The Arts section of Orient Lodge

Music Monday – Hugh Morrison

For the past couple of weeks, the Music Review section of Orient Lodge has been dedicated to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Now, the mud is washed from my feet and most of the camping gear has been properly stowed away. It is time to return to reviews of performers that have been submitting their music via SonicBids.

I have now received about fifty different submissions. I’ve scanned all of them, and studied a majority of them. Listening to the performers’ music coming out of the speakers of my laptop as I sit in my office is much different than sitting on a rain drenched hill at Falcon Ridge, and I need to readjust my listening style back the solitude of my office. I’ve reviewed seven SonicBids submissions so far and today, I am adding my eighth selection.

Hugh Morrison was one of the more recent submissions I’ve received. He has a new CD out called, Robert Burns Rocks. If I didn’t like Morrison’s music so much, I would wait until the great bard’s next birthday in January, but I think this CD deserves to be highlighted right now.

I listened to various tunes, and when his rendition of Auld Lang Syne came around, my wife perked up her ears. It sounded a bit to her like the Pogues’ rendition. I won’t get into whether Morrison sounds more like the Pogues or the Drop Kick Murphys. No, he sounds more like Hugh Morrison, and Hugh Morrison sounds really good. Also, he’s Scottish, not Irish.

What I especially like about his music is that he has put together a whole CD of Robert Burns tunes. Everyone knows Auld Lang Syne. Fewer know Scots Wha Hae or Ye Jacobites By Name. Years ago, I learned to play the great highland bagpipes. I immersed myself in Scottish history, learning Scots Wha Hae and visited Culloden Moor. Yet for all my interest in Scottish history, the romantic poems of Robert Burns are closest to my heart and it is great to hear Morrison cover a few of them as well.

It has been fun exploring Morrison’s online presence as well. There is a video which I take to be his daughter’s first piano recital. There is a podcast, and it appears that Morrison plays with a bunch of different groups from time to time.

Check out Hugh Morrison’s new CD Robert Burns Rocks, and if you’re in Texas or Arizona, check out his schedule to see if he’ll be performing near you any time soon.

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Wordless Wednesday - #frff

20100724_010, originally uploaded by Aldon.

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Camping at #frff

Camping at #frff, originally uploaded by Aldon.

I'm having difficulty getting to the edit mode of my blog from my cellphone over the celluar network so I'm tring to blog a way I used to by sending pictures to flickr. Typing is slow on the cellphone so I'll probably be more terse for the next few days
Sent from my Nokia N900 using Nokia Messaging

Update: I believe I took this picture last Thursday and tried sending it via Flickr to my blog. However, I was having problems with the Internet connectivity and the message only made it through today.

It is probably just as well. I've had a busy day. There is a blog post I really want to get written, but I'm so tired, I can't focus well enough right now, so I'm saving that for tomorrow.

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My #frff Canon

My daughters went to a camp for severl years theat had a canon of songs that everyone sang. It had benn passed down from one generation of campers to the next and whenever they would gather they would sing some of these oongs.

For me, there is a canon of songs that is part of my annual trips to camp Nin the middle of a field. In the middle of Hillsdale". Summertime is one of those songs. It is often followed by "may I suggest". "May I suggest this is the best part of our life."

that can be a hard message to hold on to. The economy is still pretty bad for a lot us us. In the past few months I've seen friends struggle with horrible illnesses and others die. Yet in all of this, "there is a hope that's been addressed inyou, the hope of seven generations, maybe more."

there are other songs that are part of the canon. It includes Dar Williams singing "Iowa" and perhaps a few other songs. It includes The Nieldand The Kennedy's.

Perhaps drawing it all together is "This is my home". Now it is time to pack and listen to a final day of music before heading home. Have you been to Falcon Ridge? What is in your #frff canon?

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#frff Emerging Artists - Blood lLike Yours

Unike other years at Falcon Ridge where the rain came in quick torrents of fury, yedterday brought a slow constant rain for nearlly four hours of the Emerging Artists Showcase.

Before the afternoon was half over, my program was too soggy to write on and my fingers were prunes, so I,m writing this without any usable notes. Fortunately, I had listened to and read about the performers ahead of time, so I had sone clear expectations.

Pretty much, everyone lived up to expectations, with a few sounding much better live then they did online. ellen cherry stood out it this respect. Many of the artists embraced the Falcon Ridge experience thanking the audience for hanging in through the rain, joking about sunblock and staying hydrated, or the need for a giant slippy slide made out of tarps in front of the Main Stage.

They pitched their CDs, websites and mailing lists.. They told their fan which late night song swap on the hill they would be attending. One musician thar I really liked was Bobbie Lancaster, but she was heading straight back to Indiana. Spuyten Duyvil,which I also really liked is sticking around and performing all over the hill.

There were quite a few good acts and it hard to limit my choice to three. So, along with those zia,ve already mentioned, I want to give a shout out to Vanessa Torres, whom I really liked.

With that, let me list me current picks for next years most wanted. Barnaby Bright was one of my early picks. They have a great song about a father dying of AIDS which they didn,t play. I liked this other pieces as well and they're still on my top three list.

John Wort Hannam is a school teacher turned musician. He has a great song about his father;s reaction to the decision to leave teaching. His father was a carpenter and made an obtuse comment about going against the grain.

At the top of the list is Chis O'brien. He did really well Thursday night at Tribe Hill and equally as well on the main stage. He has a powerful song about dealing with his father's alcoholism. He wonders what it means for him to have blood like his father's flowing through his veins.

An old friend of mine has a genetic degenerative disease. He watched it take his father and now it is taking him. To the best of my knowledge, I do not carry alcoholism or degenerative diseases, but I wonder what of my father do I carry, and what of me do my children carry. I hope some of it is alove of folk dancing and sitting in the rain on a hill for hours listening to great stories put to music.

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