Track 1 (Ships Are Sailing) is a medley of traditional reels that Mike and Julie learned at sessions in the old East Avenue Tavern with Mike Beglan (who now owns the Alberta Street Pub). Rose in the Heather took these tunes and gave them a new groove that grabs you by the lapels and sets you dancing.
Track 3 (The Legend of the Parlangua) is a Texas two-step Cajun song featuring the lush baritone voice of John Parrott singing about a swamp monster in Louisiana. "Best stay out of the bayou, baby!"
Track 4 (Big Sciota / Cherokee Shuffle) is straight-ahead bluegrass from the heartland. (The reaction from one of our friends - "That just makes my heart happy!")
Track 5 (Danny Boy) This was one of the songs we performed four days after September 11, 2001. It's an old traditional song, first done from the perspective of a father saying goodbye to his son who is going off to war. We dedicate it to anyone who has suffered grief during these difficult times.
Track 6 (Three Fishers) The words to this song were first written in the 1800's, and were set to music by the great folk musician Stan Rogers.
"Three fishers went sailing out into the west
Out into the west as the sun went down.
Each thought on the woman that loved him the best
And the children stood watching them out of the town.
For men must work, and women must weep
For there's little to earn and many to keep
And the harbor bar be moaning..."
For anyone who isn't too familiar with the ocean, the harbor bar is the area between the safe harbor and the whole expanse of sea. It's an incredibly dangerous, turbulent spot, and crossing the bar is the most dangerous part of any boat's passage.
Track 8 (Trip to Pakistan / Farewell to Erin) Farewell to Erin may be one of the single best-known Irish reels in the world, and for good reason. It absolutely rocks, and is a joy to play. Listen for the unexpected percussion section between the two tunes.
Track 10 (Gallowglass) Julie learned this tune from the great fiddler Randal Bays. He says that the term "gallowglass" means "mercenary." This tune could be played as a jig, but Rose in the Heather plays it with rather more attitude and grit than you usually hear in a jig.
Track 12 (Wild Mountain Thyme) This is definitely a song for smooching. It's fun to watch the couples cuddle up closer together when we perform this one live.
Track 13 (Rocky Road to Dublin) This song brings together the contributions of all members of the band - John's beautiful voice, Julie's "in your face" fiddling, Chris' guitar echo/slap, and Lisa's wonderful interpretation on the conga, with Curt's bass and Mike's guitar providing a solid foundation for the entire arrangement. This is a traditional slip jig, but Rose in the Heather gives it a new feel. It's become an emigration song with an attitude that takes no guff from anyone, as is appropriate for a song that includes whiskey, girls, sad goodbyes, an uncomfortable ride in a boat and a big free-for-all fistfight.
Mountain Road is the second CD from Rose in the Heather, and the first one recorded in the studio. We recorded this CD with the absolutely expert sound and production knowledge of Billy Oskay at the Big Red Studio in Corbett, Oregon. If you enjoy this CD, a large part of that is due to his many talents. (One of these talents is in not letting you settle for less than your best effort. Thank you, Billy.)
Some early comments we've received:
"That's a really nice recording! Good job!! The sound is great and the speed really helps bring out the character of Big Sciota. Using it and Cherokee Shuffle as a medley works great. I love the Bodhran (sp??). Did I mention that the sound quality is excellent? : )"
"Congratulations. Nice even tone on the guitar, Bass is in its own space and violin solo has great tone. I think I'll hit play again. Very pretty and a favorite song when performed well as you have."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Ships Are Sailing / Wind That Shakes the Barley / Matt People's
2. Briar Picker Brown / Greasy String
3. The Legend of the Parlangua
4. Big Sciota / Cherokee Shuffle
5. Danny Boy
6. Three Fishers
7. Mountain Road / Christmas Eve
8. Trip to Pakistan / Farewell to Erin
9. Reel De Lapin / Reel De Montreal / Mouth of the Tobique
11. ShoveThatPig'sFootALittleFurtherInTheFire/ Western Country
12. Wild Mountain Thyme
13. Rocky Road to Dublin