One Last Cold Kiss
(Jackalope, 2003)

One Last Cold Kiss is the third release from Greenhouse, a California-based band that plays some excellent Celtic folk music.

They open with a lovely story song with a moral from the pen of Richard Thompson called "Pharaoh." "The Dark Eyed Sailor" is a typical song of love that has roots in almost every tradition. Greenhouse gives it a definitive sound and it is a joy to listen to.

Patricia Casey has a voice that is very well suited to the traditional song "Suil A Ruin," a song that has featured in the repertoire of a thousand performers but feels very much at home here.

Beware, not all traditional sounding songs are ancient. I congratulate Greenhouse on choosing to perform the wonderful "Captain Jack & the Mermaid" from the pen of Meg Davis. Here is a lovely song, well written in a style that sounds just right.

But they can also take the true traditional song as well and make it sound very comfortable in the 21st century. This is particularly true of "Geordie." I loved their arrangement.

Another great traditional song that has been neglected in recent years gets the Greenhouse treatment to good effect as we hear that lovely story of murder and corn to its ultimate product on "John Barleycorn." The slightly slower rendition suits the tale. "Solveig" is a lesser-known song but is a powerful story of the female highwayman.

Well-known standards such as "I Know My Love" and "My Lagan Love" are also included. "The Rose among the Heather" is a combination of a jig and reel and shows the band as accomplished players. The album closes with a beautiful combination of "The Host of the Air" and "The Burning of the Pipers Hut."

Greenhouse may live in the sunny land of California but their music is steeped in the mist-covered mountains of the Celtic dreamlands.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 22 May 2004

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