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Judith Weikle: Press

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June, 1st, 2005 page 23
Judith Weikle
‘Pirates, Poets
and Patriots’
One reason Celtic music is so popular is because it is so powerfully evocative. One strum of the harp, one toot of the whistle is enough to transport a listener back to the Emerald Island – even if he’s never been there in the first place. Jackson Hole resident Judith Weikle’s debut CD, “Pirates, Poets and Patriots,” certainly succeeds in that department. The 10-track, 41-minute project – recorded and mixed at Annex Recording in Draper, Utah – is an instant vacation to the land of leprechauns and James Joyce. Weikle has a strong and haunting voice, and she has assembled a crack squad of like-minded Eire-philes. In particular, Kate MacLeod’s fiddle sounds like something right out of the pub, and Gael Shults plays a mean bodhran and hammered dulcimer. When I think of Celtic music, I generally think of drunkenly joyous jigs or heartwrenching tales of suffering, loss and separation. Weikle and company lean toward the latter in this set, with a lovely but almost dirge-like “Lament for Norman MacLeod,” a meditative “Blackbird of Sweet Avondale” and a version of the traditional“Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” that brings to mind the soundtrack from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” more than “The Secret of Roan Inish.” “Farewell to Tarwathie,” “Kilcash” and “Bonnie Portmore” are only slightly less sad but they are songs of deep yearning
written on tear-stained parchment and engineered to stimulate the lachrymal glands. “Wine of the Gauls” and “Man of the House,” recorded as a short medley, are the most upbeat tracks of the lot, but they have the mad glint of an Irishman deep in his cups. It all adds up to a deeply felt recording, one that bears the evidence of Weikle’s great respect and careful research. If you’re not feeling up to feeling down, you might think twice about putting this disc on, because it’ll have you weeping in your beer, missing your poor, dear mum, and pining for Tipperary in no time. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
— Richard Anderson
moremusic by Brian Granse PLANET JACKSON HOLE 3/15/06
Library celebrates Irish heritage with song Friday
“Live Irish”
Friday @ 7:30 p.m.
Teton County Library
Ordway Auditorium
No need to book a flight to Dublin for a genuine Celtic experience this St.Patrick’s Day. Experience it right here in Jackson Hole when the Teton County Library presents “Live Irish,”featuring our own Judith Weikle and Strings Attached. The free one-hour concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the library’s Ordway Auditorium and is open to all ages. The concert will include a wide variety of Celtic jigs, ballads and laments. Strings Attached – consisting of Shelley Rubrecht on violin, Deb Carpenter on classical guitar, Liz McCorquodale on acoustic guitar, Karen O’Connor on flute, Patty Marshall on bass and Doug Stark on percussion – will weave the musical spell over which vocalist Weikle will sing. Though Strings Attached was formed in 2001, some of the musicians in the band have performed together often over the past 20 years. The band’s instruments are contemporary, but the performance will include a chance to hear a centurie sold Irish drum called the bodhran. Weikle’s fascination with her Irish heritage led her to pursue a Masters degree in Celtic studies at Prescott College, where she studied the Gaelic language, Celtic anthropology, Celtic music and pretty much anything else
that offered a glimpse into the ancient culture. Celtic music first appealed to her because of its attractive melodies. “It speaks to me,” she said. “The mysticism is intriguing.”Today she teaches a Celtic music appreciation course through Central Wyoming College and specializes in Irish female laments. The Irish lament is traditionally written when someone passes away. Weikle described the “haunting melodies” as a “sad, woeful song of longing.” “It feels comfortable with my voice,” she said, which she considers to be the result of her Irish-Scottish heritage. Making full use of her education, Weikle will break up the music with stories behind the songs for what she
called a “narrative concert.” Her main purpose behind her studies has been to “inform her music,” she said. In addition to the Irish concert, Teton County Library has set aside a collection of contemporary Irish authors that attendees are encouraged to browse through.