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Music Review: Whiskers in the Jar - Marc Gunn & The Dubliners' Tabby Cats
by Bridget Haggerty
"Beware of people who dislike cats." This old Irish proverb definitely does not apply to Marc Gunn, a brilliant Celtic musician and unabashed cat lover who is having way too much fun creating parodies of traditional Irish tunes with a feline perspective.
According to Marc, it all began with a phone call. He started meowing in the middle of "Wild Rover". That's when he wrote his first cat song. Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers was born. The CD was wildly popular. Before he knew it he had people asking when he would release his next Cat CD.He spent two years writing some songs and asking fans of the first album to submit some lyrics. The results are now here!
More Irish Songs for Cat Lovers
The recording features twelve songs and two sets of Irish tunes. The songs are a mix of Irish and Scottish songs rewritten about cats. You'll hear songs about cats eating catnip, waking you up in the middle of the night, staring off into nothingness. You'll laugh as cats take over a dairy farm, splashing milk all over the place or a nice feline friendly twist to the Sylvester and Tweety Bird cartoon. Cats fight off canine pack recruitment and Harry Potter makes an appearance as does cat cloning. No really! It's twisted, but brilliant fun.
Uplifting music that is smartly silly
Marc's vocals are impressively strong and resonate and are well-controlled. At the same time, the woman and former violin player in me can't stop appreciating the lovely complex string arrangements and the genuine tenderness shown towards the kitties and the other subjects in the songs.This is very uplifting music that is smartly silly and counterbalances the seriouslness and weights of life. This would appeal to children, to people with a sense of humor, to the elderly, and to people who appreciate quality music that is Celtic and strings-oriented. And of course, to those who love cats!! :)
Addictive - once you listen to it you can't stop
Marc Gunn did a fantastic job with this CD. The songs are addictive and once you listen to it you can't stop. It is not only for cat lovers but for anyone who enjoys listening to great music. If you have listened to "Irish Drinking Songs For Cat Lovers" and liked what you heard you will really love this one. I still can not get "What Shall We Do with a Catnipped Kitty" out of my head. Now when I hear the original songs all that comes to mind is the "Cat" version. Great Job Marc.
If you liked Marc's first cat album, "Irish Drinking Songs For Cat Lovers," this one is a must-own. Marc surpasses all his prior CDs with fine production values, richly layered instrumentation, and versatile vocal performance. The songs are varied and clever, and the lyrics are well-turned and inventive. It's great for cat lovers of all ages, filk music fans, Celtic music fans, and comedy music fans, too. You can enjoy it as a new spin on old favorite tunes, or use the album as a gateway to appreciating a whole new kind of music!
In summary, the Dubliners' Tabby Cats forage their way out of the gutters of Ireland to create a musical menagerie that combines Irish drinking songs and the folk music stylings of groups like The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, the Irish Rovers, and "Weird" Al Yankovic to create a sound unlike any Celtic music group you've heard today. The songs will make you laugh and cry with delight or distension as this feline group reinvents Irish trad.
1. What Shall We Do With a Catnipped Kitty
2. Molly Malone, The Cat's Perspective/Planxty Hewlett
3. Kitty at the Door
4. Danny Boy
5. To Catch a Cat
6. Big Strong Cat (My Puddy Tat, Sylvester)
7. Cuddles McGish
8. When the Dairy Farm Caught Fire
9. Kitty's Rambles/Dowd's 9 Lives/Jenny's Chickens
10. The Old Woman and Her Cat
11. Kitty Martin
12. Harry Potter and the Rising of the Moon
13. Orange Kitten's Mew
14. Whiskers in the Jar
The CD was produced by Celtic music lover, Rich Brotherton, and it shows. Whiskers in the Jar is an album of purrlicious fun for cat lovers everywhere.
Buy the album here: Whiskers in the Jar
And click here for special packages of more than one CD
Read our review of Marc's first Cat - Irish CD here: Irish Drinking Songs For Cat Lovers
Images: Front Cover Photo by Kristen Roger
Celtic Cat Logo by Ingrid Houwers
What is this? One definition focuses on filk as a genre: filk is folk music, usually with a science fiction or fantasy theme. This definition is not exact; filkers often also write filk songs about computers or cats. To read more about filk, please click Wikipedia.
Thu, Dec 7, 2017
Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*
Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.
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