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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chris Murphy

The Tinker's Dream

Review by Gary Hill

Celtic music and country music are surely kissing cousins. All you have to do is to listen to some down-home old school country to make that clear. This new album has a couple songs that really show off that connection. Beyond that, the central focus is on the Celtic angle. There are a few songs with vocals, but the bulk here are instrumental. If you are a fan of the old Irish music, I heartily recommend this set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 1 at
Track by Track Review
Connemara Ponies

The high energy Celtic sound that starts things here is just plain classy and classic.

Union of the Seven Brothers
Another instrumental Celtic piece, this is bit less playful. It has a somewhat slower tempo. It just seems more important, more serious than the opener did. It's another compelling piece of music.
The Tinker’s Dream
The fun is back in style here. This is another bouncy instrumental piece that's full of magic and exotic charm.
Celtic folk music is on display here. It's the first tune of the set to include vocals. They add to that faithful kind of Celtic sound.
Gibraltar 1988
Here we get another melodic instrumental tune. This is solid stuff. It's slower and a bit more balladic, but it reaches for the stars at times, too.
Cape Horn
More of an energized tune, this is bouncy and fun. It has vocals. This lives in the territory that's shared between Celtic sounds and country hoedown music.
The Artful Dodger
This instrumental is intricate and quite melodic. That said, it's mid-tempo, but not really a ballad.
Small Wonder
The vocals return here. This feels more like a modern pop rock tune in a lot of ways. Don't get me wrong. There is still a lot of Celtic texture here. This is just much more mainstream.
The Tower
This instrumental is another classy Celtic musical exploration. It's more or less mid-tempo. It has some great soloing built into it.
Maritime Jig
Another instrumental, this jig is fun. It's quite traditional Celtic music, really.
The Thistlewood Bridge
This isn't a big change. Instead, it's another effective Celtic instrumental.
The Hayloft Waltz
A slower moving cut (then again, it is a waltz), this feels a lot like old school country folk music.
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