Taranai | Blues On the Brae

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United States - New Mexico

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World: Celtic Blues: Acoustic Blues Moods: Instrumental
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Blues On the Brae

by Taranai

Celtic Blues - original interpretations of traditional Irish, Scottish, and Welsh tunes with a contemporary blues feeling on mountain dulcimer, bodhran, and pennywhistle, with special electronic effects for added spice.
Genre: World: Celtic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cariad Cyntaf
5:28 $0.99
2. When Winter Comes
4:40 $0.99
3. Star of the County Down
3:00 $0.99
4. Ei Di'r Deryn Du
4:58 $0.99
5. Wind That Shakes the Barley
2:53 $0.99
6. Devil in the Strawstack
2:05 $0.99
7. Red Rocking Chair
4:08 $0.99
8. Tessa's Jig
4:03 $0.99
9. Act of Congress Reel
4:12 $0.99
10. Foggy Dew
4:17 $0.99
11. Braes of Balquhidder
2:12 $0.99
12. I Ffwrdd I Ddiogelwch
2:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Blues on the Brae is a collection of both original and traditional reels, jigs, and airs, all spiced up with interpretations from years of playing the blues in concerts and clubs.

The first track, Cariad Cyntaf, is a traditional Welsh folk song. Taranai first heard this tune on BBC's Radio Wales through a fabulous, scintillating, and haunting performance by Welsh harpist Sian James. The title means "First Love." In Taranai's reckoning, a first love would have explosive energy and passion, so they gave this traditional air an upbeat tempo with a driving percussion foundation.

When Winter Comes is an original piece for baritone dulcimer written by Jonathan as a soundtrack for a video about the wild elk of the Jemez Mountains in northern New Mexico. Brae mean "hill" in Scottish Gaelic, and the photographs in the Blues on the Brae CD-cover artwork of the cerros and sierras of the Jemez are exactly where these elk are found.

Star of the County Down, Braes of Balquhidder, and Devil in the Strawstack are contest pieces Jonathan has performed to win championships in acoustic mountain dulcimer. The first two tunes are from Ireland and Scotland, respectively. The arrangements on this album add Tessa's bodhran and pennywhistle for depth.

Ei Di'r Deryn Du is another Welsh air. For this track, Taranai retained the slow and haunting feel but added an arrangement with countermelody on pennywhistle and blues improvisation on flanged electric mountain dulcimer. Jonathan and Tessa agree this track is the best song on the album, and intend to expand this style to other works on their future albums. The title translates "it's the blackbirds" or "blackbird, will you go" depending on which sources you peruse. The final track on the album, I Ffwrdd I Ddiogelwch, ("away to safety") is a reprise of this tune with a solo improvisational feeling.

Wind that Shakes the Barley is an air from Scotland. Jonathan and Tessa have performed this piece in competition, winning the Southern Regional Dulcimer Ensemble Championship at the magnificent stage of the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. Foggy Dew is from Ireland, and they have performed it in concerts at the Ozark Folk Center and the Gaelic College of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Red Rocking Chair, Tessa's Jig, and Act of Congress Reel are up-tempo dance tunes. Tessa's Jig is an original work featuring Tessa's skill on the bodhran Irish drum. Act of Congress Reel is a fusion of material from several Irish reels. Red Rocking Chair is a traditional tune, an Appalachian folk blues collected by songcatcher Aubrey Atwater of the duet Atwater-Donnelly. As you may know, Appalachia was settled by people from Ireland and Scotland, so the Celtic roots of this and other Appalachian tunes are clear.

Taranai performs both original works and traditional tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, all with original interpretation in the style they call "Celtic Blues." Taranai is the duet of Jonathan and Tessa Dowell. Jonathan is a mountain dulcimer champion. His awards include Southern Regional, Colorado State, and Texas State Championships, and Silver and Bronze Medals from the U.S. National Folk-Music Championships. Tessa is a Platinum Bodhran student, studying with instructors in Scotland and Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Together, Tessa and Jonathan have won three Southern Regional Dulcimer Ensemble Championships. Taranai has performed all over the United States with special appearances in Cape Breton as featured artists at the Ceilidh on the Wharf in Mabou, Nova Scotia in 2013.

Taranai performs both up-tempo dance music such as reels and jigs, and contemplative airs and love songs. Taranai is a Welsh word meaning "make thunder."

You can find Taranai's performance schedule, download pictures, and contact the band through their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TaranaiMusic



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