REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 1/26/2005
Bob Hay & The Jolly Beggars
Bob Hay & The Jolly Beggars
Toils Obscure: Songs by Robert Burns
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Bard of No Regard"

Buy me now
I confess, when I first heard Toils Obscure, I thought it was a joke -- an American bluegrass band playing songs by 18th century poet Robert Burns is an amusing premise. Hay's voice sounds odd, his accent roaming between Ireland, Scotland and the Southern US, and the banjo gives a distinctly bluegrass feel, so the disc is unlikely to win favor with strict traditionalists.

However, once you get past these initial hurdles, the music is atmospheric and enjoyable. There's very much a fireside pub jam feel to these live recordings -- which is appropriate, given the drinking-themed "Willie Brew'd a Peck o' Maut" and the generally rural subject matter. Indeed, the music's archaic nature makes it strangely refreshing -- it's nice to hear mandolin, banjo and fiddle instead of the usual guitar/bass/drums or electronics combo. However, Toils Obscure is not without recent points of comparison: the beginning of "Bonnie Doon" could be a Sufjan Stevens track, and the closing trio of solo guitar and vocal tracks ("Crowdie", "For a' that" and "Awa, Whigs, awa!") wouldn't be out of place on an alt-folk compilation.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.