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Familiar Brew

Familiar Brew

  • By Brendan Nolan
  • Release 4/15/2003
  • Music Genre International
  • Media Format CD
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Price: $18.34

Product Notes

'This album has Nolan doing what he does best: singing sweet, dramatic and humorous songs in a rich baritone, as well as playing guitar and banjo. The arrangements are pretty and unobtrusive, letting the singer communicate the song. And that is the point, isn't it.' - Steve Winick, Dirty Linen Magazine, Baltimore, Maryland. Familiar Brew is Brendan's fourth album. 'The album was an opportunity to again interpret some of the songs he has added to his extensive repertoire over the years. Although he is also known as a song-writer he has sung a lot of traditional and contemporary material by other writers. This album contains both. The opening track 'Rattle For The Gypsy' is a song he has sung since the late 70's and always wanted to record . He is joined by multi-instrumentalist Bobby O'Donovan who tacks on an Irish traditional tune 'The Bird in the Tree,' at the end of the song. Bobby plays throughout the album and shines particularly on 'The Rollicking Boys of Tandragee' where he plays all the instruments except Udu. 'I was thinking of adding a guitar or bodhran part to the song but Bobby had done such a great job I felt it was perfect as it was.' Steve Winick noted in Dirty Linen Magazine that some of the songs were just a little unsettling, in a good way we expect. A couple of the tracks he was referring to were 'The Reel in the Flickering Light' and 'St. Brendan's Fair Isle'. The first song written by Colm Gallahger features that mischievous spider-like creature the Daddy Long Legs. He is front and center in this romp and a very comical character throughout. 'St.Brendan's Fair Isle' was written by the late Jimmy Driftwood who also wrote 'The Battle of New Orleans' and 'The Tennessee Stud'. Who knows where Jimmy, who hailed from Arkansas, found out about St. Brendan and his possible voyage to the New World long before Columbus. He must have read passages from the Navagatio which chronicles the voyage of St. Brendan. There are some wild stories in there and one tells of St. Brendan celebrating mass on the back of a whale. Jimmy picks up on this in the final verse of the song. It is said that Columbus himself consulted the writings in the Navagatio before setting sail on his voyage. The album features a great rendition of the tragic sea-song 'Donegal Danny', the story of a tramp who wanders into a bar and ends up telling his story to one of the patrons. His sad tale tells of how the sea took his friends near St. John's Point off the southern coast of Donegal and how he can never set sail again. It is one of the great ballads of the sea. There are a couple of lovely Scottish songs on the album; 'The Broom O'Cowdenknowes' is a song of longing for a love that cannot be mainly because of the class distinctions that existed at the time. There is a Robert Burns song 'Green Grow The Rashes', that Burns wrote in praise of women. 'This is the Bard at one with his music, far removed from the din of determined drinkers.' - Mo Elnuaimy, Hour Magazine, Montreal, Canada For more bio information on Brendan Nolan you can check the notes for his album 'Tempus Fugitive' or go to his we-site at


Artist: Brendan Nolan
Title: Familiar Brew
Genre: International
Release Date: 4/15/2003
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 620675126425