27 August 2000  

We lead off with Michael Jones' newest installment of Peregrine's Prerogative: The Other Handful -- in which our hero discusses a selection of nifty books, including Going Going Gone (Vanishing Americana), and Pedro and Me, the graphic novel about Pedro Zamora, the AIDS activist from MTV's RealWorld, Season 3. You've been warned!

Naomi de Bruyn leads off our book reviews this edition with a look at Elizabeth A. Lynn's The Chronicles of Tornor. She says of the author of this fantasy trilogy, "Elizabeth A. Lynn has a way of making her characters believable and allowing you to feel like you actually know them."

Next up is Jack B. Merry's look at yet another Dublin, Ireland-related book: Jack McCarthy's Joyce's Dublin: A Walking Guide to Ulysses. Jack says, "Joyce's Dublin: A Walking Guide to Ulysses is a slim volume that replicates the rambling walk that Leopold Bloom took during the passage of a singleday. Ulysses takes place on the single day and evening of June 16, 1904, which commemorates the writer's first walk about Dublin with Nora Barnacle, who would become his life companion." And he also looks at Eric Fitch's In Search of Herne the Hunter. He notes that "Eric Fitch's book is concerned with the Herne myth associated with Windsor Forest. An everlasting legend of Herne the Hunter has been connected with Windsor Forest for at least four centuries, and may quite possibly have been part of the local traditional lore in medieval times."

Three musiclore books round out this section. Kim Bates has an insightful look at Jack Loeffler et al's La Müsica de los Viejitos. She notes, "Subtitled 'Hispano Folk Music of the Rio Grand del Norte,' this book and companion CD make this music accessible to an anglophone audience by placing the songs in the context of history and popular traditions. The Loefflers have spent decades in New Mexico and Colorado, making home recordings of the music and becoming immersed in Hispano culture." Gary Whitehouse follows that review with a look at Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man, Howard Pollack's look at this American genius. Gary notes, "Aaron Copland is the central figure in serious American music, and Howard Pollack has produced a biography worthy of the man. His treatment of Copland in more than 500 pages is reverential but never blindly worshipful, candid without being lurid, scholarly but rarely tedious." David Kidney finishes off this trilogy of reviews by reviewing Mike Barnes' Captain Beefheart. According to him "Mike Barnes is a big fan -- but he doesn't hesitate to paint a very real portrait of the Captain, warts and all. A man with concepts as dramatic as Beefheart's has to be an interesting study, and he proves to be that and more."

As always, we have interesting music being reviewed this edition. David Kidney was prepared to be bored by Sam Bush's Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride and Sky Kings' From Out Of The Blue. He tells us, "After listening to a few carefully chosen re-issued albums I had received for my birthday, I sat down to do a little work. A bluegrass album. Another bluegrass album. Fiddles, mandolins and dobros. Same old, same old, I thought. I couldn't have been more wrong." Patrick O'Donnell looks at Nua Teorainn, a Celtic collection from Green Linnet. He says that "... we can always count on Green Linnet to assemble some of the finest groups and most wonderful music in the genre, thanks in no small part to founder Wendy Newton's willingness to stop and marvel at the musicians and revel in their music. As for finding something to rejoice about, take your pick of any of the artists featured on Nua Teorainn, one of the label's latest releases. Each is extraordinary." Another collection worth seeking is Vanguard Records' String Alchemy: From Eclectic to Electric. Gary says, "This record fares better than the average label compilation, precisely because it hews so closely to its 'eclectic' theme. This is a good, and at times transcendent, collection of varied string music from Vanguard's vaults."

Ah, roots music. No one brings you more reviews of roots music than GMR does. Gary had the pleasure of getting a pre-release CD of country rockers Sixteen Horsepower's Secret South. Did he like it? Damn right he did! Read his review to see why you should buy this album! This review was unanimously selected by the Editors this week as a recipient of an Excellence in Writing Award! And Chris Woods reviews Donna the Buffalo's second CD, Positive Friction. Chris enthusiastically notes, "At last! The second album from Donna The Buffalo. I have been waiting for this since I heard the first one a couple of years ago. Why is it that second-rate bands can bring out an album each year (or even more frequently) while musical treats like this are two years apart?"

Likewise, Chuck Lipsig listened to a jazzy CD from Scotland: Andy Shanks and Jim Russell's Diamonds in the Night. He says, "Imagine, if you will, a singer, backed by guitar, bass, other instruments, performing something between blues, quiet jazz, and folk. Maybe it's a smoky bar or a coffee house -- any place where music is played for a small crowd. Now, imagine that place is in Scotland, just outside Glasgow. I don't really know if Andy Shanks and Jim Russell's Diamonds in the Night is performed in that type of setting (except it was recorded near Glasgow), but it feels like that type of music -- close, intimate, and personal."

Yet more roots music finishes out this section. Ensemble Alcatraz's Cantigas de Amigo is an album Brendan Foreman is raving about: "I'm beginning to suspect that eventually Dorian will have released a version of every single piece of Iberian medieval music still extant. This is by all means a good thing: although the current booms in Celtic and English traditions are nice, there are plenty of older and just as appealing musical traditions from the Continent that need our attention -- particularly from the Iberian peninsula." Big Earl Sellar found a great album: Xicro self-titled debut album. He says "...there is something immediately enticing about the sound of this group: both old, and very new, sometimes quite obviously Mediterranean, sometimes quite Arabic or Medieval or Gaelic." And April Gutierrez wraps up our music reviews with a look at Anders Norudde's Himself. April notes that Himself "is an excellent window onto Norudde's multi-instrumental talent (as well as that of his co-conspirator, Frederiksson). I certainly came away with a finer appreciation for the Swedish bagpipes (and cheap little flutes!) and a desire to hear more." April picks up our other Excellence in Writing Award this edition for the well-written review.

Our new video section is expanded this week. Please note that this will always be a selective review section -- we don't do James Bond films, weird science-fiction, or silly comedies. Our reviews are connected in some way to our mission, which is to make you better informed about the roots and branches of books and music as the traditional material gets used in new and often exciting ways. Kim leads off this week with a look at the "Wee Sing series [which] is oriented around music and nursery rhymes, encouraging the children to sing along, dance along and generally get involved. Want to have a serious discussion about how Barney (the basset hound -- you can breathe now!) gets propelled into the colouring book? Welcome to TV at Auntie Kim's house." And Naomi finishes out our edition with an insightful review of The Raggedy Rawney. She says this film is "... based on traditional Rom folklore -- something I personally found fascinating. This adaptation of folk tradition to contemporary times makes it more fully comprehensible, compared with portraying it in the ancient long, long ago time. At least for me." And the music links back to our mission in that "The Wedding Song" is just a phenomenal piece of work, in a "Blowzabella-esque" way, maybe because band member Jo Freya collaborated on the music for the film. Indeed, some incarnation of Blowzabella may have actually been playing during the wedding festival scene.

Look next edition for Jack's interview with Bill O'Toole, a founding member of that great English band, Blowzabella. Bill has even provided photographs and posters relating to the early days of that band!

 20 August 2000

Our newest section leads off this Edition: video reviews. KIm Bates, our Video Reviews Editor, offer this explaination of why we've decided to review videos:

Here at Green Man we pride ourselves on providing coverage of the best material drawing on folk roots. That's why we are adding videos, including performance, documentary, instructional, and movie categories that may be of interest to our readers.

As we go about searching for the best in folk music an literature drawing on folk traditions, we often notice video offerings, in both documentary and fiction categories. What do we think of Hollywood's use of traditional roots material? Find out here -- we just can't help ourselves, because we care about how the roots and branches of tradition have been interpreted by moguls and independents alike. Documentaries form a wonderful venue for communicating the joy, the quirks, and the obscure shoots of folk tradition at the turn of the millennium, and we want to point you to the best in documentaries building on folk cultures and traditions, both in music and in literature.

Video also plays a big part in the lives of young children, particularly for parents fleeing the robotic, save the world dramas so prevalent on commercial television. And no one loves repetition more than the short people, who happily learn the old songs, and nursery rhymes when sung by adults in fluffy costumes. This material ranges from the extremely insipid to the amusing, and we hope to help discerning adults distinguish between them. This is also true for instructional videos, which can be everything from downright useless, so valuable tools for conveying techniques to new musicians.

And finally, a word about performance videos. We often rail at the production values of live recordings, yet many of us treasure the spontaneity of those same recordings. Magic happens when music is played for an audience, which is one reason our intrepid reporters have been out there covering the summer festival beat. Videos of live performances can also capture this magic, and many are produced for die hard folkies, as well as for mainstream acts.

Of course the lines between the type of material being offered in video formats are already blurring. The power of the human voice to communicate stories is being exploited in CD-ROM format, such as the Scottish Traditional Tales recently reviewed by Naomi DeBruyn. Books are often sold in both audio and paper formats, such as the Chieftains biography I recently reviewed. Rounder records puts out liner notes that are comparable to books on folk music, with their heritage music CDs, and we foresee a future for interviews, commentary and visual material to accompany music offerings as formats. Programming on demand will also make it possible for folkies and other dreamers to gain access to documentary and performance materials such as the ones we are reviewing here.

This week we showcase all these categories. We begin with Tim Hoke's look at a classic, Riverdance a live performance phenomenon that has a life of its own in households with young children, who seem to enjoy seeing it again, mimicking the dances, time after time, week in and week out. Colin Dunne, featured dancer from Riverdance introduces the instructional category, with Celtic Feet a step dancing video for those with a mind to try it at home before stepping out in public.

We also bring you Lahri Bond's review of Tam Lin, an interesting interpretation of this classic ballad set in the 1960s. Like many of our fantasy offerings, the movie adapts timeless characters to modern situations. David Kidney looks at The First Waltz, a concert with a great roster of guest performers accompanying Nicholas Tremulis (Chicago blues singer/guitarist) in a benefit for a Chicago Youth Shelter. Jo Morrison wins a well-deserved Excellence in Writing Award for her commentary concerning When the Pipers Play. She says this video is a "...fascinating documentary explores the great Highland bagpipe and its history and traditions. With particular emphasis on its role as an "instrument of war," the producers combine interviews, music, and spectacular scenery to paint an image of the Highland bagpipe as it has developed over the last hundred or more years. The result is a stunning montage of sight and sound, perhaps best described as stirring."

Week in, week out, no one gives you more music reviews than GMR! And we've outdone ourselves this week -- 28 albums get looked at by our crack staff! Big Earl Sellar leads off with a look at three Blues albums: Willie Cobbs' Jukin', "Mississippi" John Hurt's Rediscovered, and Deep River of Song: Virginia and the Piedmont, a Rounder Records anthology. Jukin' is a good sign for the State of the Blues, according to Big Earl, who says: "So here we are in the year 2000, almost 50 years after the serious heyday of blues music. And where do we stand? With some Stevie Ray Vaughan wanna-be playing at some upscale blues bar near you, my assessment would be on pretty shaky ground. Thank goodness for artists like Willie Cobbs, proving that there's more life left in this genre." Rediscovered is so good that Big Earl says "Do you want the long review or the short one? Here's the short: Do yourself a favour, go out and buy this disc. Right now." And Deep River of Song: Virginia and the Piedmont is "[a]nother disc in the Alan Lomax series Deep River Of Song. Virginia and the Piedmont has the fitting subtitle of "Minstrelsy, Work Songs, and Blues." These great archival recordings are just the thing for any music fan, providing the sort of blueprints to help us better understand where today's music comes from."

Not surprisingly, we have a number of Celtic reviews this edition. Jo Morrison leads off with a look at Bachué's A Certain Smile , and assures us, "...if you like crossover styles of music, and you enjoy both Celtic and jazz music, you'll love Bachué." Kilt's Four In The Crib is reviewed by Michael Jones, who says it's "a very interesting mix of Celtic and North American folk music, with a good blend of vocals and instrumentals to keep it from getting too lively." Chuck Lipsig found Brazilian-Celtic fusionists Nahoo to be "one of the hardest groups to describe I've ever run across." Read his review to see why he ended up appreciating this quirky group.

Naomi de Bruyn is currently sipping tea and not listening to anything as she recovers from reviewing nine CDs by Belfast-born and now Boston-based Seamus Kennedy. She notes: "Kennedy's CDs are a wonder! They are filled with jokes in between tracks, interaction from the audience, and above all just good clean fun. Some of the songs are themselves filled with hilarity, others are actually sombre; no matter which, they are entertaining and sung from the heart with love. This is a man who would be worth travelling to see in concert, even if he was halfway round the world." I get the last word in this genre by reviewing two albums from the Wicked Tinkers: Hammered and Wicked Tinkers. I said of this group that "[t]his is good, well-played stuff that any Celtic music fan should own. And I'd love to see them live!"

More FHL (Faster Harder Louder) -- a term coined by Michael Jones in a flash of absolute brilliance -- describes the two English traditions CDs this time. Michael tackles The Men They Couldn't Hang's Sampler EP, and he says, "Wow. This album blew me away from the very beginning. If this is any indication whatsoever of the talent of this band, I'm an instant fan. It satisfies all of my Faster Harder Louder cravings, launching right into the music without any of that namby-pamby prelude and instrumental warming up that bands always seem to insist upon. Not for the Men They Couldn't Hang. Bam. It's up-front, in your face, and physical." Lars Nilsson, who previously reviewed the first three Shave the Monkey CDs, looks at their latest, Good Luck Mr Gorsky. Lars thinks "[a]ll things considered, it is another step forward for Shave the Monkey."

Oy vey! Klezmer music, and Italian Klezmer music to make it even more interesting, is what Brendan Foreman found in KlezRoym's Sceni. Brendan, our resident Bela Bartok expert, says, "KlezRoym is a band out of Italy who combine the fervor and stylings of klezmer with the improvisation of Gypsy jazz and the feel of Mediterranean music. Sure, all klezmer, being the hybrid genre that it is, has a little Gypsy, a little jazz, and maybe a little Mediterranean harmony." Brendan picks up an Excellence in Writing Award for this review. And right now, I'm listening to Frifot, a Nordic band featuring Lena Willemark on vocals. By sheer coincidence, our next review is her solo album, Windogur. April Gutierrez says this is a "beguiling fusion of traditional Swedish folk music and that most American of musical styles, jazz. While the two styles may seem completely alien to one another at first blush, the ten tracks on this CD prove otherwise." Michael's back with a look at the last album in this eclectic collection of albums: Ben Murray and Siobhan Quinn's Two Rivers . He notes "Two Rivers is part folk, part spoken-word, part chant, part jazz, part soul, part country, and part frog stew." Ymmm!

North American roots and more roots finish out our musical journey... Big Earl is getting a crash course in songs about trains. He looks at three more CDs in this vein: Classic Railroad Songs, V. 1 -- Steel Rails ; Classic Railroad Songs, V. 3 -- Night Train; and Train 45 -- Railroad Songs of the Early 1900s . Big Earl comments that these are "[t]hree more discs from the same train song series covered in Freight Train Blues, this is clearly a series to prove that Rounder Records has one mighty eclectic catalogue. Although the flavours of these discs are radically different, there is a great wealth of talent here." Gary Whitehouse is in the process of reviewing everything Archeophone has released. Up this edition is Real Ragtime, of which he notes "[w]hat most of us don't know is that ragtime was not originally recorded as piano music. Real Ragtime, another in a series of invaluable releases by Archeophone, should help set the record straight." Get those accordions and banjos out -- it's time to play some ragtime!

Grey Walker, a woman whose name feels like one out of a folk tale, has an interesting book review this edition: Anne McCaffrey's Black Horses for the King. Grey comments, "'No hoof, no horse,' say the Worshipful Company of Farriers. 'Farriery,' the craft of shoeing horses, was even more vital in the days when every mobile enterprise was dependent on horses, especially the enterprise of war. And what more famous warrior-king has there ever been than Arthur? What might it have been like to have been Arthur's farrier? Anne McCaffrey gives an answer to this question in Black Horses for the King."

Our other book review this edition is a behemoth by Michael Jones that deservedly wins an Excellence in Writing Award. He reviews thirteen ghost books, most of which he likes, and tries to reassure us by concluding, "Enjoy, and sweet dreams. If something visits you in the night, don't be -too- afraid. And don't be too nervous when the door slams, the window opens, or the pictures fall off the walls. Maybe there's a rational explanation. Or maybe not."

Ed Dale went to the Canmore Folk Festival on behalf of GMR, a fact he now regrets as he notes "If I hadn't committed to reviewing the Canmore Folk Festival, I'd be tempted not to write this, hoping to keep this small gem the secret that it seems to be."

13 August 2000

G'Morning! The recommended reading of the day is "Solstice" by Jennifer Stevenson. Jeannine Gehrmann notes of this story "A rock guitarist down on her luck literally falls into one of the best gigs a musician could ever hope for, playing for the Hill Folk on the longest night of the year. This is desperately serious partying, for if the music fails, so does the return of her host, the Sun. Unlike most Hill Lore, here the protagonist manages to come safely out of her play-for-supper deal, happy but exhausted. The reader can be left feeling much the same way because Stevenson's wordsmithing is excellent: where music can build from quiet beginnings, to ecstatic roar, and back to resting heartbeat, so too does this story." This wonderful story is in The Horns of Elfland which Jeannine reviewed earlier.

Our only book review this week is by Naomi de Bruyn who, on the strength of her writing this edition, wins a copy of the hardcover edition of Jane Yolen's The Wild Hunt. Naomi looks at Douglas Niles's Circle at Center, of which she says that "This book was charmingly captivating from the moment I glanced at the cover, which features an elf maid with a magical sphere in her hand, a forest with many creatures peering out form behind the tree trunks. Yes, a 'cutesy-cover,' but one which intrigues as well. I am happy to say that the content was definitely worthy of such a cover."

We do have lots of music reviews this outing, starting with a Celtic omnibus from Jack B. Merry. Jack looks at a number of new offerings that GMR has received: Drones & Bellows' Songs of the Chanter, Milladoir's Auga de Maio, a self-titled debut album by Sasana Seivane, The Sevens' Celtic Groove Brand, Kindred Spirit, a collection of Breton artists and more, and The Windbags' Celtic Music on Wind Instruments. He says all of these CDs are well-worth seeking out.

Four rather nifty Country albums are reviewed next. Naomi looks at two albums by Blue Rodeo, a Roots-Country group that has dominated the Canadian scene for several years: Five Days in July and Lost Together.  She says Blue Rodeo "...is one of Canada's finest country-roots bands." Next up she looks at the Northern Pikes' hits and assorted secrets 1984-1993, an album which, according to her, is "[w]onderful prairie bar music ... perfect for dancing and dreaming..." Gary has a look at the last of the Louisiana Hayride releases: Good Rockin' Tonight. Gary says "...there's a lot of good music and history on this two-disc set." Naomi wins an Excellence in Writing Award for her Northern Pikes review, and Gary picks up one for his Presley review!

Brendan Foreman reports on Wayne Erbsen's An Old-Fashioned Wing-Ding which he tells us attempts "...to recreate the sound and feel of the popular music of late nineteenth century America. This is the music that would eventually transform itself into the ragtime, old-time country and blues of the '10's, '20's, and '30s. It also represents probably the first generation of a truly American sound. In fact, anyone who has grown up through the American public school will instantly recognize the feel of this music, if not the actual songs: the slightly corny, forthright sound that often gets showcased in elementary school social studies classes as American heritage music."

Two English music CDs get reviewed this edition. Tim Hoke looks at Tom & Barbara Brown's Where The Umber Flows, Volumes 1 and 2, of he says is "I wanted to write this without using words like "charming" and "jaunty." I was afraid that they would denote "cutesy, but not very good." Well, that isn't the case here. The music is quite good, but dammit, some of the melodies are charming and jaunty -- but I wouldn't call any of them cutesy."

Michael Hunter comments on Fairport Convention's AT2/The Boot.. He comments "AT2 / The Boot, is a reissue of the long-deleted tapes from the 1982 and 1983 Cropredy festivals. The set serves a number of purposes. It was largely released in response to requests from fans who weren't able to purchase the original cassettes, or wanted the music in a more stable format, and so satisfies their needs in that way. It is also an interesting historical document of the time when Fairport was very much a part-time affair; with probably no plans to reunite at all, they were just enjoying playing together and reliving the great music they had created."

More Country can be had in Gary Whitehouse's review of a Derailers concert at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis, Oregon. He says the Derailers plays what one band members "...characterizes as country & western soul music. It's equally influenced by Owens and the Beatles, as well as the Everly Brothers, Ray Price, the Beach Boys and Classic Rock Radio." And Kim Bates continues to provide GMR with material resulting from her Winnipeg Folk Festival sojourn. This time it's an interview with Elana Fremerman (violin and vocals) and Billy Horton (upright bass) of the Hot Club of Cowtown. This group "...combines western swing and dinner jacket jazz with some back porch fiddle tunes." Kim gets a well-earned Excellence in Writing Award for this insightful interview.

Michael Jones, our Managing Editor, has a new Peregrine's Prerogative in which he comments on this situation in which "[a]s any book junkie knows, there's nothing worse than being between books. There's that awkward period of indecision and insecurity as you finish one book, and try to figure out where to go from there. Maybe you've just read everything available by an author, and you're twitching for a fix. Maybe you're absolutely disgusted with everything that's out there already, and you've perused the bookshelves in disgust, discarding Eddings and Jordan and McCaffrey and all the other multi-book empires. What do you do next?"

06 August 2000  

I'm leading off with performance reviews this time as we have two dandy ones for you. Naomi de Bruyn was a volunteer at the Rootsfest Musical Festival, and she has one of the best reviews of a festival I've ever had the pleasure to read. The other editors agreed; she wins an Excellence in Writing Award for it. Far more intimate was the experience Jack B. Merry had when he and his wife Brigid attended a concert by Kevin Burke and Ged Foley, a show that Ed Dale, a GMR staffer who is a member of Rambling Pitchfork, a Celtic band, put on in southern New England. Jack notes "It is always grand to see a great Celtic band on tour; crisp well-honed arrangements, carefully crafted and entertaining banter and all. But if you've caught the same band two nights in a row, you may have seen the déjà vu effect (same set list, same encore, same jokes and stories) and wondered how much fun can this be for them night after night. The other side of this coin is the rare concert off the tour circuit with an uncommon cast. On this sticky Sunday night, it was a loose and casual Ged Foley and Kevin Burke playing for a small crowd in a little hall in northeast Connecticut."

Keeping in the Celtic vein, we have two Celtic reviews for you this time out. Jo Morrison -- always a top-notch reviewer -- looks at Corvus, the new CD from Colcannon. Jo comments wisely that the band's "previous recordings have displayed a consistently high quality of music, from the choice of the tunes and the arrangements, to the crisp, clear recording quality and the highly skilled musicianship of the group members.... [And] there are no surprises in that regard here." On the other hand, Chuck Lipsig found Tannas's Suilean Dubh [Dark Eyes] to be "...a pleasant, but not outstanding, CD." Slipping over to Nordic realms, April Gutierrez was very pleased with Ranarim's Till The Light of Da. She says "Ranarim bear witness to the very vibrant and alive Swedish folk scene, joining other young bands in reawakening the old traditions by infusing them with new life, new twists, and ensuring they won't be soon forgotten." Naomi de Bruyn looks at Mandolirium's Unstrung Heroes. She comments that this "...lively, quirky, and very talented quintet revolves around the mandolin, if you have not figured that out already." (See last week's What's New for the link to an interview with Dave Klassen of this group.)

And Naomi also interviewed Tammy Fassaert at Rootsfest. (See last week's What's New for the link to the interview.) Take a look at her review of Corner of My Eye and Just Passin Through by the Canadian country artist. Gary Whitehouse drew the task of reviewing all seven volumes of the Louisiana Hayride: Classic Country Radio, Vols. 1-4 (Excellence in Writing Award), Classic Comedy Radio , and Classic Gospel Radio, Vols. 1-2 (another Excellence in Writing Award). He notes "The Louisiana Hayride was one of the most important radio programs for up-and-coming folk, country and rock 'n' roll acts in the 1940s and '50s. Literally dozens of household names in American roots music gained their first exposure to anything like a national audience through the Hayride's weekly three-and-a-half hour shows." Check out his review to see what he thought of these archival-quality recordings. Big Earl Sellar gets the last word as regards music reviews with his look at The Cowboy Tour. Big Earl comments that it's "downright homey. The Cowboy Tour contains enough yucks to qualify as a comedy record alone. Add some great country, folk and world music, and you've got one neat disc. Check it out."

Grey Walker leads off our book reviews this time with an award-winning review, a very detailed examination of Tolkien's Legendarium, Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter's edited collection of essays on Tolkien and his legacy. She says it "...is a collection of scholarly essays honoring the completion of The History of Middle Earth and commenting on it at length." Naomi returns with a look at a CD I've indexed under the Folktales section: Greentrax's Scottish Traditional Tales Scottish Tradition #17. And Jack has updated his Literary Tull omnibus with commentary on Barbara Espinoza's Driving in Diverse: A Collective Profile of Jethro Tull. Finally, Jack and his wife Brigid have an extended conversation on a number of books concerning themselves with cooking and the history of the same. He says, "Brigid, me wife, bakes pies and other pastries at Jack Spratt Ltd., the artisan bakery a few blocks from our garret flat. Artisan is the newest buzz word in professional baking circles these days as it is hoped the buyer won't notice that the bread, however tasty, is mass produced. As long as it sells product, she doesn't care. What she does care 'bout is histories of food, cooking, and the like. She has been very pleased at the books that GMR has sent me for review that cover that area. In this review, you'll find some commentary by her! Without her assistance, this review would never have gotten finished." And we are proud to announce that as of this week we have reviewed over 500 books.

Michael Jones has another Peregrine's Prerogative, this time about one of the best SF/Fantasy conventions he's ever been to, he says.