Scottish & Irish folk songs combined with Lord of the Rings music and Celtic music fun at Renaissance Faires

Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

The latest music news, stories, and events of The Original Celtic Renaissance music group, the Brobdingnagian Bards. CELTIC GEEK at its Best! Find out more from the Nagians page.

Show last night at Hostelling International Austin when well. The audience was small, but truly international. We met a guy from Tipperary, Ireland; some girls from just South of London; and a bloke from Australia among others. Sold a few CDs and relished the exquisite sound of that venue. Now we prepare for the weekend. Tomorrow, Andrew and I head back to Mage Studios to finish mixing "Jedi" and "Angel's Lament", plus, we will be recording a our latest Tolkien contribution. All three songs will be available on the Nagians Only, Vol. 2 CD, and we are rapidly approaching the release date for that album. I hope to make an annoucement for this CD in the next Bard Crier.

On a sorrowful note, Beatles guitarist, George Harrison, passed away yesterday. He was 58 years old. He fought a hard battle with cancer and finally lost. George was the quite member of the Beatles who wrote such songs as "Taxman", "Here Comes the Sun", "My Sweet Lord", and "Something". Celtic Ways is talking about putting together a Celtic tribute album to George Harrison. I look forward to seeing the end result. George is definitely someone who deserves the tribute. Check out his All Things Must Pass website.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, November 30, 2001
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Well, the studio work for "Jedi Drinking Song" and "Angel's Lament" went great. Two live recordings that just need minor mastering and we'll upload them real soon. Just have to take care of royalties we owe on the songs. I'm hoping that they'll be up by next week at the latest.

We also made the decision for the South Mall performances. We're returning to a weekly Friday performance from 12-1pm. We'll probably start early and quit early so we can catch the in-between class crowd. But I look forward to seeing some familiar faces next semester.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, November 29, 2001
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Delayed two weeks, but at last, the Best of the Bards CD Sampler is now available for sale. This CD is designed for those who want to give our msuic a try. So it features several tracks from each of our main studio albums. Best of all, it features all of our most popular songs on So if you are unsure which album to buy first, this is one is it! And it is a great choice if you want to get your friends addicted to our music too. :)

Bad news from the bardic front, Nagians Only, Volume 2 featuring the "Jedi Drinking Song" is again delayed. After listening to our recording of this song a dozen times, we decided that it just wasn't good enough. We want something better. So tonight we're going to rerecord the song at Mage Studios (aka my 4-track:) and see if we can come up with a better recording for you. I'll drop you a message tomorrow regarding our success.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, November 26, 2001
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I hope everyone had a safe and full (pun intended) Thanksgiving! I sure did. Now I get to enjoy the weekend...mmm. I came across some pictures from the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, courtesy of fellow autoharpist Carol Stober. Enjoy!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Saturday, November 24, 2001
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We have setup a location to perform at TRF. It's an easy location to find. We'll perform both Saturday and Sunday evening at 5pm at Uncommon Adornments. Uncommon Adornments is located at Booth #203. When you enter the front gate, go to the right. It's a jewelry shoppe located on the left side of the lane. Ask the shoppe keepers about us if you get there early. They do know where coming so, all's good.

We'll be performing in a few weekends over the course of the weekend, but we'll also be wandering the lanes. Some of our favorite places in the past were The Magic Garden. Ask Penny about us. Also, the Dragon Swings are a favorite. Then there's the Maypole. We'll be doing our best to get one Korobushka in with the young maidens there.

I look forward to seeing you all there, so please stop us in the lanes and say, "hi".

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, November 14, 2001
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Oh! And silly me. I forgot to mention that "Tolkien (The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings)" is the 24th most popular song on today... :)

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, November 12, 2001
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And now for something completely different. Over the past 2 1/2 years we've been performing, we've played a lot of gigs in around Texas and slowly, the nation. We've also played a lot at the UT South Mall. But ye know, despite all that, we've not played Austin very often. That may change. Last night, Andrew and I booked a weekly gig at Hostelling International Austin.

Hostelling International is a non-profit membership organization founded in 1934 to promote international understanding by educational and travel through an operating network of nearly 4,500 hostels in 70 countries. Keeping with the "Live Music Capitol of the World" theme, this hostel also offers live music six nights a week. The Brobdingnagian Bards will perform on Thursdays, starting November 29th for at least a month. The venue is very cool with great acoustics and a comfortable non-smoking environment.

There are vending machine soft drinks and snacks available, or your free to bring your own food and drinks. We were even talking about having interested people chip in some money to order pizza right before our 1st and 2nd sets. But that'll be up to whoever shows up. Shows will start around 7:30pm. Arrive early if you'd like to join the pizza pool. It's a couple weeks away, and I'll keep ye more informed in a couple weeks.

Meantime, we're heading to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend. Drop by here in a couple days, and we should have more information about where you can find us. Until then, slainte'!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, November 12, 2001
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This past weekend, we performed at the Austin Celtic Festival and had a smashing time. It was the first time that Andrew and I have performed at the festival, and it was also the first year that it was not rained out... Coincidence? I think not... Rather, I am beginning to believe Andrew when he says, "I'm Irish. I'm lucky...with anything but women!" :)

Seriously though, it was a great festival. A few thousand people showed each day and it was the first time the ACA actually made a profit. We also had the joy of sharing a booth and the stage with our good friends and headliners, The Rogues who put on their usual incredible performance! To see the way they stir up the crowd and get them dancing in the stands, they really are an amazing inspiration to me.

Some other highlights in my book would have to be the Blarney Brothers who put on an amazing performance. Whenever I think of the Blarney Brothers, I think of the Jolly Rogers up in Kansas City, you know, pirate songs, right? Wrong. The Blarney Brothers actually remind me more of The Saw Doctors. They perform some pirate songs, but they are all performed with a pop rock beat. They have some beautiful harmonies and just put on a fantastic show.

Spot was another simple joy for the show. He plays guitar and banjo and tells some great stories in between some fantastic Celtic songwriting. Oh, and Michael Fracasso, the token non-Celtic songwriter also was a pleasure to see. I remember hearing him on the radio a few years back and was sorely disappointed, but this weekend, I stopped and listened. He really is a fantastic songwriter and vocalist.

Our friends, Widening Gyre, debuted their first CD this weekend and did so with a wonderful show. Canadian-born musicians, David and Aditi are always fun to watch. And I got to hear a few new songs I hadn't heard before, played better than ever. I'm looking forward to hearing their CD soon as well.

I didn't get to see enough of their show, but B.D. Riley's favorites, Pubcrawler also debuted at the ACF for the first time as well. I saw their opening song. An original crowd-pleaser that had the audience shouting for more. They play every Friday at B.D. Riley's here in Austin and man, this is a performance you've got to witness! They have no CDs out yet, but the music is by far one of the best at the festival!

Now, the hardest working musician at the festival would have to be Wolf Loescher from
Jiggernaut. He also performed in other bands, including The Rogues this weekend, and the guy didn't stop to breathe it seemed. But I got a good dose of Deanna Smith, the lead vocalist, and an amazing singer at that.

We got to play the run of the festival, and yesterday, we were even sitting in between the two stages strumming away some great old songs for the enjoyment of passerbys. I guess the one major downside to it all was when the Entertainment Director told us we couldn't play "Patriot Game" due to it's political content.

It's kinda silly IMO, but understandable. I think the Ent. Dir. seems to think that we are volatile supporters of the IRA. "Patriot Game" is a song written at the beginning of this century in support of the IRA. The song was written by Dominic Behan, brother of Brendan. It tells the story of Fergal O'Hanlon from Ballybay, Co Monaghan, who tried to abolish the border between the Six Counties and the Republic. He was killed during the Brookborough attack at the age of 17. The song has become world famous and even Bob Dylan recorded a version in the 60's. It is undoubtedly one of the best ballads ever to come out of the Irish struggles.

Well to set the record straight, I am not a supporter of the IRA. I am not proud of the actions of England against the Irish, and I do support the freedom of Ireland, but I do not support that freedom or any freedom by terrorist actions! "Patriot Game" to me is a great song! That's it! And as a bard, I consider it my duty to preserve great songs like this one for our children's children. I hope you will consider that too in the future.

Okay, that's all for my soapbox today. Thanks to the many people who came out and heard our music and bought our CDs and T-Shirts. Thanks for the scores of new people who have joined the ranks of Nagians this week. And thank you for sharing the news about our music with your family and friends. Slainte'!


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, November 05, 2001
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