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I'm really glad you posted this. When I was trying to decide what to get from eMusic, I remembered your post in June and that I had listened to the album and really liked it. I could even remember what GW looked like. I just could not remember her name. I was going to ask you, but I didn't even have enough details to ask the question.


Happy to be of service.:-) If you liked it on one hearing, I expect you'll like it even more subsequently.

I am pretty sure that this record is going to be on my 'Best of the Year' list when I get around to drawing it up. I agree with you about Rawlings and his guitar: amazing playing, but I wish it were a little more forward in the 'mix'.

(I put 'mix' in quotes because I understand that they recorded the album live with a single microphone, rather than close-miking each instrument and recording them separately, as is often done in the studio.)

Anyway, a nice review. Thanks.

You're welcome. Have you seen them perform? Rawlings makes me uncomfortable--the way he holds his guitar, sort of away from his body, looks awkward and unstable. But obviously it works for him.



I bought this after a recommendation somewhere on the web (maybe on 'Whosoever desires'). It is v. good.

What is 'Whosoever desires'?

As usual, I have to wait and watch that later, Janet.

It's not great, great, but I thought it was interesting. I found it when I was looking for a bigger image of the cover.


You can download a big high-res one at eMusic. Click on the cover, which gives you a 600x600 one you can save-as, and a button that says "download hi-res" that gives you a 1400x1400 one.

Thanks. I never would have realized that those were birds on her head. I don't think I would want to cozy up to an owl like that!


It's a Jesuit website. In fact, their post on the group is more recent than when I bought it. Maybe it was FB?


Yes, Mac, I have seen them live, once. It was on the Revelator tour, so quite a while ago now. They were really good. He does hold the guitar funny, and kind of shakes it in a way that I have not seen elsewhere. But, like you say, his fingers still seem to know where to go.

I've not yet heard The Harrow and the Harvest, but a friend of mine bought it and is going to lend it to me. He also got the new Waterboys album, which is a collection of Yeats poems that Mike Scott has set to music. He thinks it's the best thing they've done since "Room to Roam," which came out in 1990.

I've seen Welch & Rawlings live a couple times -- Rawlings guitar playing is very interesting. Seems to me he does considerably more note-bending than most acoustic guitar players, and his holding the neck of his instrument away from his body is related to that, in how he pulls the strings. Most guitarists seem instead to lift the neck when they do that.

Another good recent "folk" record loosely similar to Welch and Rawlings is "Barton Hollow" by the duo known as The Civil Wars. Their music has more of an emphasis on shared vocals and harmonies than W&R, and often includes piano in the mix, since the female singer of the group, Joy Williams, is a pianist.

It's the way he seems to be pushing the neck away from his body with the left hand, and holding the body tight against him with his right arm. Looks like there would be so much tension in his arms that it would be constricting. But it must not be--obviously it works. I hadn't really noticed bending, especially. You have to go either up or down if you're actually bending the string, but maybe he's doing a more classical style vibrato, which is side-to-side.

I can't remember if I ever replied to your email with the Civil Wars clips. They were *really* good. I read a little about them and it caused me to fear for them: I was thinking that in the videos she looks like she is really in love with the guy, but I found out she's married, not to him.

I've not heard of The Civil Wars before, but they look like just the sort of thing I like. I'm going to check them out. Thanks, Rob G.

I am goihg for the Mr Yeats one, though I'm sorry to see it doesn't have 'Down By the Sally Gardens'. That is usually a signal for a show stopper, eg Planxty, Scholl


That's beautiful.

I haven't heard anything by the Waterboys since Fisherman's Blues, which I liked but not wildly. Kind of hard to imagine them doing justice to Yeats. Hmm...I just decided what to post for weekend music, if I can find it.

The Waterboys have done Yeats at least once before, on 'Fisherman's Blues,' actually:


"...the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

Forgot how good that was! Brings tears to my eyes...and I'm not even Irish.

I have that album and thought I liked it, although I haven't heard it for a long time, so at first I couldn't account for why I didn't even remember that this was on it. Then when I played the video and got to the point where the recitation begins, I remembered it. I didn't think the recitation worked very well with the music, somehow. I do love the poem, though, and that one line is a killer.

YouTube kindly supplied this related video, Loreena McKennit performing what I assume is her own setting of "The Stolen Child". On one hearing I'm not knocked out by it, but it might grow on me. I covet the guitar player's tone.

"I didn't think the recitation worked very well with the music, somehow."

Funny you say that. I used to think that too, but as time has gone by the more I've come to appreciate it.

I can see how one might. I'll give it a chance. I think I have developed an over-reaction to self-conscious Irishness and it probably kicked in on this.

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