Eileen McGann's CD: Pocketful Of Rhymes
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    Eileen McGann's new CD:

    Pocketful of Rhymes

    pocketful CD


    Review by Robert Reid in Kitchener/Waterloo paper The Record

    Eileen McGann Pocketful of Rhymes (Dragonwing Music)

    Eileen McGann would be the first to admit Pocketful of Rhymes has been a long time coming. Nonetheless, her seventh solo studio album, which she co-produced with longtime collaborator David K, rewards the wait. Accompanying herself on guitar, McGann’s fresh, vibrant soprano has never sounded better. Joined by K on backup vocals, guitars, bass, bouzouki and mandolin and augmented by an acoustic ensemble and sextet of harmony vocalists, Pocketful of Rhymes offers a richly satisfying aural experience.

    But it’s the songwriting that makes the album special, not unlike the West Coast singer/songwriter’s previous releases. The baker’s dozen of traditional Celtic songs and originals explore love and romance, nature and spirituality, life and afterlife, self awareness and topical politics.

    Pocketful of Rhymes confirms McGann as one of Canada’s most accomplished contemporary folksingers whose embrace extends far beyond our national borders.

    October 10, 2010



Review by David Kidman in

Eileen McGann Pocketful of Rhymes (Dragonwing Music)

Eileen McGann - Pocketful Of Rhymes (Dragonwing Music)
On her latest (and seventh) CD, the ever-popular Irish-Canadian songstress presents a varied collection of songs that effortlessly showcases all the qualities that together characterize her own special musical character: literate and poetic writing with a strong melodic sense, allied to a beautiful singing voice and an authentic connection with the traditions of Celtic music.
As ever, in order to realise her personal vision, Eileen has the benefit of a small handful of fully supportive musical accompanists, headed by the multi-talented David K playing assorted stringed instruments (and damnably well too!). One key aspect of Eileen’s music-making that always greatly impresses is her versatility within the broad church of folk song. Here, ten of the disc’s thirteen tracks are Eileen’s own compositions; her songwriting ranges from the uplifting (Rushing River and the closing lullaby-mantra All Shall Be Well) to the gently introspective (Ferry Me Home and the title track), via a catchy gospel-style chorus song (When I Go) and a brace of sensitive songs of political conscience (The Evening News and How Many Wars?), with the occasional glimpse into the world of contemporary Celtic legend (the playfully ominous Song Of The Ferrishyn, which is based on a Manx lyric source) and a “freshly-fallen” shovelling-up of Eileen’s 1994 parody Snow Shanty. The traditional items include a three-part-harmonised acappella version of the Irish love song I Wish My Love and a better-than-decent account of the murder ballad Bonnie Banks Of Fordie. It’s as impossible to fault this enchanting disc as it is to find anything lacking in Eileen’s armoury; her interpretations are invariably keen and expressive, well focused and committed, qualities that are entirely consistent with her songwriting talent.

-David Kidman October 2011


Eileen McGann -Pocketful of Rhymes (2010)

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