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Mighty Squirrel | Sqworld Record

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Dave Keenan's Website Greg Spatz's website Band Website

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Folk: String Band World: World Traditions Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Sqworld Record

by Mighty Squirrel

With SQWORLD RECORD Mighty Squirrel invites you on a journey around the world and through time. Our blend of international, acoustic folk music with original material inspired by sources closer to home is a genre we like to call WORLD-TIME music.
Genre: Folk: String Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. El Rey de Francia
Mighty Squirrel
4:43 $0.99
2. Mary Ann
Mighty Squirrel
3:10 $0.99
3. Big Timber
Mighty Squirrel
3:53 $0.99
4. Beatrice's Waltz
Mighty Squirrel
4:29 $0.99
5. Voici La Saint Jean
Mighty Squirrel
3:25 $0.99
6. Miles and Miles
Mighty Squirrel
2:55 $0.99
7. Tango Tenebre
Mighty Squirrel
5:07 $0.99
8. Joshke, Joshke
Mighty Squirrel
4:46 $0.99
9. Gartan Mother's Lullaby
Mighty Squirrel
4:04 $0.99
10. Squirrel on a Fence Post
Mightly Squirrel
3:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
EL REY DE FRANCIA (trad): A Ladino-Sephardic, 13th century song in which a young woman recounts to her mother a dream involving small birds, pillars, and the moon and stars—which mom translates as meaning her daughter will soon marry the king of France. A favorite song of Ivan’s dad.
Caridwen: vocal, fiddle; David: mandolin; Greg: octave-mandolin; Ivan: resonator guitar.

MARY ANN (trad): Old English love song, popular on both sides of the Atlantic and collected by Marius Barbeau in the Tadoussac fishing region of Quebec. Our version comes from Greg’s mom, but sped up and squirreled into 6/8 time, with extra critter lyrics from Caridwen.
Caridwen: vocal; David: mandolin; Greg: octave-mandolin, fiddle; Ivan: resonator guitar.

BIG TIMBER (Keenan): David’s apocalyptic vision of a woodland logging massacre/disaster.
Caridwen: fiddle; David: vocal, guitar; Greg: harmony fiddle and solo; Ivan: resonator guitar.

BEATRICE’S WALTZ (G Spatz): Written by Greg to cheer up Caridwen one dark winter night.
Caridwen: fiddle; David: mandolin; Greg: octave-mandolin, fiddle harmony; Ivan: resonator guitar.

VOICI LA SAINT JEAN (trad): Ancient French or Swiss song, also popular in Quebec. Relates a conversation between two young girls about why their boyfriends will be unable to join them at the Saint Jean Baptiste Day bonfire—one’s been captured by fairies, the other’s in Paris, shopping for a wedding ring.
Caridwen: vocal, fiddle; David: mandolin; Greg: octave mandolin; Ivan: resonator guitar.

MILES AND MILES (C Spatz): Caridwen wrote this after binging on Hank Williams while Greg was gone on the road.
Caridwen: vocal; David: guitar; Greg: octave-mandolin, fiddle; Ivan: resonator guitar.

TANGO TENEBRE (Keenan): Written by David in the twilight of the last day of the year, 2008.
Caridwen: lead fiddle; David: guitar; Greg: high and low fiddle; Ivan: resonator guitar, clawhammer banjo.

JOSHKE, JOSHKE (trad): Traditional Klezmer song, popular in the mid-19th century, in which the rabbi exhorts us all to drink and be merry…and Joshke gets a stern talking-to about feeding his horse.
Caridwen: vocal, fiddle; David: mandolin; Greg: octave-mandolin; Ivan: clawhammer banjo.

GARTAN MOTHER’S LULLABY (trad): 19th century lullaby from Donegal, complete with puzzling Gaelic phrases that confound us as well. A favorite of Caridwen’s first voice teacher.
Caridwen: vocal; David: mandolin; Greg: octave mandolin; Ivan: resonator guitar.

SQUIRREL ON A FENCEPOST (C Spatz): A Caridwen original, never to be played in a medley with “Squirrel Hunters.” Guest appearance from our go-to substitute squirrel, Mason Tuttle.
Caridwen: fiddle; David: guitar; Greg: octave mandolin, harmony fiddle; Ivan: resonator guitar; Mason: mandolin.

David Keenan (guitar, mandolin, vocals); Greg Spatz (bouzouki, fiddle); Ivan Rosenberg (resonator guitar, clawhammer banjo); Caridwen Irvine-Spatz (fiddle, vocals).

Recorded and mixed by Ivan Rosenberg at The Schtood in Portland, OR.
Mastered by Eric Uglum at New Wine Sound Studio in Apple Valley, CA.
Artwork by Parker Moosman – Creature Design.
Band Photo: Hermon Joyner.

Thanks to: the Rosenberg family, Alice and Larry Spatz, Paul Elliott, Morgan Andersen, Fred Forssell, Judith LeBane, Jay Buckwold and the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, Jason Romero, Todd Clinesmith, Jonathan Cooper, and Pirastro Strings.



to write a review

John Shelton Ivany

Underground treasure!!
The album opens with a beautiful ballad about a fate told in the stars. The Ladino-Sephardic song carries old-country flavor with well-balanced, edgy stringed instrumentation. The first song portends the fantastic quality of the rest of this world-music album, on which tango and klezmer sit comfortably side by side. Reaching from Yiddish to Celtic to French-Canadian to Swiss roots, Spokane, Washington, based Mighty Squirrel unites folk traditions with flair.

Pick up this still-underground treasure as soon as you can. Connoisseurs of old-time music, world music, female vocals, and string instruments must get this album. But all of you non-connoisseur, everyday music people should get it too: it's an all around feel-good record.

Sing Out! Magazine

Deep Musical History
The liner notes to this album say, “Mighty Squirrel invites you on a journey around the globe and through time. Our blend of international, acoustic folk music with original material inspired by sources closer to home, all featuring bluegrass, old-time and Celtic instrumentation, is a genre we like to call world-time music.”

This statement tells you everything and nothing. It’s all in the musical telling, and it is a masterful one.

Caridwen Irvine-Spatz on fiddle and vocals; David Keenan on mandolin, guitar and vocals; Greg Spatz on fiddle and octave mandolin; and Ivan Rosenberg on resonator guitar and clawhammer banjo. Five of the 10 songs were written by band members and five taken from the deep backstory of musical history.

In other words, you probably won’t hear anything you’ve heard before, nor will you hear it done in a way that you’ve heard before. This is fresh, evocative material presented by talented musicians. The traditional pieces are taken from sources as diverse as a Ladino-Sephardic 13th century ballad, an old English ballad, a traditional Klezmer tune and a 19th century lullaby from Donegal.

This is deep musical history, understood and played at the gene level. What holds all this rich, international (“sqworld” music) and original material together is the intriguing voice of Caridwen and the players’ understanding of the role of each instrument – true ensemble playing at its best.

“Beatrice’s Waltz” by Spatz is a beautifully imagined tune; “Tango Tenebre” by Keenan adds a South American flavor; and Caridwen Irvine-Spatz contributes “Miles and Miles,” which could have been written 60 years ago and played by Bob Wills. Keenan’s “Big Timber” is a very funny take on a lumber song.

The album was beautifully recorded at Rosenberg’s The Schtood in Portland, Ore. Good, concise liner notes by Greg Spatz. I’ve had this playing in my house in heavy rotation, and I’m still hearing new things that surprise and delight.

Victory Review

Victory Review
Very proficient on their instruments and never repetitive in their song choices this album offers a wide ranging spectrum of songs. Mighty Squirrel is adept at all instruments and genres... This cd is well worth the listen!