Pros:her voice, the instrumentals, her lyrics.
The Bottom Line: This is one of my favorite albums. Beth is so talented.
Beth Patterson is an independent artist who mainly preforms in her home town of New Orleans. She puts on a great show, has a lovely voice and is very musically talented. Beth's music consists of some self-written Irish Bayou Music, and some songs that seem to be Cajun in origin or Traditional Irish in origin. Some of the tracks are instrumental only, featuring Beth playing a bouzouki, which according to my Webster's dictionary is a long-necked instrument of Greek origin that resembles a mandolin, and some feature Beth's beautiful voice. All the instrumentation is nicely played. This CD contains 13 tracks and runs about 47 minutes.
1. A Crack in the Doorway/Hell to Pay/Dip in the Road--Beth Patterson, Irish Bayou Music (5:44). This is a great instrumental piece featuring a fiddle played by Clare Fitzpatrick, and Beth on the bouzouki. It has a great moving melody line that will hook you from the time you push play and take you where it wanders. It has a full sound that I really enjoy. Great way to start the album.
2. Je M'enders (The French Blues)--Traditional (2:48). This is my least favorite track, probably because it is in French. Features Beth on the bousouki and as the vocals. It has a ballad type of sound.
3. Mambolkas: Tumbling in the Quays/The Winking Lion--Beth Patterson, Irish Bayou Music (4:57). This is a very playful tune that features the flute, bouzouki, and some guitar. I can just see a dancing lion in my mind's eye when this track plays.
4. Heather on the Moor--Traditional (3:26). My second favorite track. Beautiful song about spending a day on the moor among the blooming heather and a chance meeting of two people. Features the bouzouki and great vocals.
5. Jigs: Mary Pattern's/All in the Family/The Rathfarnham Lilters--Beth Patterson, Irish Bayou Music (5:01). This is a very upbeat piece featuring the bouzouki, flute, fiddle, tin whistle and low whistle.
6. The Lass of Aughrim--Traditional (1:22). Short but beautiful harmonized vocal piece.
7. Waltzes: Hauling Coffee/The Road to Guapiles--Beth Patterson, Irish Bayou Music (4:38). Very lovely instrumental piece featuring the bouzouki, mandolin, bass guitar, and caixixi. I love the string's sound in this one.
8. Ye Jacobites by Name--Traditional (2:43). Piece has a march feel with great percussion featuring the bodhran, snare, and Scottish marching snare.
9. An Dro/Catch my Hat--Traditional (3:24). Very nice piece. I always want to move in time with this piece. Its kind of catchy. Features the bouszouki, asjiko, zills, rhumba box and a whip.
10. Steer by the Stars--Beth Patterson (5:07). This is my very favorite track. Its a very lovely but sad song. The lyrics are great. The chorus goes "How can a blind man steer by the stars, How can a poor man find power, How can a dead man rise from his grave, How can I find hope in this hour. Features bouzouki and uilleann pipes. It tugs at every heart string that you have. It brought me to tears the first time I really listened to it (hit a little too close to home). It touched me that much.
11. Rags: Flying on the Edge/Travis Reel--Beth Patterson, Irish Bayou Music (4:04). Laid back and feel good piece. Good to pick you up after the tenth track. Features fingerstyle bouzouki, bass guitar, ashiko, guitar, and drums.
12. Mardi Gras--Traditional (2:38). This piece is great. Has a very interesting sound. Features the bombo, caixixi, uilleann pipes, and didjeridoo. Believe the lyrics to this one are also in French.
13. O'Carolan's Farewell to Music--Traditional (1:41). This is an arrangement for solo on the bouzouki and is played on the fingerstyle bouzouki. Doesn't have as full a sound as the other tracks which featured either multiple instruments or added vocals, but still a nice tune and a good way to close the album.
This is a CD you will not be sorry you tried. To properly appreciated this album, you will just have to hear it for yourself to discover its depth and beauty. I do not listen to a great amount of instrumental music. I usually prefer music with vocals. It takes an exceptional piece of instrumental music to hold my attention, and the ones on this album do just that. I would have never discovered this album on my own. A friend of mine gave me the album introducing me to this great artist. Let me pass that favor on to you. Don't pass this one by. You won't regret it.
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