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.

Un-Convention-al Merriment

We had a fantastic time this weekend in Denver, Colorado for the Opus: Fantasy Arts Festival. Just got back and are slowly recovering from a long weekend.

Opus wasn't your typical convention. It was small with a very friendly staff. Rion and Sage and many others went out of their way to make this a fantastic event. It was also one of the first times I found a bunch of Celtic musicians that I had a blast jamming with!

We are far from being a traditional, or for that matter conventional, Celtic band. Heck, Memories of Middle Earth should be a prime example of that considering it is NOT a Celtic album in the least. It has more folk, classical, and easy listening sounds than it does Celtic. Our main instruments--recorder and autoharp--are not very traditional either. Add to that the fact that we prefer to play traditional Celtic songs, and it is sometimes difficult for us to find great traditional Celtic musicians to play with.

Well this weekend, was a wonderful sigh of relief as we found not only some great musicians to jam with, but some really kindred spirits. This made it all the nicer since one of the bands was called Kindred Spirits. Andrew and I spent all of Saturday jamming with members of Kindred Spirits and another great Celtic folk band, Gobs O'Phun.
Gobs O'Phun - Irish and Scottish folk songs
Gobs O'Phun is a family trio that plays Irish and Scottish folk music, and the band is just plain fun! It was as if there were three of us in one band. Their style was more like the Clancy Brothers with three part harmonies, but their performance is one of laughing, sing-a-longs, and rousing Celtic folk music. But one of the coolest thing and most innovative bits I saw was their Bag-o-monica (they had to rename it after the Clinton scandel, but I can't remember the new name...shucks;) The Bagomonica had Martin playing a harmonica with a baloon attached playing a drone that made it sound like...well...harmonica bagpipes!

It's awesome! And so is this group. If you love pub songs, you'll love this band. Go buy a CD. You won't be disappointed.
Kindred Spirits - Celtic and Renaissance music
Kindred Spirits is another wonderful trio from Denver. They are peculiarly similiar to us. It was almost weird. Ruth played recorder and mandolin. Marianne played harp and fiddle. Take out the fiddle and while we were jamming together it was like mirror images of ourselves...humorwise too! I mean, almost immediately after arriving my harp counterpart layed a wonderful slam on Andrew. ;) hehe

And it turned into hours of phun as Ruth, Marianne, Andrew, and I jammed to some traditional Celtic tunes, then sang some, and had a great time until Ana (their third member on cello and guitar) arrived, and we had to head out to our show.

And the music?

It was absolutely breathtaking!

Seriously, I was spell-bound watching and listening to them perform. The group said they didn't like playing up on big stages, being used to shows at ground level with the audience, but you could not tell.

Many Celtic bands I see perform, just play. It looks more like work. Sure there's great music, but the performance is kinda boring. Kindred Spirit took exquisite, beautiful music and made it fun. I got a CD and plan to listen today, and man, I can't wait. Because I was mesmerized during their show.
The Opus Fantasy Art Show
The art show was also particularly impressive. I saw some incredible work. David Martin is the one who stood out the most in my mind. I've gone to a number of fantasy art shows, but walking in and seeing David's work made me want to start decorating my apartment with fantasy art. Brilliant artist.

And to top it all off, it was cold with nice 30 degree weather at night. Ah yeah!

We got some great contacts and got a little pre-Dragon*Con rush too. With any luck, we'll be back in Colorado real soon to meet and greet a ton of new fans.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, April 22, 2003


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