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New James Keelaghan CD 'Home'


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Clinton Hammond 09 Feb 02 - 12:39 PM
Charley Noble 09 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Arkie 10 Feb 02 - 08:06 PM
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Subject: New James Keelaghan CD 'Home'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:39 PM

AKA, "well I guess they all can't be gems"

Picked this up last night at HMV, cause with his schedule it might be another year or so before I see James to get this from him direct... Was pleased to see that the song he opened with last concert, was the #1 track... "Red-winged Blackbird"... a cool, happy little song...

The next couple of tracks "Henry's Down Fall" and "Sinatra and I", I'm hoping will grow on me, but at first listening, I found them kinda overlong, and perhaps a little undercrafted in the lyric department... I do have to admit to really liking the sound of James on the Octave 12 String on "Sinatra and I"... It might look like some bizarre child's toy, but it's got a very cool, distinct tone...

His arrangement of "The Flower Of Magherally" had intrigued me... I don't think I'd heard this trad song before, and now I need to fire up Morpheus and find a bunch of other versions out of curiosity... His version has sorta a vaguely Spanish thing going on in it that's very interesting to say the least...

October 70... Well, my favourite thing about this one I almost hate to say is Oliver and his fiddle.. Man oh man oh MAN can that goofball PLAY the frigg'n hell out of it! I'm not much for trad fiddle, but Oliver I can listen to all day and all night... Do yourself a favour, if you don't know him, GET a CD or 2! As far as the song goes, well, make sure you know what The October Crisis is.. the song means a hell of a lot more with that knowledge tucked under yer belt...

Ian Tambly's "Woodsmoke And Oranges" comes next... and this track I confess was the reason I bought the CD... I've been playing this song for a lot of years, and it's been out of the set list for 3 or 4... and I'm just about to put it back in... So I was curious to see what James would do with it and I almost hate to say it... but blech... James slows it down and seems to be using a lot of left over bits from the recording of "Captain Torrez" but with none of the oomph of that song... He's turned "Woodsmoke" into a lament of sorts... Olies fiddle in the obligatory instrumental verse is very welcome, but I wonder if it'd be even better if the whole song was played at maybe twice the tempo... I'll have to encode it as an MP3 and give that a try... LOL!!!

Sing my Heart Home bridges the gap between this CD and James' last, "Road"... It might even be better suited to end that CD than to be stuck in the middle of this one... It does have a wonderful chorus that I suspect will stick around for a while...

"Sing out
Let your song ring forever and sing my heart home"

"Stonecutter"... well, who better than James to story ballad Canadian history from a wonderful personal view-point? :-)

"Nothing"... Well I think we've heard this song before once or twice on James' other CDs... "Hero In The Straightaway" leaps to mind... I think really James needs to shoot out his TV and just get ride of the thing if it ticks him off so much to get mass media...

James and Oliver finish off the CD with "You Know Me"... a sweet , minimalist song... Guitar picking, Fiddle bowing and singing... I have a feeling I'll be humming the simple refrain line to this one all day...

What's missing?? The humour... no ghost track of James and the gang goofing off at the end... no "Who Dies" kinda up-beat racaus sing alongs... The image of James resting on the sofa on the back cover is very indicative of the overall feeling of the album... Seems like he's tired... needing to grab his breath before whatever comes next... And well, gods know he's earned it. It'll be a really good Sunday afternoon, late breakfast and coffee, making bread or cookies album... I can even get my vacuuming done during Woodsmoke And Oranges! LOL!!!

Tonight Garnet Rogers playes locally, and I'm looking forward to grabbing his newest CD "Firefly"... I especially wanna hear his cover of "Girl From The Hiring Fair"...


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Subject: RE: New James Keelaghan CD 'Home'
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 12:45 PM

Thanks for the review! James is always worth a listen, even if all the cuts are not sparkling.

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Subject: RE: New James Keelaghan CD 'Home'
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:07 PM

No comments from the peanut gallery???


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Subject: RE: New James Keelaghan CD 'Home'
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:06 PM

Clinton, thanks for the review. My experience with Keelaghan is that I listen first because I like his voice. The more I listen the more I like the songs. He is one artist whose recordings get better the more you listen. Songs that seem ordinary upon the initial hearing become wonderful gems upon repeated plays. In my opinion, James Keelaghan is one of the finest writers and singers in North America. I am looking forward to adding this CD to my Keelaghan collection.

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