- Category: Reviews
Candlelight Records, 2004
The sound of waves crashing on a ship starts, the tide taking it slowly out to sea as bagpipes play and women sing a farewell. You can feel Frigga’s grief as Baldur and Nanna sail into the sunset, almost hear the arrow being shot that sets it ablaze and smell the wood as it burns. The waves slowly swallow the ship, and the echoes of the women grieving the passage. This is “The Crossing”, the first track of Frigga’s Web, and sets the tone for the whole album. Frigga’s Web is at once grieving and reverent, powerful and striking. In any other hands this may have been one of the most depressing albums I could have listened to, but with the pounding drums and Andréa Hebel’s dynamic, commanding voice, the songs inspire one to dance rather than mourn.
- Category: Reviews
Blackmore’s Night, 2011
Blackmore’s Night’s dedication to creating and sharing quality music does not disappoint in their most recent album. The album’s overall balance of blended and instrumental styles, as well as traditional and contemporary lyrics, offers a well-rounded musical experience. Fans of Blackmore’s Night might be startled by the opening track, “Highland”, due to its synthesized quality. While it does seem unusual to hear synthesized music from a group so famous for their contemporary acoustic blends, the core charm of Blackmore’s Night is not lost. This album offers strong lyrics and instrumentals that make you close your eyes to listen with your heart instead of only your ears. The mood of the album swings from slow, soulful and dark to upbeat, bright and inspiring. In particular, the songs “Vagabond” and “Darkness” gave me a delightful shiver as I listened to the enchanting and soulful storytelling and traditional folk sound. In addition, the several purely instrumental pieces, such as “Dance of the Darkness” and “Song and Dance Part 2”, make the listener want get up and dance. The variety of musical styles and lyrical themes presented in Blackmore’s Night’s “Autumn Sky” album will offer a soundtrack to just about any mood you are in.
- Category: Reviews
At the Carnival Eclectique
Gypsy Nomads, 2009
Heartbeats and thoughts. Pulses and arpeggios. Drums and guitar with brief hints of vocals. Such is the music of The Gypsy Nomads, “a New York duo” with decidedly international fl air. Their latest album, At the Carnival Electique, blends solid beats with fleeting flourishes, and while the results are playful and deceptively lightweight, the band's appeal creeps up on you and doesn't let go.
Comprised of percussionist/singer Samantha Stephenson and former hardcore string-man Scott Helland, the Nomads form part of the “Cabaret Punk” underground — that energetic hybrid of European Folk roots, Punk attitude, World Beat eclecticism, and traveling-player theatricality. Although their sound recalls HuDost more than, say, The Decemberists, Helland, and Stephenson boil some enchanting concoctions out of that mix.
Faerie Music: Songs of Enchantment
- Category: Musicians
Whether light and ethereal or wild and rollicking, music at faerie events is always filled with the enchantment of the Otherworld. Here is a sampling of just a few of the musicians who have found favor with faerie fans — and surely with the Fae themselves!
• Alexander James Adams
Adams describes himself as “the heir to Heather Alexander” and carries on in Heather’s tradition of fine fiddling, filk, and folk music. Whether doing traditional ballads or the still immensely popular “Creature of the Wood” he is pitch-perfect and full of mischief. Adams weaves complex Celtic-inspired tunes around riveting stories to produce foot-tapping, memorable songs. Alexander performs at faerie and folk festivals around the world both on his own and with fae-band Tricky Pixie, and his playful presence and intense performances are a joy to fans at every turn. Find him online at www.faerietaleminstrel.com. (Heather Alexander’s backlist remains available at www.heatherlands.com.)