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Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie

Maryrrf 13 Aug 09 - 09:06 PM
frogprince 13 Aug 09 - 09:28 PM
Effsee 13 Aug 09 - 11:12 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Aug 09 - 05:22 AM
skarpi 14 Aug 09 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Kendall 14 Aug 09 - 06:00 AM
John MacKenzie 14 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM
gnu 14 Aug 09 - 06:33 AM
Leadfingers 14 Aug 09 - 08:18 AM
Bat Goddess 14 Aug 09 - 08:23 AM
Peace 14 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM
Sorcha 14 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM
artbrooks 14 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM
gnu 14 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM
maeve 14 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM
Megan L 14 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM
maeve 14 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM
bfdk 15 Aug 09 - 06:23 AM
kendall 15 Aug 09 - 12:24 PM
Megan L 15 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM
Peace 16 Aug 09 - 12:26 AM
Jeri 16 Aug 09 - 09:16 AM
john f weldon 16 Aug 09 - 09:38 AM
Beer 16 Aug 09 - 10:54 AM
Jeri 16 Aug 09 - 11:15 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Sep 09 - 07:12 AM
kendall 05 Sep 09 - 07:41 AM
gnu 05 Sep 09 - 11:39 AM
olddude 05 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM
SINSULL 08 Sep 09 - 08:48 AM
olddude 08 Sep 09 - 08:59 AM
bobad 08 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM
John MacKenzie 08 Sep 09 - 09:19 AM
olddude 08 Sep 09 - 09:22 AM
TRUBRIT 08 Sep 09 - 10:39 PM
John MacKenzie 14 Dec 09 - 09:58 AM
frogprince 14 Dec 09 - 01:26 PM
maeve 14 Dec 09 - 01:29 PM
gnu 14 Dec 09 - 05:09 PM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Dec 09 - 01:33 AM
John MacKenzie 26 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM
maeve 26 Jul 10 - 05:10 PM
gnu 26 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM
skarpi 26 Jul 10 - 07:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM
Beer 26 Jul 10 - 10:55 PM
John MacKenzie 27 Jul 10 - 09:45 AM
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Subject: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Maryrrf
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 09:06 PM

Now that I've had time to listen to it several times all the way through, I thought I'd give John's CD "Halcyon Days" a proper review. There is an eclectic and varied selection of songs (17 tracks) from America, Britain and Ireland.      
Here's the list:
1)        Chilbridge Fair (trad)
2)        Every Time (Tom Paxton)
3)        30 Foot Trailer (Ewan McColl)
4)        Cavan Girl (Thom Moore)
5)        Deportes (Woody Guthrie)
6)        John Riley (Trad)
7)        Danny Farrell (Pete St. John)
8)        Tom Bowling (Chrles Dibden)
9)        Tramps and Hawkers (Trad)
10)        Lady Franklin's Lament (Trad)
11)        Dark as a Dungeon (Merle Travis)
12)        Carrickfergus (Trad)
13)        Rawtenstall Annual Fair (Weston & Lee)
14)        Raglan Road (P. Kavanaugh)
15)        Universal Solder (Buffy St. Marie)
16)        Gresford Disaster (Trad)
17)        Halcyon Days (J. MacKenzie)
It's difficult to pull off a varied mix like this but John manages very well. His natural, almost conversational style of delivery works very well on all the selections, from the very Scottish "Tramps and Hawkers" to the Irish classic "Raglan Road".    I love his versions of the American songs -"Deportees" , "Dark as a Dungeon" and "John Riley".   There is just a hint of a Scottish accent, but it doesn't detract at all from the "feel" of the songs.    "Raglan Road" is one of those songs that is often attempted and rarely performed well, but John's direct, simple approach gets to the heart of this haunting poem set to music.    I'm glad he resurrected "Universal Soldier" which I hadn't heard in a long time, and again, he does it well. John sings in a very natural voice with just a hint of gravel – excellently suited to folk music. The guitar arrangements complement the lyrics, but never distract.   The sound engineer achieved just the right mix of guitar and voice.      "Halcyon Days" is a great addition to my CD library.
John, I have a suggestion for your next CD. I think you'd do a great version of "Barbara Allen".


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: frogprince
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 09:28 PM

I think your review is "spot on". I think John sings to share the song, not to show off vocally. He's blessed with a very rich, enjoyable voice, and he doesn't need any recording technology to correct his pitchs.
                         Dean


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Effsee
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:12 PM

I'm just wondering why I haven't had a promo copy for Caithness FM!?


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:22 AM

Because I am waiting for a parcel Frank, I am out of copies temporarily.
John


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: skarpi
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:35 AM

Well I cant wait to hear it :>)
kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: GUEST,Kendall
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:00 AM

I will also review it as soon as I get MY copy!


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM

Speak to Sister Mary Sunshine


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: gnu
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:33 AM

I have commented several times on other threads. Just having my first cup of tea so I'll be brief here....

I LIKE IT A LOT!


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 08:18 AM

Maybe Someday !


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 08:23 AM

I'm enjoying it a lot, too -- have a strong image of John sitting in the papa-san chair at Sinsull's singing "Rawtenstall Annual Fair".

Nice job! Sorry we didn't get to see more of you when you were Stateside.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Peace
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:37 PM

Not only did I get to meet him at last, but he was kind enough to autograph it for me (kisses back to you, John). It's damned good. I like your take on "Universal Soldier" and you have managed a reaaly good balance of trad, folk-trad and song-writer material. Excellent work, and you should be proud of it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM

Oh yes, he's Practically Perfect in Every Way......I'm sure. I've been told enough times.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:50 PM

Overall, an excellent CD (I've had it on the CD player in the car for the last four days!!), and a great addition to my collection of CDs by Mudcatters.   As Mary said, the sound mix is very good and so (mostly) is the selection of songs. If I ruled the world (and the world is undoubtedly a better place since I don't), I would have omitted a couple - is there ANY Scots or Irish singer or group that hasn't covered "Carrickfergus"?


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: gnu
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:53 PM

Art, it's an art.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: maeve
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 05:57 PM

I'm thoroughly enjoying the selections on "Halcyon Days". The range of selections, as has been noted, caught my eye first. I enjoy both the vocals and guitar work, and look forward to listening again and again over the next few months and beyond.

Thanks for a lovely album of music, John.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Megan L
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:09 PM

You know something Sorcha you are right, when my husband almost died and throught the months he has spent in hospital, through the 300 odd mile journeys up and down one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland who was there for us? Who offered me a place in his own home? Who offered us both words of hope during days when hope was a rare comodity? And who was it knew when we needed gentle words and when we needed someone to give us the fire to keep fighting? John MacKenzie a man who isnt perfect all the time but thank God a man who cares and cares with practicle help when it is needed.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: maeve
Date: 14 Aug 09 - 06:16 PM

Yes indeed, Megan. And it's that depth and compassion that can be heard on "Halcyon Days".

maeve


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: bfdk
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 06:23 AM

Were you commenting on the CD, Sorcha, or just spewing venom at random?

I got my copy a while back, and I like it a lot. No, it's not perfect in every way, very few things in this world are. But it's a very good piece of work, nice selection of songs and well played/sung. I'm a bit disappointed that my favourite from the pre-selection material didn't make it onto the CD proper, but there you go. Giok's choice, his prerogative.

All in all, congratulations, well done!

Bente


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: kendall
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 12:24 PM

When Jacqui and I went to Scotland John took us in and fed us, then drove us all over northern Scotland. He's a man you don't meet every day.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Megan L
Date: 15 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM

Giok you will actually get them in time for the Achness Amble wont ye?


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Peace
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 12:26 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 09:16 AM

I finally got a chance to listen to your CD. Wonderful, John! My favorites mostly were the ones I'd never heard before (or only heard once): 'Every Time', 'Cavan Girl', 'Tom Bowling', but I couldn't not enjoy songs like 'Raglan Road' and 'Lady Franklin's Lament'.

I like your arrangements. I can hear the thought that went into them, but they showcase the songs, not upstage them.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: john f weldon
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 09:38 AM

I've also listened to it several times & enjoyed it greatly.

Many of the songs are familiar, and I've also enjoyed the versions done by such performers as Bernard Wrigley and John Roberts & Tony Barrand. Yet each performer manages to bring an interesting personal touch.

Bravo, John!


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Beer
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 10:54 AM

Well John the house is empty for once since the festival and this morning I finally got around to taking the plastic cover off your c/d and sitting back and gave it a full listen.
I agree with comments on your selections and I have to say that track 6, 7, 9 and 16 I enjoyed very much. If there was a favorite to pick I would go first with Gresford Disaster and second with Tramps and Hawkers. Continued success in your music and enjoy.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 11:15 AM

You know you done good if people have favorites and they're different songs.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 07:12 AM

I left some copies with SINSULL, and she will have them with her at the Getaway, for those who are interested.
They are still available direct, from either SINSULL or myself.
JM


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: kendall
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 07:41 AM

As the Scts say, "It's no bad"


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: gnu
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 11:39 AM

I was listening to it again last eve while cooking and cleaning. It's bonny guid.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: olddude
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM

John
do you have any of the songs posted on line so I can listen?

Thanks
Dan


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 08:48 AM

Jacqui and I listened to your CD while yardsaling this weekend. Wonderful song choices and John's personality came through loud and clear. He is anything but perfect but kind, generous (my kitty mobile makes me smile on the gloomiest days)and, in short, a good man I am proud to call a friend.
Advert over - who wants to buy a CD?
SINS


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: olddude
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 08:59 AM

again is there any songs online?
Thanks

Dan


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: bobad
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM

Dan, check out John's MySpace page.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:19 AM

Thanks Bobad.
Dan, those tracks are all on the CD, but not those actual recordings, in most cases.

John


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: olddude
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 09:22 AM

John
wonderful, I love your version of "Dark as a Dungeon"
Thanks so much for sharing ...

Dan


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 10:39 PM

Good CD-- also in my car CD player as we speak.....


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 09:58 AM

Jacqui still has a few copies of my CD in Maine, and if anybody else should like a copy, please let her know.
Any not sold by the end of this year, will be sent back to me in Scotland
Same price, $10 including postage, within contiguous US states.

JM


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:26 PM

And that's a giveaway price for an album this good.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: maeve
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 01:29 PM

Indeed, frogprince. And I still haven't gotten my copy back from the radio station friend to whom I lent it. Good stuff.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: gnu
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 05:09 PM

A steal!


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Dec 09 - 01:33 AM

John, when I played a house concert at Sinsull's recently, I got a copy of your Halcyon Days CD.

It got repeated plays in my van all the way home from Maine to Maryland, and let me congratulate you on a fine recording indeed.

Like Art Brooks, my one quibble would be 'Carrickfergus', only because it's been done to death, I know, I know, I did it on one of my CDs too!
However, you did it well. The selection of songs is wonderful, and
I especially liked your treatment of 30 Foot Trailer, Cavan Girl and Tramps and Hawkers, as well as Dark As A Dungeon and John Riley.

Keep up the good work.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 04:55 PM

The first copies of my CD sold out, but I took delivery of another batch today, if anybody's interested!

John


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 05:10 PM

Congratulations, John. It is a lovely CD.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: gnu
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM

I second that, m!


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: skarpi
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 07:07 PM

same here , I liked it very well . :O)
kv Skarpi


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 08:22 PM

John Riley is an American tune? Really?

Anyway, John, it sounds like a great selection of songs and I hope to get a chance to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: Beer
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 10:55 PM

Hay John you old fart, with all your money you can afford to do a second printing.

Good luck buddy
Ad.


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Subject: RE: Review: Halcyon Days by John Mackenzie
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 09:45 AM

He's such a sweetie that Adrien, isn't he?

J :)


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