The Fables,
A Time
(Tidemark, 2000)

This CD almost ruined my plans.

After deciding to spend a recent vacation on the road, I loaded up my car with lots of CDs for review, to help pass the long hours in my car. But I mistakenly put A Time in the stereo early on the trip, and there it remained for the next several days.

Talk about a great album.

The Newfoundland-based band is D'Arcy Broderick (vocals, fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandola, bouzouki), Billy Sutton (vocals, button accordion, banjo, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, bodhran, acoustic guitar), Dave Fitzpatrick (vocals, drum, harmonica), Glenn Simmons (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars) and Clyde Wiseman (vocals, bass).

These talented men have packed a lot of quality and a great deal of variety into A Time, including a few traditional instrumental tracks and several excellent original songs.

It begins with "Down East Day," a homage of sorts to the grand musical tradition of Canada's East Coast. "Sure It's All the Same" is a fun drinking song for a binger who protests too much. "Dance, Dance, Dance" celebrates the region's joy of dancing.

And the good stuff just keeps going. "O'Brien" is the tale of an Irish lothario who brags to the wrong man about his latest conquest. "There" ponders the philosophy of the ocean's unceasing waves. "Buy Us a Drink" gives us a band who will sing anything as long as they're well lubricated.

There are also rousing versions of Andy M. Stewart's "Ramblin' Rover" and the traditional songs "As I Roved Out" and "The Rocky Road to Dublin."

All in all, A Time is an awesome package I can recommend highly. The only danger is, once it's in your stereo, you risk neglecting the rest of your music collection.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 25 May 2002

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