Finding The Gold

Rig The Jig

Toucan Cove Entertainment, 2005

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Rig The Jig is my second favorite Celtic-ish band. I can say this now with some firmness, having finally heard more than their great 2004 release Passing Through . It is with much cheer that I present Finding The Gold, their latest CD -- and in some ways, it's even better than my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Passing Through.

Starting off with the basics, Gold is a mixture of traditional tunes, covers, and a few originals. The hallmark of Rig The Jig's work seems to be their covers of American folk singers. Last CD it was Arlo Guthrie; this time John Prine takes a turn, as well as covers of Irish folksingers like Mickey McConnell and Luka Bloom.

The production on the CD is tight and spare, perfect for the varying musical styles inherent in Rig's work. Musicianship is excellent, especially Rig The Jig's work with acoustic guitar. (The band has four members listed as guitar players. It shows.)

There are a lot of stellar moments on Finding The Gold. The cover of John Prine's "Please Don't Bury Me" is truly brilliant; Rig The Jig handles the mix of pathos, humor, and irony in the lyrics with perfect skill, matched elegantly with Jimmy Flanagan's banjo. (Incidentally, this track proves Steve Martin's Law: "Nothing can sound depressing when accompanied by banjo." This song is about being dead, not wanting to be buried, and being dismembered and shared, yet is oddly perky.) Glen Reid's "Green Valley" is beautiful, a cover of Prine's "Mexican Home" is hauntingly lovely, and Luka Bloom's "An Irishman In Chinatown" is funny as hell.

Original tracks are just as good, especially the instrumentals "Man Of The House Set" and "Banjo Hornpipes." "The Line" is a heartbreaking track, reminiscent of John Mellencamp's "Rain On The Scarecrow," with its tale of a loss of a family farm and a family legacy. "Inishbofin" is remarkable as well.

And after all this, you get Rig The Jig's take on Mickey McConnell's "Supermarket Wine," which just plain makes me cry -- and that takes an awful lot.

Finding The Gold is just that -- golden. Fans of Celtic and folk music should -- no, must -- grab it as soon as they can.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2005 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Toucan Cove Entertainment, and is used for informational purposes only.