Coyote Run, |
(Run Wild, 2001)
The packaging of this disc caught my eye first off -- it is different, but beautifully done. The pictures blend well with the text, as well as the cultures that are joined here on this disc -- both Celtic and Native American. It is an adventure, and one of great music and wonderful energy. According to the liner notes, "In the American Southwest, there comes a time of day when the coyotes run amok. They appear in twos, threes or more, to yip and race and play. This display of energy and playfulness, incredible in the desert heat, is called the Coyote Run." This is a name which seems quite fitting for this group.
Coyote Run consists of David Doersch (vocals, accordion, bass guitar, djembe), Steve Holliday (vocals, bass, 6- and 12-string guitars), Les Kayanan (vocals, 6- and 12-string guitars, bass guitars, percussion), Arthur Rosenberg (vocals, keyboard, recorder) and Gabriel Stone (vocals, flute, tuba, mandolin, recorder, cittern, bagpipes, percussion). This is a talented and rather eclectic group of musicians who make the differences work very well.
"Off to Madagascar" is a lively song about smugglers and the life they lead on the open sea. Carrying their cargo from the supplier to the buyer, running from the Navy, being greeted by whores in port. A life of danger and romance, one which has caught more than one young man's fancy over the years. The lyrics are imaginative and capture the simplicity of such a life, while the music contributes to the whimsy.
There's a wonderful a cappella piece contained on this disc titled "Back to Galloway." David handles the lead vocals, with the rest contributing vocal support. It is a faultless piece, conveying the love of home. Their voices build and twine about each other, only to fall silent before repeating the experience. This is a commanding track, and one which caught me by surprise -- I wasn't expecting such a blend of wonderful vocals.
"Lord of the Dance" is a traditional piece, but David has added some new lyrics. The bagpipes provide a lead-in, then softly drone along behind the rest of the instruments. This track doesn't contain the vocal power I had expected after hearing "Back to Galloway," and I was actually a little disappointed with it. Towards the end it livens up a wee bit, but it still comes across as a half-hearted attempt.
There are some exquisite original tracks on this disc that will appeal to many people from many walks of life. From Celtophiles to pagans, to those who believe yet in the magic to be found deep in the forest, all will find something to their liking on this first release. I certainly hope that there will be more, with as much originality and talent as is found here.
[ by Naomi de Bruyn ]