I haven’t heard 10,000 Maniacs in a long, long time. This new album is a collection of old English folk music, performed in the Maniacs way. I like the set quite a bit. It does a great job of balancing the variety. It’s entertaining and, in a way, educational. That’s a cool combination.
Track by Track Review
Lady Mary Ramsey
I love the Celtic melodies brought by the fiddle. This is a great instrumental that’s an excellent way to start off the set.
The Song of Wandering Aengus This contrasts from the opener because it’s strictly vocal only. That vocal is quite pretty. The Celtic elements remain here.
She Moved Through the Fair Folk rock is the order of business here. This is a more balanced arrangement. It is an especially effective piece, too. I love the instrumental section on this, too. Everything just works so well. Multiple layers cooperate to build the magic and tell the story.
Dark Eyed Sailor Although the arrangement has some rock music built into it, this is more in line with authentic old school folk music. It doesn’t work as well for me as the previous songs did, though.
Misty Moisty Morning There is more energy here. This is a rocking take on old school folk music. It’s a fun cut. I like it better than I do “Dark Eyed Sailor.”
Bonny May More traditional in nature, this one works mainly on the strength of the vocal performance.
Canadee-I-O I love this one. It has a more contemporary folk sound to it. There are still hints of Celtic music and more, though. It has some exceptional musical moments. Everything just works together so well. It reminds me quite a bit of something Judy Collins might do.
Do You Love An Apple? Here’s another that works well. There is a lot of Celtic element and folk rock here. I like the fiddle and other retro instrumentation. It basically has a slow reel built into it.
Greenwood Sidey This is very much a traditional Celtic arrangement. It’s not acapella, but it’s nearly so.
Carrickfergus The strings add so much to this piece, but the whole arrangement is just beautiful. It’s a mid tempo traditional folk song. It’s one of the highlights of the set. The vocal performance is wonderful and the whole piece just works really well.
Death of Queen Jane Slow moving and quite traditional, the vocals are strong here. The song itself doesn’t do a lot for me, though.
Wild Mountain Thyme Intricate picked acoustic guitar makes up the basis for the main musical backdrop here. This is traditional folk music, perhaps a bit like Peter Paul and Mary. It’s quite a pretty song and one of my favorites here. The violin adds a lot when it comes in, too.
Marie’s Wedding There’s a nice tempo and some good Celtic melody in this number. It rocks later in the track, but is quite traditional early.
Lady Mary Ramsay II A reprise of the opening cut serves as a great instrumental bookend to the album.