Thursday, February 2, 2017

Celtic Comfort...

After a long hiatus I'm finally ready to post a new selection. Having just recently restored my old turntable and amp I decided to test drive my nearly forgotten process for recording from vinyl to digital. I selected this recent purchase from the talented couple, Philip and Pam Boulding, also known as "Magical Strings. It appears that this album is OOP so it seemed more than worthy of resuscitating here on DYHWIH. It is a truly beautiful work featuring lots of flowing hammered dulcimer and various gentle harps along with a fair share of whistles, flutes and other traditional instruments. Much of the music is presented in the familiar Celtic tradition of medley, with 2 or 3 different songs/jigs tied together in seamless fashion. These are largely of Irish, Welsh and Scottish origin with many references to Turlough O'Carolan, but they have included a few of their own compositions as well. It all goes together perfectly, some of which is of the lullaby variety. While this music is entirely engaging and impressively rendered, it is most often a very meditative listening. There are no vocals, just expertly crafted acoustic music that will excite as much as it could easily lull you into a dream state (and I mean that in a completely positive sense). This is the first I have known of this group but now that my $1 purchase has properly introduced me I will definitely be looking to hear more. Magical Strings is still active and has a website where you can hear and purchase their more recent recordings. Enjoy...


Magical Strings - Spring Tide (1982)

Side 1
1 - Aurora's Lullaby (Philip Boulding) - Corolan's Welcome (O'Carolan)  6:36
2 - The Mary Medley (Traditional Irish jigs)  4:51
3 - Merch Megan Medley (Traditional Welsh)  4:51
4 - When She Cam Ben (Scottish Air) with Carolan's variations - Miss MacMurray (O'Carolan) 4:15

Side 2
1 - General Wynne - Planxty Safaigh (O'Carolan)  5:11
2 - Evening's Bewilderment (Philip Boulding)  4:04
3 - Spring Tide Lullaby (Pam Boulding)  5:18
4 - Miss Murphy (Carolan) and the Hornpipes (Traditional Irish)  4:14
5 - James Betagh - Denis O'Conor (Carolan)  4:15

Philip Boulding: Nylon & wire harps, Celtic harp, whistles, harp & hammered dulcimer,
Pam Boulding: Hammered dulcimer & field organ
Stanley Greenthal: Bouzouki
Mark Minkler: Flute
Denny Hall: Bodran

Flying Fish: FF-282

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