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.

Brobdingnagian Bards Heading to Ireland!

A couple years ago, I joined an online community called Irish Abroad. It's a great site packed with information for Irish and Irish Americans worldwide. They also host a Flyaway Competition with Aer Lingus that gives one lucky winner ever couple months a free trip for two to Ireland.

To win, you just have to subscribe to their newsletter. Unfortunately, a lot of their services and articles require you to be a member. So this summer I went and became a member. Course, the other advantage of being a member, aside from the great content, is that you improve your chances of winning the free trip.

A couple weeks ago, I saw in their newsletter that I won the free trip. Today, I finally got an email confirmation from the Irish Abroad staff. Yay!!!!!!

I'm still waiting for all the facts about the trip and when we can claim it, but if possible, I'm hoping for July of next year after I've quit my day job and am playing music full-time. Stay tuned for more news!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, September 29, 2004
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Digital Distribution of Celtic Music

I got a concerned email the other day. Someone was a wee bit shocked to find that we were on iTunes!

Whoops! Did I forget to mention it?

CDBaby, the leading CD store for independent music online, has put together some incredible digital distribution deals that allow us to sell our music digitally through sites like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, and a dozen other digital music websites online.

You can see the list by searching our free music downloads webpage. There's about twenty sites to choose from. So check it out.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, September 28, 2004
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Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales, Limited Edition EP

It occurred to me a few minutes ago that some of you never heard about the little "secret" project we were working on before in August. It's a new CD--Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales.

We decided to start recording a new CD, because we've been playing the "Jedi Drinking Song" for two years now. It's our most-requested song at Sci Fi Conventions. We felt we HAD to have a recording of it at DragonCon. Unfortunately, the plan to have a full-length CD ready for the Con fell through.

Instead, we released a Limited Edition EP. It features "Jedi," "Lily the Pink," "Angel's Lament," a live recording of "Ducats," and a couple of exclusive bonus tracks that won't be on the final CD.

Course, we caved in. We planned to make this a DragonCon exclusive. But several Nagians begged us to make sure there were some left over for them. So we ordered two hundred.

Now there are only thirty left!

If you want a copy, I urge you to order it today. This *may* be your last chance to get this exclusive EP. Not to mention, your order will help us to afford printing the new CD when we get it done. Right now, we think we'll have it done in early November, but we're not rushing it. So stay tuned to The Bards Tales for
the latest news about it.

Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales - DragonCon Limited Edition EP
"The EP's great! Listened to it all the way home, then the kid snatched it away and listened to it up until bedtime." --telaryn

"Listened to it all the way back to Florida {yay - my house is still standing !} - I can't wait for the full version."

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, September 27, 2004
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Texas Renaissance Festival 2004 Free Ticket Winner

Congratulations to Beth Case, our winner of two free tickets to the Texas Renaissance Festival 2004. She correctly listed the tracks found on our Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales EP. The tracks are:

1. Jedi Drinking Song
2. Angel's Lament
3. Happily Ever After
4. Lily the Pink
5. Bog Down in the Valley (Live)
6. If I Had A Million Ducats (Live)
7. Mendeluvium Madness

As of this afternoon, we only had about thirty of these Limited Edition EPs left. So order yours now before they vanish forever!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Sunday, September 26, 2004
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Six Months till St Patrick's Day!

September is fairly slow month gig-wise. We're putting the final touches on Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales and then leaping straight into production of Real Men Wear Kilts, our eight studio album.

But there will be a wee bit. In fact, you can join us this Saturday, September 18, 2004 at Things Celtic for a "SIX MONTHS TO ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARTY"! 10% of all sales on this day will be donated to the Austin Celtic Association. There will be live entertainment all day, featuring:

Brobdinagian Bards 11 AM to Noon
Cluan Noon to 1 PM
The Sarah Dinan Band 1 PM to 2 PM
Beginning Irish-Gaelic Lesson with the Austin Gaelic League. For children and adults! 2 PM to 3 PM
Doc Grauzer on Irish Harp 3 PM to 4 PM
Ken Liechti on Highland Pipes 4 PM to 5 PM

Afterwards, I plan on making a trip up to Tablerock Fantasy Faire for a day of relaxation and fun. Hope to see ye there!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, September 14, 2004
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DragonCon 2004 Adventures, Part II

Well, lets see if I can cover the final bits about DragonCon.

Saturday at DragonCon

After I got sick (see Dragon 2004 Adventures, Part I), the weekend kinda flew by in a daze... but it was still a pleasant daze. I think it was Saturday afternoon we had a show in the Art Room. A couple dozen people gathered around a small space blocking paths to the art. After our Concourse show on Friday, I was kinda wanting to play some more traditional music, so we reintroduced folks to a mix of traditional Celtic songs as well as a some of our fun filk.

I've got our set list in front of me though. And ye know, it doesn't look a bit familiar... I think we diverged a bit, though I do remember playing "Fellowship of the Ring" and "My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose." But this "Mr Spock Is a Tribble" thing. Oh yeah, that was a joke song Andrew threw out when we were coming up with the set list. He better watch out, or people will start requesting it. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

After that show, we did a wee bit o'wandering through the Dealer's Room, entertaining vendors and celebrities. While we didn't get pulled aside as much this year, it really seems like they enjoyed the musical interlude much much more than the previous years.

I then stopped off to one of the vendors in the art room for a massage and a wee bit o'aromatheraphy, which worked wonders for my breathing later that evening.

That evening in the filk room, I sat down on front tuning my autoharp and next thing I know I had a crowd of people around me. I guess autoharp tuning is a nice form of entertainment. ;)

Well, it was our DragonCon "Stalkers" as well as Cat and Ali of the Three Ravens, a female singing group who perform at the Georgia Renaissance Festival.

They all kept joking about me being like a campfire. Not sure where that came from. But they were all huddled around me so the analogy kinda worked. Just glad they didn't pull out the smores. Makes it difficult to sing.

The Filk Show was raucous. The place was packed. We were worried whether people could hear us especially with all the banter... or as some would call it "heckling" from the audience. But all in all, it was a smash. Though I think next year we're gonna have to hire a guard to keep the young girls from trying to lift up our kilts!

After the show, I went upstairs and passed out hoping to kick this sickness in the butt. No such luck...

Sunday at DragonCon

I slept late that morning at DragonCon. I needed the rest, but it didn't seem to help. So finally I went downstairs and Andrew and I headed back for the vendors area for a bit, sticking to instrumentals.

I wish I had my notes, because we got to play for a bunch of wonderful folks. And made some new friends in the process. We also finally took the Utilikilts folks some of our "Real Men Wear Kilts" free stickers.

I took a few naps during the day and by the time of our last Filk Show, my voice was hell. Andrew and I sang "The Scotsman" together then I informed him, it was an all-Andrew show.

This was an absolute first. We performed all the songs that Andrew sings, and it was a smashing success. But to mix it up a bit, we had the Three Ravens lead the room in a singing of "Health to the Company." All things considered, I was pretty pleased with the result.

After the show, I decided that I needed medication, and I was gonna enjoy myself for a wee bit of the late DragonCon hours. So I grabbed my drum and headed to the drum circle... Well after I had my face painted by Liana, my artsy Dark Elven friend.

Oh! And I finally took some DragonCon pictures. I didn't take many that weekend, but at least I got a few.

I didn't last long before I decided to hit the hay.

DragonCon Comes to a Close

I woke up at a decent time still feeling horrible. But we got the place setup. I don't remember if I mentioned it but Jessica, Shandy, Mike, and Bridgette did a brilliant job helping us sell CDs.

With no shows, the day lounged by as folks slowly made their way home. Many heading back down to the disaster area awaiting them in Florida after Hurricane Frances wrecked havoc. Others just didn't want to leave.

As bad as I felt by Tuesday, I was very thankful to have had Andrew driving us back home. And while, feeling sick kinda slowed down my partying, I had a great time out there. I can't wait until next year!

Oh! I forgot to mention, our Limited Edition, Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales EP sold really well. That definitely helped to make this whole weekend a smashing success.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, September 13, 2004
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DragonCon 2004 Adventures, Part I

Yes, we made it back from DragonCon. We had an awesome time a the convention despite being flooded with a bunch of problems from getting booked to getting a hotel room, lost sales crew to a lost voice.

We left in the middle of the night on Thursday. After losing one sales helper, we were fortunate to have Jessica and Shandy drop everything, pack their packs and carpool with us to the con. We drove to Houston to pick up one faery sales helper, Bridget, and then off we went to Atlanta.

The drive there went pretty smoothly and even checking in to the hotel and getting our badges was surprisingly easy. Andrew kept looking over his shoulder wonder when disaster would strike. Fortunately, for at least a day, no such disaster appeared. On Friday morning after a decent night's sleep we filed downstairs and setup our table on the Concourse of the Hyatt.

Friday at DragonCon

Ah, it was great to see all our old friends. Emerald Rose was there with Arthur being the first up as usual. I got a sneak peek to their recording of "Vulcan Rubdown" which is still one of my favorite new songs of theirs, although Jessica was ravving about a new gamer song of theirs. I missed it though.

Tania Opland & Mike Freeman arrived pretty soon too with Mike's happy barrage of insults. Ah it's great to feel the love! It was a joy to see them again. They are a wonderfully uplifting couple.

The last in our general area to arrive was Voltaire, the goth music master of evil and all things sarcastic. Actually, he missed his flight so it was only Kitten, his sales helper who arrived first. She's another sweet heart.

Well around 11ish, we began our first traveling minstrel gig. Bridget decked out in her blue faery garb followed us as we warmed up and headed over to the Mariott to play for folks waiting to enter the Vendors and Dealers Rooms.

We stopped off first at the West of the Moon table. I had talked to Amy about doing an interview for their website. The site is a Tolkien Fanfiction site for hobbit fans. If you love hobbits, this is the place to go.

We started off by playing "If I Had A Million Ducats" with a LOTR theme. But our song attracted more than just hobbits and elves. It also attracted some Jedi. So we followed a Jedi over to the Stormtrooper table where we proceeded to use the force of the "Jedi Drinking Song" to make folks laugh and lightsabers dance.

And one big relief out of playing that song was at lonnnng last, we didn't have to tell people "No, we Don't have that song recorded," because before we left for the Mariott, the DragonCon Limited Edition, Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales CDs had arrived. (incidentally, we still have a few copies left that you can order from the link above for a very limited time)

After playing about a dozen songs for folks, we decided to head back and get some food before our 2:30 show on the Concourse.

Live on the Concourse

Costumed folks of all shapes and sizes showed up for our Concourse show. One hour racing through comedic hit after hit. Left everyone buzzing, but the most-exciting part for me was when Dr Demento approached the stage and introduced himself. I was in such a daze after the show that I didn't have enough time to drop to my knees and say, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy." Worse still, it was the only chance I got to see him. Ah well, I guess I'll have to email him instead.

After eating a quick dinner, we found out that they moved the Filk Room. It was moved to the Roswell Room in the bowels of the Hyatt. The room was way too small, but we made do. We belted out a fun show to packed house before I headed up to The Night at Bree to catch a little bit o'Emerald Rose's show. I saw a few hobbits dancing the Macarena. There I ran into Amy from West of the Moon again and decided to join her hobbit-y bunch along with some TORn at Champions for some drinks.

A word of warning, hobbits know how to drink! I let myself drink a bit much, and I'm guessing that that dropped my immune system such that by the next morning my throat was hurting. Bad start of a Con.

Ah well, before I headed up to bed, I did stop off to see The Great Luke Ski perform his rap parodies. Fun show, but I was tired and obviously needed some sleep. So I stumbled on up stairs to prepare for the next day of DragonCon 2004.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, September 10, 2004
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DragonCon 2004

Well, we are just about ready to go to Dragon*Con. Still have to pack, but it sounds like all the basics are in order.

On the downside, we weren't able to finish Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales in time for the DragonCon, so we decided, instead, to release a seven song Limited Edition EP to celebrate the release of our upcoming CD. The CD will include:

Jedi Drinking Song
Angel's Lament
Happily Ever After
Lily the Pink
Bog Down in the Valley LIVE
If I Had A Million Ducats LIVE
Mendeluvium Madness (originally released on the now discontinued Gullible's Travels.)

Plus, there is a secret URL where DragonCon purchasers can get a discount on the final version of Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales. We printed only 200 copies with no plans for another run. They're to be delivered Friday morning at the Con. So if you're interested in getting a copy of this Limited Edition CD and you're not going to be there, tell a friend to pick one up for you. I suspect they will sell out fast!

IF there are any left over, we'll put those on sale as soon as we get back. So keep an eye open for 'em.

We'll get back to finishing the album after Dragon*Con. I look forward to seeing some of ya'll there!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, September 01, 2004
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