Sunday, January 8, 2017

Moore & McGregor – Dream With Me

Dream with Me
Ivernia Records

Dream with Me by Moore & McGregor – veteran musicians Wendy Moore (harp, oboe, English horn, pennywhistle, vocals) and Arthur McGregor (guitar, banjo, bodhran, and most of the lead vocals) – is a marvelous debut album of songs and tunes by a duo who have long worked together (often performing kids’ shows as the Celtic Rathskallions) that includes superb original songs by Arthur, traditional Celtic tunes, and several excellent songs drawn from other writers.

Arthur’s writing is most impressive. The album opens with “The McGregors,” Arthur’s up tempo account of his family’s emigration from Scotland to Canada when he was a small child and his and the family’s embrace of their new home more than 60 years ago.

Arthur’s other songs include “Back on the Farm,” co-written with producer Paul Mills, in which the narrator celebrates his return to the family farm, and the farmer’s life, that he forsook as a young man for a nomadic life; “Dream With Me,” a beautiful love song written for Wendy; and the infectious “Dancing Shoes,” a toe-tapper that celebrates dancing and small town life.

Wendy’s contributions as an instrumentalist and occasional harmony vocalist are felt throughout the album but she is at the forefront on “Path of the Paddle,” David Archibald’s lovely hymn to canoeing on which she sings the lead vocal, and the instrumental medley of “The South Wind/The Battle of Glencoe,” two beautiful traditional tunes she plays on the harp.

The rest of the album is equally strong but I particularly love their interpretation of Warren Zevon’s “Don’t Let Us Get Sick,” a song that is a kind of off-centre prayer and affirmation; and their version of “Summertime,” the Gershwin classic from “Porgy and Bess” set at the corner of Folk, Blues and Jazz Streets. Wendy’s oboe playing on this track is positively haunting.

In addition to Wendy and Arthur, the only other musicians are Curly Boy Stubbs (Paul Mills) on guitar, mandolin and percussion and David Woodhead, the always inventive bassist. The arrangements and contributions of all the singers and players always serve the best interests of the songs.

A gem of an album to begin the new year.

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--Mike Regenstreif

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Morning with Mike Regenstreif – CKCU – Saturday January 7, 2017

Saturday Morning is an eclectic roots-oriented program on CKCU in Ottawa heard live on Saturday mornings from 7 until 10 am (Eastern time) and then available for on-demand streaming. I am now one of the four rotating hosts of Saturday Morning and base my programming on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches format I developed at CKUT in Montreal.

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and on the web.

This episode of Saturday Morning can be streamed on-demand at Due to a technical problem, the program actually begins at six minutes and 50 seconds into the on-demand stream.

The first part of the show featured selections from my choices of the Top 16 folk-rooted and folk-branched CDs of 2016.

Jenny Whiteley- $100
Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt- Who Knows Where the Time Goes
We are Welcomed (Pragmavision)

Corin Raymond- Morning Glories
Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams (Local Rascal)
Bob Dylan- Desolation Row

Eric Bibb & North Country Fair with Danny Thompson- The Happiest Man in the World
Claire Lynch- Black Flowers
North by South (Compass)
Orit Shimoni- Fool
Soft Like Snow (MW Music)

Anne Hills & Jay Ansill- Allie
Fragile Gifts (Hand & Heart Music)
David Francey- Alli’s Wedding
EmptyTrain (Laker Music)

Leyla McCalla- Fey-O
A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey (Jazz Village)
Maria Dunn- Flora
Gathering (Distant Whisper)
The Del McCoury Band- The New York Trains
Del and Woody (McCoury Music)

Tom Russell & Eliza Gilkyson- Where Do All the Cowboys Go?
Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur- Guabi, Guabi
Penny’s Farm (Kingswood)

Chaim Tannenbaum- London, Longing for Home
Chaim Tannenbaum (StorySound)

Leonard Cohen w/Cantor Gideon Zelermyer & the Shaar Hashomayim Choir- You Want It Darker
You Want It Darker (Columbia)

The second part of the show was a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016: poet, novelist and masterful singer-songwriter.

Mad Pudding- First We Take Manhattan
Grand Hotel (Sliced Bread)
Leonard Cohen- The Sparrows
Six Montreal Poets (Folkways)
Jennifer Warnes- A Singer Must Die
Famous Blue Raincoat: The Songs of Leonard Cohen 20th Anniversary Edition (Shout! Factory)
Perla Batalla- Famous Blue Raincoat
Bird on the Wire: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (Mechuda Music)

Anne Hills- Alexandra Leaving
Points of View (Appleseed)
The Once- Coming Back to You
The Once (Borealis)
Leonard Cohen- Warning
Six Montreal Poets (Folkways)
Martha Wainwright- The Traitor
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (Verve Forecast)

Tex König- Sisters of Mercy
Königsblende (Music Cellar)
Leonard Cohen- Poem
Six Montreal Poets (Folkways)
Reid Jamieson- Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
Dear Leonard (Reid Jamieson)

Judy Collins- Story of Isaac
Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: Democracy (Elektra/Rhino)
Leonard Cohen- Lovers
Six Montreal Poets (Folkways)
Madeleine Peyroux- Dance Me to the End of Love
Careless Love (Rounder)

Emmylou Harris- Ballad of a Runaway Horse
Cowgirl’s Prayer (Asylum)
Leonard Cohen- Les Vieux
Six Montreal Poets (Folkways)
Nick Cave & Julie Christensen- Suzanne
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (Verve Forecast)

Susie Burke- Song of Bernadette
Lucky Stars (Madrina Music)
The Love Hall Tryst- Joan of Arc
Songs of Misfortune (Appleseed)

The Good Lovelies- Hallelujah
Live at Revolution (Six Shooter)
Tom Russell- Tower of Song
Selections from Love & Fear plus bonus out-takes (HighTone)
Leonard Cohen- Anthem
Live in London (Columbia)

I’ll be hosting Saturday Morning next on February 4. I’ll also be co-hosting Canadian Spaces with Chris White on January 28 (10 am-noon).

Find me on Twitter. @MikeRegenstreif

--Mike Regenstreif