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Uncertain Wonders
Uncertain Wonders
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Rise
Title: Uncertain Wonders
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Artist One-Stop
Release Date: 11/4/2003
Genres: Folk, Pop
Style: Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 783707701127

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CD Reviews

A compelling performance wrought with emotional impact
J. Ross | Roseburg, OR USA | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Playing Time - 64:06 -- Rise's music is best described as highly-arranged Celtic folk rock.. The quartet hails from Scotland, specifically the Isle of Bute, a beautiful island about 15 miles long and 5 miles wide off the west coast of southern Scotland. "Uncertain Wonders" gives us a tightly crafted, innovative mix of traditional and contemporary songs mixed with haunting vocals and striking guitars, keyboards, bass and drums. Elaine McCombe is Rise's bass player, and she is a past member of the Glasgow-based all-woman folk group Tullibardine. Percussionist Kris Manvell lays down a solid rhythmic groove and has played in many punk and rock bands in the U.K. Debbie Dawson's voice is immediately appealing, and her passionate crooning is inspirational. Gerry Geoghegan is an eclectic musician who has clearly been influenced by rock, folk and blues. One of Debbie and Gerry's two duets, "Time and Tide," illustrates how Rise blends tradition with their own individuality. The song's verses were adapted from a song from George Petrie, the chorus was suggested by Robbie Burns, the melody is traditional yet it includes passages adapted from Led Zeppelin.

Rise's creative artistry is built around a framework of freeing their own muse. The approach allows for personal expression without belittling the very traditions that they're stretching. Bands should take note of this successful and impressive debut effort. They've done it right and prove that it can be a very rewarding exercise. To reinvent tradition, I suspect that the members of Rise have lived and breathed tradition itself by knowing the music, respecting it, and appreciating the natural graces and flowing rhythms of Celtic and folk music. With this understanding of where their traditional music has come from, Rise has then incorporated their own life experiences and created a signature sound. The musicians' fingerprints convey joy, sorrow, and even some occasional humor.

Ten of the songs on "Uncertain Wonders" are originals. The album's opener, "Buffalo Song" is a tale of the Native Americans and their spiritual relationship with the land and its resources. "Thinking About You" and `I Wonder Why" have a country-like feeling that some famous Nashville group could potentially cover and rearrange with fiddle and resonator guitar. "True Love's Eyes" is a beautiful melodic ballad which Rise enhances with sax and chimes. "It Doesn't Matter" provides some simple optimistic advice for humanity. "Cold Glencoe" is yet another song that recalls the 1692 massacre at Glencoe. I often wish that the Scots would find other significant historical events to sing about.

Rise does a nice job with their covers of John Lennon's "Imagine," Paul Buchanan's "Saturday Night," and their interpretations of the classic "Loch Lomond" and "Wild Mountain Thyme." Despite their synthesized instrumentation, I must admit that I miss some of the aural delights that can be imparted with bouyant fiddle, pennywhistle and even some subdued bagpipes. And I wish their 24-page CD booklet would have included at least one group photo of the band.

All in all, their impressionistic songs are memorable, and "Uncertain Wonders" is a perfect showcase for Rise's earthier side. Their music conveys an understanding of the bond between land and soul. Their compelling performance is one wrought with emotional impact and virtuosity. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)