street! The Cuban All Star Band says it all. Isn't this the late, great godfather of son-bolero, Compay Segundo, performing his own world famous composition, "Chan Chan" with lead singer, Eliades Ochoa? That unmistakable four-chord opening son is Buena Vista Social Club's calling card! You might recall Wim Wenders' 1997 award-winning documentary, "The Buena Vista Social Club," on Old Havana's golden age of big band music of the 1940s. The Afro-Cuban Buena Vista Social Club was abolished, the music nearly lost forever when socialism "abolished" racism (but hey, it gave us salsa). These world-class musicians who invented the mambo, lost their livelihood under communism, and the Nat King Cole of Cuba, Ibriham Ferrer was reduced to shining shoes. Kudus to Ry Cooder who was instrumental in resurrecting these neglected stars of the golden Cuban musical tradition that languished some 40 years. The three resulting CDs, by "Los Superabuelos" of Cuban music, The (Afro) Cuban Allstars, and The Buena Vista Social Club, took off like wildfire—almost entirely by word of mouth—and the most famous, the Grammy-winning BVSC (1997), recorded in six days in Havana's vintage RCA-EGREM studio, went on to sell over 6 million copies.


Cooder was later prosecuted and fined for breaking the US trade embargo Trading with the Enemy Act. Compay Segundo (1907-2003), who invented a seven-stringed musical instrument similar to a charango, the armónico, came to world fame at the age of 93 and in 2003, he recorded his final album, Las Flores de la Vida" at the age of 96. Ry Cooder said of his passing, "The last of the best, the oracle, the source, the one who represents where it all flows from."”
Rec'd this on Nov 17, 2007

Track: My Granddad Was A Docker ( $0.18 )
Album: Liverpool 800
Artist: Alun Parry
“My Grandfather was a Docker" is a catchy upbeat folk song with a message from the Liverpudlian Alun Parry (not a typo), who is a Merseyside songwriter/poet-activist singing in the style of Woody Guthrie-meets-Elvis-Costello with a Lennon twist. Alun Parry's second album, "Liverpool 800: True Love of Mine," is a half dozen songs that joyously celebrates the 800th birthday of the city's gritty and tumultuous past with warts and all. No punches barred. Foot stomping good. Here's hoping there'll be six more tunes to flesh out his solid second album that's sure to surpass his solid debut album, "Corridors of Stone."”
Rec'd this on Nov 10, 2007

Track: Coulter's Candy (Alli Balli Be) ( $0.15 )
Album: Caledonia Dreamin'
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Coulter's Candy is a real Weegie (Glesga) street song or rather, an early form of advertising jingle from the 1840s - 1890s meant to loosen pennies from the hands of babes. Some say that when the farm failed, John Coulter (or Robert Coultart) and his wife Masie moved into town and made candies wrapped in wax paper. He would hawk his toffee (or anise) candy in the Glesga streets (or the streeets of Peebles or Melrose, depending upon who yer talkin tae—even the Geordies of Newcastle and the Irish insist it's THEIR song!) Anyway, Coultart sang Ally bally to alert the children who would come running to buy candy from the sack of the Scottish Pied Piper—just like how kids today do when the ice cream cart comes by. Supposedly the recipe died with Coultart in the 1890s. Donovan recorded Coulter's Candy on the album, the HMS Donovan for his wee bairn to be in the 1970s. Sung in the broad Scots tongue (in case ye canna ken it). Coulter's Candy will leave ye greetin' for anither sweet bawbee and a wee tune from the Scotch Melody Maker, himself, Neil O'Neill. ”
Rec'd this on Oct 30, 2007

Track: Caledonia Farewell (Jamie Raeburn) ( $0.15 )
Album: Caledonia Dreamin'
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Alright, I confess I'm a sucker for Celtic ballads and deportation songs worth their salt. Jamie Raeburn (its other name) has been floating around for over a hundred years. I love Neil's honey-smooth voice and rollicking guitar in this song. Gabriel Duffin's puckin' on the banjo and bodhran adds to the seaworthiness of this ballad. (PS: that's me on the backup chorus).”
Rec'd this on Oct 23, 2007

Track: The Holy Ground ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“My grannie left Eire from Cobh. Neil's rousing rendition of this Irish Immigrant song reflects its sea chanty roots. Great sound mix. Gabriel Duffin's banjo is great too.”
Rec'd this on Oct 6, 2007

Track: Wild Mountain Thyme (Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?) ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Wild Mountain Thyme, a traditional, if crass, 17th c. free love song, emerged on the '60s folk scene, made popular by Joan Baez and Judy Collins. I was irritated when they changed the words but that's the nature of folk songs, to continually grow and adapt to the times. Neil's version evokes an earlier time, of real lonesome cowboys around the campfire kissing nothing more than the lips of their harmonicas. Gabriel Duffin's mandolin back up is a sweet addition.”
Rec'd this on Sep 30, 2007

Track: Whiskey in the Jar ( $0.25 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“This is a rousing Irish drinking song with lots of sing along whack fol the daddios, good for any ceili.”
Rec'd this on Sep 25, 2007

Track: Star of the County Down ( $0.26 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“This song was sung in my family because of the Bantry Bay reference. The pluckiness of the banjo ties it to the American folk tradition.”
Rec'd this on Sep 24, 2007

Track: Mairi's Wedding (Lewis Bridal Song) ( $0.30 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Mairi's Wedding (AKA The Lewis Bridal Song) is a spritely Hebridean tune that'll get your feet tapping. Great for any ceili or feis. Banjo adds a nice touch to traditional Celtic music.”
Rec'd this on Sep 23, 2007

Track: Loch Lomond ( $0.25 )
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Loch Lomond is one of those oldies but goodies that's always sweet on the ears. Neil's great tenor voice is well suited for Scottish folk songs. His straightforward presentation really suits these ballad style folk songs.”

Track: On The Sunny Side Of The Street ( $0.65 )
Album: Louis Armstrong - The Ultimate Collection
Artist: Louis Armstrong
“This really is the ultimate Satchmo collection, well worth every penny, and such a bargain too. AmieSteet has exposed me to so much great music during these past four years—from jazz to cyberCeltic. I am grateful to have been a part of the AmieStreet clan. Live long and prosper and Let the Saints Come Marching in. —MoHurley ”

Track: Lough Graney ( $0.34 )
Album: Roadwise
Artist: Steven McClintock
“"Songwriter Steven McClintock's perhaps better known for his Top 40 song hits and movie scores, but his acapella version of Lough Graney, is a great addition to the evolving Celtic genre. Lough Graney won second place in the folk song section of the John Lennon Songwriting Series Music Contest I was hoping to hear more from Steve as this is such a hauntingly evocative song, it left me wanting to hear more of his (less commercial) music. Like an album. If wishes were horses..." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: Whiskey in the Jar ( $0.25 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"This Irish drinking song has many variants. Or the mountains keep moving. It could be the Cork and Kerry mountains—how I learned it—or perhaps a mountain range in Australia. However you invoke it, whether with or without uisge beatha—the water of life—it will assuage your aural thirst for authentic celtic music sing by a Scotsman (with three Irish grandparents), Neil O'Neill, the Scotch Melody Maker (it was his grandda's moniker). Neil is a performer and emcee for the San Francisco Caledonian Club's annual Games at Pleasanton, CA,, and performs at many Highland Games and Celtic festivals in California, Nevada, and Scotland." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: The Holy Ground ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"An Irish immigration song, of the leaving of Ireland. It's morphed into an Irish drinking song, but it is really a lament beneath all that huzza-huzza. Still, the audience loves a good sing-along, and this one has a participation component: "Fine girl ye are!" It always manages to get the most curmudgeonly of audiences clapping along." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: Coulter's Candy (Alli Balli Be) ( $0.15 )
Album: Caledonia Dreamin'
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"Believe it or not Ally Bally Be is a children's song. And before that, it was an ad, or a jingle that passed into the Celtic folk tradition. Or maybe it was the other way around. At any rate it was meant to sell candy (or "nippie-sweeties" as they say in Glesga toon), or so the story goes. And a sweet song it is. You can't help singing along with Neil, the Scotch Melody Maker." —Mohurley”
No money earned from this REC yet.
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"Perhaps my favorite version of Jamie Raeburn is the Tannahill Weavers rendition. I love the Celtic rock aspect, with the electric guitar intro, but this version too draws you in. A great ballad with a melody that will stay with you. Well suited for Neil's clear tenor voice." —Mohurley”

Track: Mairi's Wedding (Lewis Bridal Song) ( $0.30 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"This is a great, foot-tapping song that's sure to get you up and parading around the room in no time flat. Gabriel Duffin's plucky banjo style adds a spritely air. Neil is an energetic performer and his kilt sashays with a lively throunce when he performs this piece." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: Wild Mountain Thyme (Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?) ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"Neil always describes this tune as a campfire, or a cruise ship song. And surely it's a treat to see the old ones sway in unison as if the boat was rocking. Nostalgic, it evokes another time. Neil's fine tenor voice is at its best when he sings the slow songs laden with memory and meaning." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010

Track: Star of the County Down ( $0.26 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"With a strong banjo opening by Gabriel Duffin, this Irish stand-by comes alive in the first note and will have your feet tapping in no time. Neil gives this song plenty of energy with his fine tenor voice and vocalizations. He's taken the version made popular by Van Morrison in "Irish Heartbeat" and kickled it up a notch." —Mohurley”
Rec'd this on Sep 19, 2010


Track: Loch Lomond ( $0.25 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“"Neil has a special affinity for this tune as he could see Ben Lomond—across the River Clyde, if he stood on his 






mother's door stoop. With bucholic scenery like this to draw upon, Neil is truly inspired when he sings this old classic. An authentic melancholic crowd-pleaser with duende and soul." —Mohurley”











mohurley Rec'd this on Sep 24, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Listen to Mairi's Wedding (Lewis Bridal Song) by Neil O'Neill
Track: Mairi's Wedding (Lewis Bridal Song) ( $0.30 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Mairi's Wedding (AKA The Lewis Bridal Song) is a spritely Hebridean tune that'll get your feet tapping. Great for any ceili or feis. Banjo adds a nice touch to traditional Celtic music.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Sep 23, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Listen to Loch Lomond by Neil O'Neill
Track: Loch Lomond ( $0.25 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Loch Lomond is one of those oldies but goodies that's always sweet on the ears. Neil's great tenor voice is well suited for Scottish folk songs. His straightforward presentation really suits these ballad style folk songs.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Sep 30, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: Whiskey in the Jar ( $0.25 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“This is a rousing Irish drinking song with lots of sing along whack fol the daddios, good for any ceili.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Oct 23, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: The Holy Ground ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“My grannie left Eire from Cobh. Neil's rousing rendition of this Irish Immigrant song reflects its sea chanty roots. Great sound mix. Gabriel Duffin's banjo is great too.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Sep 25, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: Star of the County Down ( $0.26 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“This song was sung in my family because of the Bantry Bay reference. The pluckiness of the banjo ties it to the American folk tradition.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Oct 6, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: Wild Mountain Thyme (Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?) ( $0.23 )
Album: Scotch Melody Maker
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Wild Mountain Thyme, a traditional, if crass, 17th c. free love song, emerged on the '60s folk scene, made popular by Joan Baez and Judy Collins. I was irritated when they changed the words but that's the nature of folk songs, to continually grow and adapt to the times. Neil's version evokes an earlier time, of real lonesome cowboys around the campfire kissing nothing more than the lips of their harmonicas. Gabriel Duffin's mandolin back up is a sweet addition.”

mohurley Rec'd this on Oct 30, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: Caledonia Farewell (Jamie Raeburn) ( $0.15 )
Album: Caledonia Dreamin'
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Alright, I confess I'm a sucker for Celtic ballads and deportation songs worth their salt. Jamie Raeburn (its other name) has been floating around for over a hundred years. I love Neil's honey-smooth voice and rollicking guitar in this song. Gabriel Duffin's puckin' on the banjo and bodhran adds to the seaworthiness of this ballad. (PS: that's me on the backup chorus).”

mohurley Rec'd this on Nov 10, 2007:
Street Cred: 368 Rec's: 24
Track: Coulter's Candy (Alli Balli Be) ( $0.15 )
Album: Caledonia Dreamin'
Artist: Neil O'Neill
“Coulter's Candy is a real Weegie (Glesga) street song or rather, an early form of advertising jingle from the 1840s - 1890s meant to loosen pennies from the hands of babes. Some say that when the farm failed, John Coulter (or Robert Coultart) and his wife Masie moved into town and made candies wrapped in wax paper. He would hawk his toffee (or anise) candy in the Glesga streets (or the streeets of Peebles or Melrose, depending upon who yer talkin tae—even the Geordies of Newcastle and the Irish insist it's THEIR song!) Anyway, Coultart sang Ally bally to alert the children who would come running to buy candy from the sack of the Scottish Pied Piper—just like how kids today do when the ice cream cart comes by. Supposedly the recipe died with Coultart in the 1890s. Donovan recorded Coulter's Candy on the album, the HMS Donovan for his wee bairn to be in the 1970s. Sung in the broad Scots tongue (in case ye canna ken it). Coulter's Candy will leave ye greetin' for anither sweet bawbee and a wee tune from the Scotch Melody Maker, himself, Neil O'Neill. ”
Rec'd this on May 31, 2008

©2010 Maureen Hurley