june 2009
beyond

haggisENTER THE HAGGIS, Gutter Anthems— Celtic rock emanating from a Canadian base, the music advanced by the quintet calling itself Enter the Haggis bears some slight spiritual kinship to the Pogues' sense of the muck and mire (note the album title) and embraces the rock punch of those wild and crazy Dropkick Murpheys fellows. Those are touchstones, but Enter the Haggis is otherwise its own entity with a singular approach to Celtic music.

jakeJAKE SHIMABUKURO, Live— Unlike some other vaunted, supposed practitioners of the ukulele (read Nellie McKay strumming rudimentary chords to silly songs), Jake Shimabukuro keeps finding new avenues of exploration in the instrument's textural and sonic possibilities, an approach dramatically illustrated by the virtuosity and soul on display in his new assembling of 20 live performances.

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