Renata Bratt | Great Big Taters

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United States - California

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Country: Progressive Bluegrass World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Great Big Taters

by Renata Bratt

Grooving, Gorgeous and Funky Cellos play new grass, bluegrass and Celtic tunes with guitar accompaniment
Genre: Country: Progressive Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Elzic's Farewell
2:29 $0.99
2. Star of the County Down
3:54 $0.99
3. Cripple Creek
3:05 $0.99
4. Shebeg Shemor
4:00 $0.99
5. The Long Bow/The Road to Lisdoonvarna
2:56 $0.99
6. Great Big Taters
3:31 $0.99
7. Lament of the First Generation
3:57 $0.99
8. The Girl that Broke My Heart/Marie Dips the Bread
2:45 $0.99
9. Down in the Willow Garden
2:44 $0.99
10. Saint Anne's Reel/Miss Mary MacDonald
3:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This is the low lonesome sound of cellos playing authentic fiddle tunes – rowdy, stately, rhythmic and unbelivably beautiful.

Renata is proud to have recorded these tunes with her friends, the amazingly versatile guitarist Jim Lewin and the two finest fiddling cellists in the world today – Rushad Eggleston and Natalie Haas.

Musicians: Renata Bratt with Natalie Haas, Rushad Eggleston and Kristina Forester, cellos
Jim Lewin, guitar


Poet Paul Zarzyski writes:

Maybe it's just me, maybe I've watched way too many silver-screen horse operas--from Shane to J.W. Coop to McCabe and Mrs. Miller, from Lonely Are The Brave to Lonesome Dove to Dances With Wolves--but Renata Bratt's GREAT BIG TATERS lopes me back to my favorite Great Big True-Gritters. Because her verve roams the whole soulful open range of creativity. Because her bow arcs star-to-star, vista-after-big-two-hearted-vista, across musical frontiers. In the keenly enunciated words of The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling, "imagine if you will" Annie Oakley meets Pablo Casals.


Renata has performed with luminaries such as Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Darol Anger and Alasdair Fraser and played back-up with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, David Sanborn, Lyle Lovett, and Dionne Warwick. Rolling Stone dubbed her an "ace performer" for her work recording and touring with alternative rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill's Garage Orchestra.

She teaches classical styles, jazz improvisational and fiddling techniques at national string workshops for children and adults (including the Mancini Institute, The Mark O'Connor String Conference, Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling Camp, IAJE, ASTA, MENC and Suzuki institutes and conferences), been an invited recitalist at the Spanish Embassy in Rome, and is a past president of the Suzuki Music Association of California.

Here are the artists on each track. Renata is on the left in the mix:

1. Elzic’s Farewell (USA)
Renata, Rushad Eggleston, cellos, Jim Lewin, guitar

2. Star of the County Down (Irish)
Renata, Natalie Haas, cellos; Jim Lewin, guitar

3. Cripple Creek (USA)
Renata, Rushad Eggleston, cellos; Jim Lewin, guitar

4. Shebeg Shemor (Irish)
Renata, Natalie Haas, Kristina Forester, cellos

5. The Long Bow (Liz Carroll)/ The Road to Lisdoonvarna (Irish)
Renata, Natalie Haas, Kristina Forester, cellos. Jim Lewin, guitar

6. Great Big Taters (USA)
Renata, cello, Jim Lewin, guitar

7. Lament for the First Generation (Liz Carroll)
Renata, Natalie Haas cellos, Jim Lewin, guitar

8. The Girl That Broke My Heart (Irish)/Marie Dips the Bread (Canadian)
Renata, Rushad Eggleston, cellos, Jim Lewin guitar

9. Down in the Willow Garden (USA)
Renata, Natalie Haas, cellos; Jim Lewin, guitar

10. Saint Anne’s Reel (Canadian)/Miss Mary MacDonald (Scottish – Laura Risk’s version)
Renata, Natalie Haas, cellos; Jim Lewin, guitar



to write a review

joey chang

absolutely beautiful! never heard cello like it
bratt has hit on something here. having eggleston and haas on the album was a brilliant choice. very warm and rich sound.

Monica Howard

This CD is a new favorite in our household. Thank you!

Corbin Keep, Cello City Ink

No potato famine here, it's all feast.
Not long ago, during a conversation we were having abouut reggae, a drummer friend remarked to me that he loved the fact that his son, also a drummer, didn't play reggae “with an accent,” whereas he himself did. What he meant by this was, because he came to the genre much later in life—just as someone who learns a foreign language as an adult usually can't shake the accent of their native tongue—that his son's reggae chops were more authentic than his.

Like my friend's son, Renata Bratt doesn't play with an accent. Whether rendering a tearful Scottish air, sawing an Irish jig, or hoe-downing traditional American fare, she always sounds as if she was born playing this music. Considering that there is not much of a tradition playing tunes like this on the cello, this is no small achievement.

Bratt is ably accompanied by fellow cellists Rushad Eggleston, Kristina Forester & Natalie Haas, as well as guitarist Jim Lewin. In various combinations, they provide fertile ground for Bratt's delicious potatoes, at certain points taking over the main lines with seamless aplomb.

All of the tracks are excellent, however there are a few standouts for me. Bratt's rendition of Star of the County Down carries a great breadth of emotional intensity, like meeting the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life (yay!)—but they're with someone else (waa!). The happier Cripple Creek, as served up by Bratt, Egglestons and Lewin is so convincing, you could easily forget that it hasn't always been played on the cello.

No potato famine here, it's all feast. Anyway you slice 'em, these humongous spuds are fiddlin’-ly, cellistically, finger lickin’-ly delicious. Dig!

Corbin Keep, Cello City Ink—Newsletter of the New Directions Cello Assoc. v. 14, No. 1 Spring/Summer 2007

Ed Davis

Tasty Taters
This cd is a very listenable adaption of fiddle music to cello. This switch in instruments (along with Ms. Bratt's technical skills) produces tunes that seem emotionally deeper and more sonorous. Wonderful stuff.

Gloria Stowell

Jammin' Cello
At last! This is an excellent CD for learning how to jam with a Celtic group. When one has only played Classical scores, there can be a sense of loss for creative improvisation. I recommend using this Cd in conjunction with Renata's method books THE FIDDLING CELLIST and especially CELTIC GROOVES FOR TWO CELLOS. She has brought the techniques of Darol Anger, Natalie Hass, and Rushad Eggleston together. It is wonderful to hear the cello in comfortable company of a most accomplished guitar accompaniment. Whether you say "tahters" or you say "teighters" this CD is served up with a great big THANKS!!