RANT & ROAR
Great Big Sea
This rambunctious Canadian band hails from Newfoundland, and their music reflects their hometown’s colorful history of pirates, traders and sailors. The group’s close-knit harmonies and diverse instrumentation, including accordion, penny whistle and fiddle, put a refreshingly original spin on covers of REM’s “The End of the World (As We Know It)” and Makem and Clancy’s “Mary Mac.” Other songs include “The Night Pat Murphy Died” and the title track, “Rant & Roar (Like Real Newfoundlanders).” Available on Sire records. For information, call Debra Brennan at (310) 828-1033, ext. 210.
A seven-member traditional band from Glasgow, Scotland, Capercaillie stretches the boundaries of Celtic music by including African and Latin rhythms. This collection of 12 tracks was partially recorded in the mountains of Andalucia, Spain, at the Villa Torres, and completed in Glasgow. With the techno tweaks of Prefab Sprout and Blue Nile producer Calum Malcom. New Musical Express dubbed singer Karen Matheson’s voice the “coolest – swirling and slamming – amazingly dynamic.”
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Released on Candescence Records. Details from RYKO at (978) 744-7678.
THE IRISH AMERICANS
William D. Griffin
The story of the 40 million Irish-American descendents of the Irish immigrants. This is the first of Levin Associates’ new series of books on the immigrant experience, and covers the Irish experience from their transition from soldiers on the battlefield of a new nation to fully assimilated members of American society. The book includes over 200 images, an invaluable section on searching for one’s ancestors online and a demonstration version of a family tree maker CD Rom. William Griffin is a professor of history at St. John’s University in New York and the son of immigrants from County Cork. He has written numerous books on Ireland and Irish overseas.
Cost: $60. Published by Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. Contact Leslie C. Carola at (203) 254-7733.
GAFF TOPSAILS By Patrick Kavanagh
This first novel captures the rich life of sea, soil and souls in a small Irish Catholic parish on the coast of Newfoundland in 1948. The community of characters struggle with their own phantoms and problems against the backdrop of the memory of the village founding father, an Irish castaway dead 500 years. Loneliness, isolation and loss are the threads that weave through this novel as elements interplay in dramatic opposition – ice and fire, Christianity and Paganism, faith and skepticism.
Patrick Kavanagh was born in Newfoundland and has traveled extensively. This novel won the Ottawa-Carleton Award.
Price: $24.95. Contact Viking Publicity at (212) 366-2440.