& CD Reviews
Songs of Scotland / Song of the Celts / Quotes
Margie Butler has a beautiful folk lyric soprano vocal.
She also plays Celtic harp, penny whistle, recorder, bodhran and guitar with a
precise and affectionate ease. Folk tenor Paul Espinoza is all the colors
of gypsy fire on lead guitar, accordion and octave-mandolin. When overcome
by a momentary need to rock ‘n’ roll, he is also known to throw in a few
bars on blues harmonica. Kathy Sierra’s smoky soprano blends like silk
on the water with the vocals of band founders and husband and wife team,
Espinoza and Butler, and Sierra is able to use her instrumental bow to sing a
mighty fiddle (violin and viola). The trio that is Golden Bough rides a
musical magical carpet that carries all the best of the seven Celtic nations
(Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, French Brittany and
Galicia). Golden Bough played Friday night at Pacifica Performances Sanchez
Concert Hall. They offered waltz and sailor dance, pirate plank walkers,
hard shoe hornpipe and songs that strolled through Celtic grace. All seats
were taken and extra chairs spilled onto the dance floor. So, people
danced where they sat and clapped their hands to the rhythms of joy.
If you want a bit of history, masterfully blended with virtuosic instrumentation, sweet and sigh vocals – and, the occasional pun-filled yarn, then launch yourself straight into the arms of a Golden Bough concert.
"The group has made a name for itself in Bordesholm. Thus the two concerts on Saturday and Sunday were sold out. (Golden Bough) create, in a wonderful way, the connection between the old and the new world, not only musically, but also the spirit. Once in stride, (they) heated up the public and didn't get away without four encores." Holsteinischer Courier, Germany
"Both educational and fun, Golden Bough's enthusiastic performance captured the hearts of our Children's Music Festival Workshop participants. Their joyful performing style enchanted the children leading to a natural outpouring of contagious merriment. 'Bring them back' we have heard again and again."
Redlands Bowl Music Festival
"Golden Bough won the hearts of Redlands in 1996 and won them
all over again in 1998. Thank you for bringing your joy and charm to the Redlands Bowl with your very special, unique and long to be remembered music."
"There is no more fitting title to tell what this CD is all about. The music
of the Scottish Highlands - a journey through the wild landscape of rugged
cliffs and gentle rivers, pure springs and babbling brooks - is an
Song of the Celts
Of note, especially, are the vocal pieces on Song of the Celts, as well as Margie's harp playing, which simply sparkles. The vocal cuts may, in fact remind you (as it did me) of the outstanding English group Fairport Convention, owing to the group's great harmony vocals. The production here is flawless and tight. In addition, the arrangements on all the songs are excellent.
All in all, I recommend this album as a great example of how to do something the right way when many are just doing it, period." Bill Binkelman , Wind & Wire
"The arrangements are simple, but every song has a wonderful lively feeling. The fiddle sounds great; really nice. The combination of the piano-accordion, which is played with less vibrato, and the Celtic harp is very unique. They take turns playing the main lines, and by changing the parts, they naturally create a new atmosphere. We can feel relaxed by listening to the songs, but never be bored. I recommend track 2 and 3. I do like singing of Paul Espinoza's in track 3." Mr. Kikuchi, Corner House, Japan
"In the footsteps of their great Celtic ancestors, Golden Bough has been crossing borders, both musical and cultural, for the past two decades. Having toured throughout America, Europe and The Orient, they have established themselves as one of America's premier Celtic bands. Golden Bough continues to draw from the rich wealth of the Celtic folk tradition for their inspiration and "Song of the Celts" is a wondrous display of their musical talents." John O'Regan, Radio Limerick, Ireland
1998 - 2008 by
Golden Bough Music