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Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?

GUEST,Tunesmith 11 Oct 09 - 04:57 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Oct 09 - 05:05 AM
Hamish 11 Oct 09 - 05:32 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 09 - 06:08 AM
Will Fly 11 Oct 09 - 06:12 AM
Rog Peek 11 Oct 09 - 06:23 AM
Marje 11 Oct 09 - 07:23 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Oct 09 - 07:31 AM
oombanjo 11 Oct 09 - 07:48 AM
scouse 11 Oct 09 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 11 Oct 09 - 08:50 AM
Stu 11 Oct 09 - 09:32 AM
Santa 11 Oct 09 - 09:37 AM
Nick 11 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 11 Oct 09 - 12:23 PM
Hamish 11 Oct 09 - 12:38 PM
Nick 11 Oct 09 - 12:43 PM
Nick 11 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM
Will Fly 11 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM
michaelr 11 Oct 09 - 02:23 PM
Backwoodsman 11 Oct 09 - 02:33 PM
melodeonboy 11 Oct 09 - 03:45 PM
melodeonboy 11 Oct 09 - 03:48 PM
Will Fly 11 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM
Stu 12 Oct 09 - 03:28 AM
TopcatBanjo 12 Oct 09 - 08:05 AM
G-Force 12 Oct 09 - 09:37 AM
Nick 12 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM
Tim Leaning 12 Oct 09 - 12:15 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM
Marje 12 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM
mandotim 13 Oct 09 - 03:26 PM
Marje 20 Oct 09 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Bob 22 Oct 11 - 09:11 AM
melodeonboy 22 Oct 11 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Bob 03 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM
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Subject: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 04:57 AM

I'm surprised at the lack of feedback for the latest series. Has the concept run out of steam? One mistake I think they have made is showing the viewer what happens behind the camera. It's a bit like the idea of "the suspension of disbelief". We all know that there are camera men, mixing desks, make-up artists etc but we realy don't want to see them as it interfers with the illusion of a friendly, casual session.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 05:05 AM

I find the low lighting bloody annoying. Apart from that I am enjoying it, a programme like this is bound to be a bit facile, as the 30 minute time slot, doesn't allow any real depth.

JM


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 05:32 AM

I think this current series has been first class. I am in total awe of the lot of them. Funnily enough, I'd been thinking how good the camera-work has been, too. As close to perfection as I can imagine, the whole series.

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 06:08 AM

I've found it very disappointing, but still some gems among the dross. Ms Wainright - I hadn't heard her until this programme, but not impressed. Just another American female singer with that irritating "little schoolgirl on helium" voice.(like Iris Dement)Not my cup of tea.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 06:12 AM

Compared with Transatlantic Sessions 3, I'm finding it a little bland in places - but I must confess to preferring tunes, on the whole, to songs. Having said that, Dan Tyminski is a joy.

I've enjoyed the fiddle tunes immensely - the "Fiddle Blast" medley and the pipe tune from #1 was hugely enjoyable, and "Lee Highway Blues" from Stuart Duncan in the recent programme transmitted was mind-blowing.

The clapperboard bit just before "Lee Highway Blues" said "No. 28, Take 1". I think this was a subtle pointer to the fact that such a fast and complex number was delivered on the first take...


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 06:23 AM

I've enjoyed the series immensley and am also in awe of the musicians. My first experience of Martha Wainright, not my cup of tea. Dan Tyminski has been excellent.

Keep the sessions coming I say, a breath of fresh air among all the dross on TV these days.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Marje
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 07:23 AM

I'm finding the content of this series a bit disappointing, at least in the songs. I enjoy most of the tunes, but the songs tend to be a bit slushy, pop-oriented and over-orchestrated for my taste. And the overall flavour is more US than UK.

That said, I'm still glad to have a series like this on TV, and was very glad I had the TS to soothe me after the harrowing finish of the "Criminal Justice" drama.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 07:31 AM

Glad I'm not the only one to find Martha Wainright out of place. I know the American definition of folk is wider than ours here, but I regard what she's done so far as unfolky, veering towards pop.

JM


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: oombanjo
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 07:48 AM

moe please and longer AND where is the old time banjo? cheers oombanjo


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: scouse
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 08:04 AM

Does anyone know how much input Aly and Jerry had during the set up of the Trans? I somehow don't think that Aly's a to big a fan of Martha. I sometimes think that once they have the nucleus of the band they're maybe told by the Beeb, Beeb, Ceeb, this is who we could afford!! Now get on with it!!Could be wrong. Mind you it's still great.
As Aye,
Phil.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 08:50 AM

These are the best aoustic music programs ever on British TV - far superior to anything Jools Holland or others have ever done. As Oombanjo said - make 'em longer,and make more series'.
Don't quibble about folkiness, American vs British etc = take your hats off to them and enjoy great quality.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Stu
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 09:32 AM

I'm enjoying it although was infuriated when the voiceover pops on to advertise Jonathan Ross or who ever; the last set in Thursday's was ruined just as reached transcendence!


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Santa
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 09:37 AM

I'd like to see more songs, to break up the boring repetitive nature of the tunes!

Joshing aside, these are delightful little programmes, if a bit repetitious. The only sad thing about the concept is that it stands out so much, with so little else shown. That's not the fault of the programmes.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Nick
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:10 PM

The musicianship (in players AND singers) is superb or do people have a problem with that?

So much is what you personally like and don't rather than the quality of the whole.

I enjoyed Martha Wainwright MORE than I thought I might. Last time I watched her on the TV I thought she was much better at swearing than singing and this series revised that view (it could be my memory and she might not have sworn in a song but it's what I remember). Quality voice.

In two previous series Iris Dement has been on. Personally, I find her voice hugely annoying - horrible weak whiney voice to my ears - but I know lots of people love her voice and style. But she can sing.

I prefer Emmylou Harris as a backing singer rather than as a soloist (heresy!) but can appreciate that she is highly skilled.

Russ Baremberg does nothing flash but is wonderful. Michael McGoldrick is startling. I personally think Jerry Douglas is wonderful (I had never heard about him before series 2 because I didn't listen to that sort of music), astoundingly tasteful and always adds rather than detracts from music but I know people who don't share that view. Karen Mathieson always makes me smile. Jenna Reid is mighty fine. I'm not sure I like Julie Fowlis' change of haircut since the last series but it hasn't affected the pleasure I have from her singing. Without the makeup, under the lighting I think Aly Bain might be ageing slightly but he can still play beautifully.

I downloaded the friday episode but have only flicked through it so far but there is a tune set with Mike McG on flute whizzing along at a huge pace which I know I will return to many times in the future and smile.

I could go on but won't.

As a body of stuff the four series have presented an excellent range of music and surely it's good to enjoy what is there rather than bemoan what isn't?

I will be launching a game soon called Fantasy Transatlantic Sessions where we can see how good the moaners are. :)

Like in many of these things why don't you ask the participants? Many of them are both relatively contactable and approachable and would give a more balanced view of the reality than the equivalent of the football couch potatoes that seem to be grumbling here.

It stuns me the lack of ego and mutual respect that is shown and the joy they have in what they do.

It could be worse - compare what someone like Gary Moore used to do when he invited some of his supposed blues idols to play with him where he seemed to be trying very hard to blow them off the stage with volume and pyrotechnics; but that is a different story.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:23 PM

The point that I was making is that folkies seem to have become blase about the series - and I wondered why. I must confess that I am one of those people who hated Martha Wainwright's contribution of a week or so back. For me, it just seemed so out of place with the rest of the performances. Out of place in a bad way.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Hamish
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:38 PM

Fair do's: I nearly mentioned Martha Wainwright as being the only bit that made it close to perfection as against total perfection, but it felt like carping. As for the other singers, I did enjoy Rosanne Cash, Julie Fowlis is pure class... bur Karan Casey's Black is the Colour... wow! A real "I could die happy now" performance...

--
Hamish


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Subject: New Ideas for Transatlantic Sessions 5
From: Nick
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:43 PM

With so much moaning and grumbling about Transatlantic Sessions here's a chance to participate. I probably need to think about this a bit more but I have few thoughts as to different ways that this could go.

A few initial ideas but once I am sure I will no doubt pass them on to the BBC -

FIRST

A league. Each musician and singer over each of the programs across the series is scored on an agreed formula and the person who picks the best and highest scorers wins. (Some example categories that might score are - 3 points for making the other players on the tune smile with pleasure; 2 points for most starling rework of an old tune; etc etc)

SECOND

A bit more in the X factor/pop Idol mode. The viewers can vote someone off each week. Could be some interesting play offs - the bagpipe player versus the drummer.

THIRD

On this one we forget totally about the music and just judge people on their looks and you get points for the best or worst makeovers.

FOUR

Each week they play a new tune or song and the audience have a chance to vote whether it is folk or not. Huge possibilities for late night spin offs chatting into the small hours on this one.

FIVE

We see the rehearsals and viewers who think they can play come along and try to play in time and tune with the people they love to criticize and grumble about. This one has enormous potential I think and hours of fun watching people struggling to do what the players do so effortlessly (AN ASIDE: should the current programme be made to look as though it's harder - should they perhaps make more mistakes - should we see the engineers using Antares to sort out all the bum notes - should the singers and players be better at lip/instrument syncing?)

SIX

This may be the one that I am tempted with -
Either get rid of the Americans or get rid of the UK people. In an attempt to chop down on the costs (which has been suggested why the standards are so dropping) we get production teams to tour East Europe and the Far East and find unknown folk musicians who are brought here and who can then join in. Again the audience has the chance to vote them off.

Huge chance to get this one on prime time TV I reckon. The audience probably won't like or be familiar with the music which will allow for prejudice to run rife; the audience can warm to people because of their hardships; hopefully language differences so that the performers can be ritually humiliated so much more successfully; and the huge benefit that the losers can be deported which should bring in the BNP viewers.


The BBC are missing a huge opportunity.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Nick
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM

I know what you mean - it's a stunning indictment of modern society. Perhaps you could join in on my new thread that gives us a chance to address the problem and realise some of the oppportunities that the BBC have missed. It's here (and what's really impressive is I can do internal AND external 'blue clickies')


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM

I think the BBC does a great job with the series, and there's certainly nothing like it (IMHO) around anywhere else over here at the moment. Having said that, there are inevitably going to be parts of each programme which appeal more to one person than another. Nick doesn't care for Iris Dement - I thought her appearance in TS3 was great. I think Julie Fowlis is excellent, but have never cared for Roseanne Cash. And so on and so forth.

We're allowed to appreciate different parts of the programmes in different ways - it doesn't mean to say we don't appreciate the project as a whole.


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Subject: RE: New Ideas for Transatlantic Sessions 5
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:23 PM

Haha, that's brilliant, Nick!


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:33 PM

"Having said that, Dan Tyminski is a joy"

You hit the button there, Will. Try his recent CD, 'Wheels' - superb singing and playing by Dan and his band. Absolute top-notch stuff.


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Subject: RE: New Ideas for Transatlantic Sessions 5
From: melodeonboy
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 03:45 PM

Tee-hee! Good one, Nick!

Seriously, I wasn't aware that people had been complaining about the Transatlantic Sessions. I've only managed to see one of the latest series. I didn't think it was the best one I'd seen, but it was still of a very high standard. Have I missed something?


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Subject: RE: New Ideas for Transatlantic Sessions 5
From: melodeonboy
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 03:48 PM

Whoops! Sorry! I've just found the thread in question. My first paragraph above still stands. Ignore the second one!


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM

Thanks, Backwoodsman - I'll certainly check that out.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Stu
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 03:28 AM

My only problem with it is it's half an hour long. It should be double that at least.

I liked Martha Wainright; really quite different and original. I like hearing the American singers and some have been a revelation. Jerry Douglas continues to amaze and McGoldrick is God.

Excellent.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 08:05 AM

To be honest I am finding series 4 a bit disappointing compared to previous series. Yes, it's still one of the few "must-see" bits of TV in the week but there are a few niggles for me this time.

- Why is there so much piano? I know they have always had the piano in but personally I find it completely unnecessary for an acoustic session. And this series, the piano seems to be included within practically every tune/song - stomping all over the quieter instruments in the mix

- Ditto with drums, although this is not so intrusive and I have to admit that the percussionist (forget his name) does play with taste and sensitivity - but again, why is this needed on practically every song? Acoustic sessions don't normally have a drummer...?

- Disappointed with the contributions of some of the guests. I also thought Martha Wainwright was dreadful, OK she is not my cup of tea but I also thought it was partly that the songs she brought did not fit well with the essence of the programme. One of the James Taylor songs was also very disappointing. I thought that Alison Moorer was excellent though

- My tastes are more to the American/bluegrass side (although I very much enjoy the Celtic tunes too)and hence I was particularly looking forward to the contributions by Dan Tyminski and Stuart Duncan. Dan is pure quality but why use one of his precious appearances to do Man of Constant Sorrow - AGAIN? That song is already out there on several DVDs - why not get a performance of a song from his fantastic recent CD "Wheels" for instance? I just feel that that is a bit like the equivalent of always playing a greatest hit or a Stairway to Heaven - boring and a wasted opportunity!

- Even more than with other series, the Celtic element seems to include a massive proportion of songs sung in Gaelic. Is it really necessary to have so many? I appreciate it is a part of the Scottish culture but I am sceptical as to how common it usually is to sing songs in Gaelic in Celtic sessions?!

I also think the new venue looks dark and dingy compared to TS3 and I can't believe that the sound can be better given all those bare stone walls......

All my humble opinion you understand. Notwithstanding the above rant - yes, it is still one of the best things on telly and is a joy to experience the musical talents of such giants as Michael McGoldrick, Aly Bain, Jerry D, etc etc etc as well as the guests. Just don't think it has been as good as TS3...episode 4 has been best for me so far though! Enough of this chuntering!

TC


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: G-Force
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 09:37 AM

I am really enjoying and appreciating TS4 even if it's not quite as good as series 1 to 3. I think it's having the kit drummer which spoils it.

As ever, though, it all seems to reinforce the general view that traditional music is something which happens in Scotland, Ireland and America but not England. I don't wish to belittle the Celtic influence, but there is also a vast commonality between English and American music and song.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Nick
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 09:52 AM

Well I watched episode 4 and if that's dull or disappointing then I'm a penguin. There was plenty of things to make me smile and marvel - the two pipers were excellent; the harmonies on the 'worry not' song were beautiful and he has a lovely voice (even Martha...) ; 'Kid on the Mountain' set was as good as I thought it was the other day and was so precise given the speed; Karan Casey I had not heard of before but will be checking out later on as that was pretty special; the bluegrass player was very good on 'lee .... blues'; Alison Moorer I really enjoyed; Dan T song was good

I just wish I could be disappointed more regularly and for longer periods of time in future. There are probably drugs I could take to get rid of that though.

Nick Penguin


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 12:15 PM

Its all a matter of personal preference have enjoyed most of the ones I managed to catch.
Even the bits that weren't my own cup of tea where expertly performed.
It does strike me as a bit smug and errrrr you know...
But that's music for you aint it.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM

Ref the Dan T performance, I think he's great, except for the dirgey version of Man of Constant Sorrow
JM


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Marje
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM

I suppose the celtic/gaelic connection is perfectly logical, since the only legitimate meaning for the concept of "celtic music" is music that uses the celtic (gaelic) languages. Other than that, the concept of "celtic" culture is a vaguely racist and somewhat spurious one, with no real historical basis.

The trouble, in this instance, is that it leaves out not only most English music, but much of the Scottish repertoire as well. Burns was not "celtic" in any sense, and neither are any of the great songs (his and others) that have their roots in lowland Scotland.

I'd warm to the series even more if it tried to embrace all the music of these islands and to celebrate the links and influences that are shared by US, Irish, Scottish and English music and song.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: mandotim
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 03:26 PM

I'm on my own this week, so I've just had an orgy of watching the current series back-to-back. So much great playing, so many great songs and tunes. I couldn't see how an American country singer like Alison Moorer was going to cope with Carrickfergus; but she reduced me to floods of tears. That was the best interpretation of the song I've ever heard, with some stellar playing to back up a tremendous piece of singing. Stunning stuff.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: Marje
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 07:05 AM

I've just caught up with the most recent broadcast and found it by far the best yet in this series - there was some captivating singing from several female singers, and a lovely selection of songs/tunes.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 09:11 AM

Couldn't see the relevence of the drummer, spoiled it for me.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 22 Oct 11 - 11:38 AM

I think the drummer is fine on some songs, and he knows what he's doing, but I think he's being over-used.


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Subject: RE: Transatlantic Sessions Mistake?
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 03 Nov 11 - 07:28 AM

Hi
Anyone know when and if the Series 5 will be shown on English TV?


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