Reviews for Red Moon by
'Versatile fiddle Jenny Newman, guitarist Andy Glass and
drummer Pete Hemsley strut their stuff on a collection of tunes
with cohesively integrated influences & rhythms ranging from folk to
jazz, military and samba. Dynamic, passionate and full-bloodies,
this is an impressive and genuinely refreshing release.'
'Every now and then a CD drops through the door for review which
proves to be a breath of fresh air - and this is just one such. For a
start it wasn’t obvious if it was 3sticks by red moon or the other way
round ! Luckily a useful press release cleared this up, with more info
on their web site.
I’d heard of Jenny Newman through her work with Rock Salt and Nails.
Her fiddle playing is a joy to listen to -
totally uncluttered and honest, showing an excellent range and
ability, whilst sympathetic to the material she is playing. She is
quite a prolific writer, but there is a balanced mix of her material
and more traditional tracks on ‘Red Moon’.
is a stunning guitarist - listen to ‘Jazz’ co-written with
drummer/percussionist Pete Hemsley - who is able to provide
sympathetic support on one track before taking over lead on the next.
Incidentally one of his claims to fame is to have provided lead
guitar to the likes of Bill withers, The Temptations and Geno
The line up is completed by
drummer/percussionist Pete Hemsley. Again he is much in demand and it
is clear to see why. Mostly happy to be in the background, he is
allowed to come to the front - I like his solo on ‘African Reels’.
excellent musicians come together in 3Sticks. Red Moon is a smashing
album full of good honest music.
There’s none of this ‘look how clever we are’ which in my opinion
spoils some more modern CDs. This is totally honest in its message and
deserves plenty of exposure.
Thanks Pete, Jenny and Andy. I have
really enjoyed this - hopefully others will also.'
Review from fROOTS - Jan / Feb 2005
The Living Tradition
'This CD is a fine example of 'the whole exceeding the sum of the
parts'. The individual musicians display a nicely judged, restrained
stylistic sense - elegant and passionate at the same time - but it's the
ensemble as a whole - the sense of musical communication and closeness -
that demonstrates the true genius of the band. Everything fits, and fits
beautifully: rhythms are tight, harmonies secure, and there's a tonal
clarity that, at times, is quite spine-tingling.
Overall a beautiful album, and an essential for any good collection.
Extract from a review by Jill Fisher - Fiddleon Magazine
'Here we have an exciting and varied album from Jenny Newman on
fiddle/viola, Andy Glass on guitars/bouzouki and Pete Hemsley on
percussion, collectively known as
3sticks. All three are
experienced musicians particularly Jenny who teaches fiddle in the Milton
Keynes area and Andy who teaches guitar and accompaniment also around
Milton Keynes. So you can expect this CD to be good - and good it is.
There are thirteen tracks on the album, some written by the band members,
some are traditional including the fabulous 'Mouth of the
Tobique' , others are written by other contemporary composers such as Jon
Swayne's 'Motorway Mazurka' - a terrible title for such a beautiful tune.
There are lilting hornpipes, exciting jigs and reels, along with some slow
and haunting tunes. There's even an out-and-out jazz piece that slips
effortlessly into the classic Irish jig 'The Geese in the Bog'.
But the thing that makes this album so enjoyable for me, are the fabulous
rhythms and interesting arrangements that back Jenny's sweet sounding
fiddle playing. This album shows
3sticks off as a tight, skilful and imaginative band.
This is not your average fiddle album, this is and exciting varied and
hugely enjoyable recording.
Look out for this one.'
Jed Mugford - Shire Folk
'I first became aware of 3sticks when there was some controversy on
a certain website as to whether they were a dance band or not. The jury
might still be out on that one, but on the evidence of these sets they're
damn fine musicians and I'm sure they could be if they choose.
Red Moon features a mixture of both traditionally arranged and self-penned
sets, mostly celtic or celtic inspired. I'm never sure which camp
French-Canadian falls into, but on the evidence of a storming Caribou Reel
/ Mouth of the Tobuique, I don't really care.
What struck me most about this CD was the tasteful percussion; essential
when the two other components are guitar and fiddle. Both full kit and
hand held are used to tremendous effect. The guitar playing edges towards
the jazzy end of the spectrum; lots of numbers after the chords I
suspect...9, 7, 13 aug... you know the sort of thing. And way up the dusty
end. The fiddle playing is excellent. (I think they might have once been
called 'Jenny's Chicken's', but a glance at the website should tell you
all you need to know on that score.)
Favourite tracks are the aforementioned French Canadian set, a storming
Johnny Cope, and Bruckless Shore / McSweeneys, paired as Hand Jigs due to
Pete the drummer playing the drum kit with his hands. (On first glancing
at the booklet notes I misread that as Arthur Daly's.. there's a name for
a tune!) There's also John Swayne's Motorway Mazurka played as a waltz,
and very neatly played too.'
Shreds and Patches
Your music is WONDERFUL! Each CD better than
the last. You and
3sticks are incredibly
As for me I'm a fourth generation American. Perhaps there is a little
genetics in why I find your music so compelling, but I think the larger
part is your industry and talent.
thanks you so much for bringing a little piece of heaven into my life!'
Your biggest U.S. Fan - R Mc
Fiddle' features several excellent musicians. An exciting album with
Jenny's fiddle outstanding. Definitely one to
The Living Tradition Magazine -
"Jenny Newman has just released a new fiddle
album.It's a mix of solid traditional playing in the Donegal style, with
some eclectic world music drummimg and a final track that is straight from
the Ronan Hardiman top drawer."
Page - Irish Music Magazine
"Jenny Newman is a spirited and
nifty fiddler who has put together a lively selection of tunes from the
Donegal tradition interspersed with some of her own compositions. A
richly textured and well thought out production and of much interest to
those who enjoy fiddling."
"The last time I reviewed a
Jenny Newman album (Tom's Fiddle), I said go buy the album and swank to
your friends that you 'discovered' her before the masses did. I also
mentioned a second album in the offing, and here she's back for another
session on the fiddle, once again with the inspired guitar and bouzouki of
Andy Glass and ably abetted by the drums and percussion of Pete
Some beautiful fiddle playing with a
class line in support from Andy and Pete, I'd say this draws on a broader
sphere of influence which might make it accessible to a wider
The album comprises 11 sets of tunes
with a total running time of some 42 minutes of simply exquisite music.
The offering is an interesting mix of traditional and self-penned, with
influences from Donegal to France. The trad tunes seem to have taken on a
new life, the classical training of Jenny wonderfully counterbalanced by
more comtemporary cultural infusions of guitar and percussion. From the
cracking set of reels 'Jackson's/Devils' Dream/Farewell to Milltown' via
marches, jigs, bourees and slip jigs to the agonisingly beautiful slow air
'St. Patrick's Day', this is an album of delights.
As with the first album we have a sleeve worthy of mention, with a set of background notes to each track and a 'lifestyle' photo section in the centre. Once again the Glasshouse studio has done Jenny proud, real studio time leading to production values most folk albums can only dream of."
(Fiddle on magazine)
"I wanted to let you
know that I enjoyed your album very much. I thought the playing was mighty
and I liked the way you got different tones and blends so it was always
interesting to the ear. Most of all I liked the traditional tunes. I think
newly composed tunes take a bit of getting used to, yet it's vital to keep
composing - keep it up. It's a grand album and you can be very proud of
E-mail from Joe Crane of
you for sending your CD - It's beautiful!
I Listened to it this afternoon and loved it. It put me in a fantastic
mood and I know I'm going to play it over & over again. I needed some
entirely uplifting new fiddle music to inspire me and you've provided it.
Hazel Fairbairn - Horace
"A really nice album ...a great piece of work!"
"This is a lively instrumental album based mainly
around Jenny's very skilful fiddle playing...she has a controlled and
measured style which demonstrates a full grasp of the Irish/Scottish
traditions on which these selections are mostly based. The album avoids
the tendency to present too much of the fast and furious and there are
some beautiful slower sets, such as the waltzes 'James McGinley's/Marmite
Jenny', the mixed bag 'Welkin Blue/Fagan's Favour/Lost in Carrick' and the
title tune 'Toms Fiddle'."
"You're comfortably ensconced in the corner of a pub,
next to the log fire, with a drink conveniently to hand. The door opens
and in comes a girl with a fiddle. She plays a couple of tunes and is
joined by another with a guitar. Pretty soon a session is in progress and
you leave at the end of the evening with a sense of having had a really
great evening, you hadn't planned it, things just turn out like that
sometimes. This album is like one of those evenings, capturing the spirit
of a world we ordinary mortals get to glimpse at occasionally."
British Heritage Magazine
Extracts from a review of a group of CD's which
includes Michael McGoldrick's latest offering. The full review can be
found on www.greenmanreview.com/ontheborder.html
under the title 'Dancing with Bears - CDs to Make You
"Jenny Newman's Toms Fiddle is a sheer delight from an
artist that deserves to be as well known as Michael McGoldrick even if she
currently isn't! Of Course anything that has English Piper Jon Swayne on
it must be excellent!.......This is a lively instrumental album based
around Jenny's very skilful fiddle playing which belies her age as it
seems like that of a more experienced player! One suspects a bit of the
sidhe blood in here as she plays like a fairy fiddler performing for the
Lady and Her Court at Midsummers Eve! You must listen to her playing to
see how bloody good she is, so go here for very high quality cuts off Toms
Fiddle including the title track, a slow reel.
Musically this album
reminds me of a very good contradance band in that this is dance music
first and foremost.......47 minutes of truly superb music. A few of the
tunes are traditional, others are self penned, but sound traditional. Me
thought is that most of these will be making an appearance in the
repertoire of other fiddlers. Certainly Danse Macabre (the reviewers own
band) will be adding many of these to its set list!
.....You can't go
wrong with any of these CDs, but I'd single out at first light and Toms
Fiddle as being the best of a very good
"I have muttered about the approach of this debut
fiddle album from Jenny Newman for some time. It's here, was it worth the
wait? To save those of you on a deadline from reading the rest of the
review, Yes! Some truly beautiful fiddle playing and the album just floats
The album comprises 10 tracks (sets really, since there's
usually a couple of tunes on each track) running to some 47 minutes of
truly exquisite music. Some of the tunes are traditional, others are self
penned, although very much in the traditional idiom, and I fully expect to
see some of them making an appearance in the 'sets' of other fiddlers. The
sleeve itself is worthy of mention, well produced with interesting (and
amusing) background information to each track.
Very high production
values abound, clear evidence of real studio time here, unlike most folk
albums where costs are usually cut to the bone. The Glasshouse studio has
done Jenny proud.
Most of the tracks feature Mark Maguire of Deaf
Shepherd on Bodhran and the very excellent guitar work from Andy Glass (ex
Solstice), with occasional incursions from Jon Swayne (co-founder
Blowzabella) on Border pipes and Chris Walshaw on French pipes. An
honourable mention must also go to Jenny's mother who plays Cello on
Pinnochio's Waltz, a piece that Jenny wrote for a touring production of
Pinnochio, recently aired on BBC radio and this year's Sidmouth
Catch her live if you can (website www.jennynewman.com for
So, buy the album and swank to your friends that you
'discovered' her before the masses
Traditional Music Maker
Here's one review from the Milton Keynes Citizen
which may well cause offence to some readers!
"Can a fiddle have
soul? Now, if you had asked me that question before I listened to Jenny
Newman's Tom's Fiddle, the answer would have been full of unprintable
expletives, bellows of sarcastic laughter ending with a flippant reply -
'Can Thora Hird rock mate?'
Along with the bagpipe, the fiddle or
perhaps I should say the violin, possesses the ability, if played sweetly,
to stir emotion.
If it is played badly, it can cause considerable
Unfortunately, all too often I have endured the latter.
my relief, Jenny's tenderness to caress the fiddle to unknown musical
territory creates compulsive listening.
Not since Folk on the Green
discovered Pot Noodles has traditional folk tribalism been so appealingly
Imaginative and invigorating, Jenny breezes through the album
with cultured conviction.
The backing of Andy Glass' distinctive
guitars and others like Mark Maguire, Jon Swayne, Chris Walshaw and
Kathleen Newman also cleverly enhance the emotive fiddler without being
To sum up, this album is a musical oasis in the
desert of banality more commonly know as folk music.
Basically buy it
Lee Scriven, Milton Keynes