Jenny Newman, musician, teacher, performer, composer...

Reviews

 

 

Reviews for Red Moon by 3sticks
 

'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.'
Review from fROOTS - Jan / Feb 2005
 

'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’.
Andy Glass 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 Washington.
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’.
Three 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.'
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 talented artists.
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


'Toms Fiddle' features several excellent musicians. An exciting album with Jenny's fiddle outstanding. Definitely one to watch."
    The Living Tradition Magazine - Jan 2002

"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."
    UK Tours 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."
    (Folk Roots Magazine)

"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 Hemsley.

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 audience.

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 it."
    E-mail from Joe Crane of F'Roots

"Thank 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. Huge Thanks."
    Hazel Fairbairn - Horace X

"A really nice album ...a great piece of work!"
    Pete Cooper

"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'."
    Shire Folk

"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 Dance!'

"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 lot."
    Jack B. Nimble
    http://www.greenmanreview.com/

"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 along.
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 festival.
Catch her live if you can (website www.jennynewman.com for gig list).
So, buy the album and swank to your friends that you 'discovered' her before the masses did."
    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 pain.
Unfortunately, all too often I have endured the latter.
But to 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 smashed.
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 overly obtrusive.
To sum up, this album is a musical oasis in the desert of banality more commonly know as folk music.
Basically buy it and enjoy."
    Lee Scriven, Milton Keynes Citizen

© 2002 Jenny Newman