CRAICMORE, "too bad for heaven, too good for hell..."
Celtic quartet Craicmore's latest CD is a rich, absorbing listening experience from the get-go, anchored by John MacAdams' driving guitar and Nancy Johnstons' lovely, deep alto voice. The band's beautiful arrangements and sensitive interplay, and MacAdams' innovative production combine to create and album that's as contemporary as it is timeless.
SING OUT! Magazine Summer 2002 - vol. 46 #2
"Craicmore [has] an ear for tight arrangements. Wonderfully harmonious Gaelic vocals, both Scots and Irish versions, and crisp instrumentals sets. Lead singer Nancy Johnston has a velvety voice used to great effect on the propulsive Scottish waulking song 'Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn,' 'Si Do Mhameo I,' and on a new setting of Robert Burns' 'The De'ils Awa' wi' th' Exciseman.'..."
Dirty Linen - June/July, 2002, #100
"Craicmore returns with the intriguingly titled Too Bad for Heaven, Too Good for Hell with Nancy Johnston's impressively calm vocals leading the pack, Craicmore mixes Irish and Scots traditional songs and tunes with American contemporary folk elements. [This CD] finds a band creating their own identity - the results are impressive."
c.John O'Regan "Radio Limerick"
"Celtic music that touches the heart, mind, and soul. Drawing on Scottish and Irish roots, Craicmore (Irish for 'Great Fun') enriches the tradition of joyful Celtic music."
Flagstaff LIVE - Arts & Entertainment Weekly - April 2002, vol.8, issue 15
"delightful, I love this music... beautiful arrangement(s)" LIVE on air, Feb. 8, 2002, with:
Sérgio Mielniczenko HOST - Global Village KPFK-FM, Los Angeles, CA
Craicmore, the West Coast contemporary traditional Celtic band's release of "too bad for heaven, too good for hell...." is a devilish mix of jigs and reels, Scots and Irish songs and haunting melodies, the CD provides an irresistible showcase for the seductive vocals, driving rhythms and adventuresome arrangements that have earned this L.A.- based foursome an ever-growing following of fans.
Craicmore -- Nancy Johnston (vocals, bodhran, percussion), John MacAdams (guitar, percussion, vocals), Pat Collins (tin whistles, Irish fiddle) and Dave Soyars (electric bass, vocals) along with many fine guest artists -- came together after a series of chance meetings at L.A.'s Celtic Arts Center's legendary Monday night seisiun. In the six years since, the group has won encores performing for enthusiastic audiences at fairs, Irish Festivals, Highland Game gatherings, in pubs and clubs and concerts throughout the Western United States.
Too Bad For Heaven, Too Good For Hell is the group's second CD. Produced by MacAdams, the 12 tracks are proof positive that Craicmore is a group that's not only willing to take chances, but that combines musical versatility with musical expertise and, maybe most importantly, plays for the sheer joy of playing.
Among the selections are favorites such as "The Mooncoin Jig," "Kid on the Mountain," "Banish Misfortune," and "The Bucks of Oranmore." MacAdams treats listeners to a bit of his own wide-ranging musical interests on the intriguingly textured "Didgeridoo/Curlew." Mated with "The Wind That Shakes," the familiar "I'll Tell Me Ma" is a musical romp through Irish, country and bluegrass traditions. In the opening track, a more mature relationship is explored in "Sí Do Mhameo Í," the band's wry eye underscored by Johnston's and MacAdams' vocals and an arrangement that captures the song's rhythms through cello, clackers, guitar and electric bass. Johnston's rich, smoky vocals are featured on Robbie Burns' "Brose and Butter" and The De'il's Awa' wi' th' Exciseman" and the Scots Gaelic "Seallaibh Curaigh Eoghainn." But the album's centerpiece is "Cape Clear Set." A celebration of notes that takes the listener through "Cape Clear" and "Morrison's Jig" to "Gi'e Me A Lass Wi' a Lump o' Land" and concludes with "High Road to Linton" and "Atholl Highlanders," the set is, says the band, "the heart and soul of our sound."