Buttered Side Down

By 5 Second Rule

Two comments

"Eclecti-Celtic music"

5 Second Rule is a relatively new band from Dallas, Texas, whom I’m good friends with 3 of the members…

I’d say they definitely live up to "eclecti-celtic", but they’re all excellent trad musicians as well. They put on an excellent show, and they’re great people to boot!

I suppose if you’re of the more purist mind, some of the sets on this album might not be for you (Such as putting a Beatles’ song in the middle of a jig and reel, etc.)
But, if you’re a fan of some of the more contemporary groups out there, I think you’d like this. Some great self-composed tunes and songs as well, it’s well worth the money I spent!

5 Second Rule - Buttered Side Down

2010 album.

Available on iTunes, at CDBaby, and on Bandcamp:

On the album:
- Mike Tidwell (guitar/bouzouki)
- Paul Dryer (mandolin/guitar/harmonica)
- David Lovrien (whistles/saxophone/keyboards)
- Michelle Feldman (fiddle)
- Rick Holt (drums/bodhran/djembe/percussion)

From the CDBaby & Bandcamp liner notes:

- Track 1, Shetland Pony / Robertson’s / Paddy Fahey’s (Reels)
Michelle wrote “Shetland Pony” after falling in love with Shetland music in the 1980’s. The tune is really misnamed though, because Shetland ponies aren’t fast or jolly like this melody - they’re slow and mean and only want to run you into barbed wire fences, scrape you off on tree limbs and bite you when you feed them. The second tune is Robertson’s, by legendary Shetland fiddler Tom Anderson (1910-1991). We finish up the set with a sax-driven version of Paddy Fahey’s.

- Track 2, Cast Your Fate To The Wind / Our Way Was Hard / Johnny I Do Miss You
This was the first of our “Irish sandwiches” – medleys of Irish tunes sprinkled with non-Celtic stuff. This one starts with Vince Guaraldi’s classic Cast Your Fate To The Wind, followed by an original jig by Michelle. She says it was originally written as a "token ring" song (although we’re pretty sure she is not an authority on network protocols). The lyrics were too much so she ditched them. The jig gets progressively jazzier treatments until we find ourselves back into the first tune again. We pick up a bit of energy and finish off with a rockin’ rendition of the polka tune Johnny I Do Miss You.

- Track 3, Fermoso Universo / Emergency Pants / Prata Paxaro (Jigs/Reel)
We discovered early on that we were all crazy about Celtic music from Galicia and Asturias with its unique energy. Mike set out to write an “Asturian-sounding” bouzouki tune and brought us the first half of Fermoso Universo (Beautiful Universe). David added melodies for the 2nd and 3rd parts and then tacked on a new tune of his own that he (inexplicably) calls Emergency Pants. Rick felt the set should end with a reel so he wrote a driving tune called Prata Paxaro (Silver Bird). Asturian-inspired music written by a bunch of transplanted Texans? Yes, but it sure is fun to play!

- Track 4, Whelan’s / I’ve Just Seen A Face / Hare’s Paw
Another Irish sandwich – a catchy Beatles tune sandwiched between a jig and a reel.

- Track 5, Hold On
Mike wrote this Irish-sounding lament while living in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains in California. The muse struck during a heavy snow storm and Hold On was born!

- Track 6, Bolen’s Fancy / Pipe on the Hob / Devlin’s (Jigs)
Paul brought Bolen’s Fancy to us. There are many variations of this old tune floating around (in both major and minor keys); we like this quirky version by the band Touchstone. The second tune is known around these parts as "the other Pipe on the Hob" to avoid confusing it with the one in D that seems more popular these days. As we were looking for a nice finish to the set, Michelle’s fiddle student Janice Adams kindly introduced her to Devlin’s.

- Track 7, Gracie’s Waltz
David originally wrote this tune to fit into an arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “Farewell Angelina” we worked out. It is named for his lovely wife Grace (who often runs sound for us). He added lyrics for this recording as a special love letter to her.

- Track 8, Man of Constant Sorrow
Although our version is clearly based on Dan Tyminsky’s rendition from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Mike’s driving guitar style and aggressive approach bring something fresh and a little bit funky. Add some djembe, harmonica and sax and you have, well, whatever it is you have here.

- Track 9, My Cup of Stars
Michelle wrote these lyrics as a sonnet for a college English class and later added a melody. By the time David added some distinctive chords and Paul set up a groovy Latin-jazz feeling, it was nearly indistinguishable from the original. The result is the last thing you’d expect to hear a Celtic band play - which makes us love it even more.

- Track 10, Fraher’s / The Humours of Ballyloughlin / Christmas Eve (Jigs/Reel)
Tunes written for bagpipes often sound "pipey" no matter what instrument they’re played on. We chose two wonderful piping jigs for this set - Fraher’s and The Humours of Ballyloughlin, which Michelle learned from her truly awesome fiddle workshop instructor, Dale Russ, almost thirty years ago. We wrap it up with the happy old chestnut Christmas Eve.