The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89022   Message #1677460
Posted By: GUEST,Bemusedpunter
24-Feb-06 - 04:35 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Golden Glove (Dog and Gun)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Golden Glove (Dog and Gun)
Re- Around The Hills of Clare review
"On the whole, it is best to take such things with as good a grace"

This would be true had the criticisms been honestly made.
Can one take seriously a reviewer who objects to the use of the term 'material' when refering to songs and stories after having used the term himself IN EXACTLY THE SAME CONTEXT no less than three times in the course of his review.
Similarly, an objection to the suggestion that television affected adversely the singing tradition might have rung more true had the reviewer not supported the idea himself in a previous review in fRoots.
His somewhat spectacular display of ignorance of the tradition, his inability to read album titles, to correctly identify singers and songs, his mistakenly identifying typos and missing reference numbers (oh - and his clinging to the Bishop of Derry's mother for support) all helped to turn the review into a shambles, and was recognised as such by those I have discussed it with.
His insulting some of the performers and virtually ignoring most of them was something I have never come across in my years of interest in traditional music.
As for 'taking such things in good grace' - did you know that he responded to his own pot boiler being described as a 'pot boiler' by threatening to come after those who had done so with a knuckle duster
(See Irtrad archive).
I am convinced that, on the strength of that review I would never have bought the album had I not been aware of some of the performers on it.
The only mystery for me in all this is why a publication as important as Musical Traditions should publish a piece that virtually ignored the singers under review and totally ignored the songs. It has certainly dented its own reputation - and not for the first time).
I note from a more recent reveiw he has written that the first reference was to the non-appearence of a work of his own, as if that had anything whatever to do with the work under scrutiny (a touch of self-promotion or what!).
By the way, you appear to be under the impression that the booklet was an in-depth study rather than brief song notes and general information. It was already four pages longer than booklets required by Musical Traditions - I was surprised that the editor didn't comment on the reviewer's sugestion that it could easily have been 100-plus pages long.
One reviewer in an Irish paper described the notes as having been 'forensically researched', but I suppose she must stand alongside Breandán Breathnach, Ríonach Uí Ogáin, the late Frank Harte and writers on Irish traditional music in general who were dismissed with the wave of the pen (hatchet?)
There again, us t'ick Paddies have always had to rely on the Brits for for our education.