Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|A Scottish Christmas Featuring Bonnie Rideout|
Actors: Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone, Tony Cuffe
Genres: Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts
Great music; Visually disappointing
Currer Bell | CA United States | 01/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, let me say that the music portion of this DVD is wonderful. The musicians are all very capable. The spectrum is covered, from hammer dulcimer to drums and bagpipes and also acoustic guitar, etc. Others have listed the songs featured. I wish to approach this not as one who was at the live concert or who participated in the concert, but as someone coming to this product totally out of the blue.The average consumer may well feel, as I did, that as a DVD this is lacking. Not musically, but visually. The performance was indeed taped live; however even for live concerts there are often standards. Such as, there were no cameras on the stage it seems; all the shots are from far away. As one who's worked in film and television, I see this as a crucial element which is missing. Also, as the average viewer, never to have a closeup shot (past medium close; i.e. head to waist) means that there is a lack of visual interest.The stage is mostly a black background, until near the end, when there are beautiful Christmas lights gleaming. That may have provided a wonderful ending for the live concert, but on 'tape' something more is needed to capture the viewer, from the word go. My husband and I settled in to watch this dvd and he quickly fell asleep, to be honest. The music, again, is soothing, especially the hammer dulcimer, which was awesome. The singer was also great. I can't stress enough, though, that if the product is marketed in a visual medium, you need visual stimuli.To be honest, I thought this product was going to include scenes of a Scottish Christmas ! Or Scotland in winter, or snowy scenes, or horse and carriage rides; or bagpipers marching; or *something*. Not a mostly-dark stage (and our tv picture is crystal clear, so it's not our picture tube) and mostly far-away shots of people standing and singing/playing. Plus, it was taped on a theater stage in the United States. They did have two Scottish dancers; I have to say that the ones at our wedding were much better than these, and ours were still students ! The male dancer was fine, but the female dancer seemed, well, tired at best. I'm sorry, I wish I could be more hearty in my recommendation. The truth is I was disappointed. Perhaps if I'd seen it live, or was part of the team as others here apparently were, those warm memories would bowl me over while I watched the DVD. However most people buying this are not.I can heartily recommend it as background music for a party, for instance; the musicians are all very good. But to sit still and watch it... I'm afraid my husband has the final word on that one: Zzzzzz."
Hammered Dulcimer performer comments
Ms. Sansone | washington d.c. | 09/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As one of the performers on this project and also active from the record label side of things (maggiesmusic.com) in working with BMG, I wanted to give a performer's perspective on the exciting process of creating this DVD- a first time DVD of this quality and praised as the world's first! DVD of a Scottish Christmas! It did capture the live concert presented at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township, MI. and it's performances of traditional Scottish carols, familiar Christmas carols and songs, and Highland music and dance for the celebration of Christmas and all things Scottish in a most beautiful and performance hall with stunning lights to augment the festive occasion. It featured BONNIE RIDEOUT, Scottish fiddle and with TONY CUFFE guitar, vocals;JERRY O'SULLIVAN, Uilleann pipes, Scottish small-pipes, pennywhistle ;PADDY LEAGUE, bodhran ;MAGGIE SANSONE, Hammered dulcimer;The City of Washington Pipe Band ;ROBERT MCOWEN, Highland dancer ;JEN SCHOONOVER, Highland dancer . The centerpiece of the show is Scottish fiddle champion- Bonnie Rideout who blends the traditional sounds of her Scottish fiddle with bagpipes, guitar, hammered dulcimer, pennywhistle, Uilleann pipes, Scottish small-pipes and percussion and with vocals-Scottish and Christmas songs and two Highland dancers. The show follows on the heels of popular CD -A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS, which featured on CBS TV "Sunday Morning," and on National Public Padio's "Performance Today." Bonnie, as producer created a show that is visually and musically exciting and at the end of every show the audiences rise to their feet, arms linked, to sing Auld Lang Syne with the performers on stage. All the music, chosen by music director, Bonnie Rideout was presented to us with our freedom to arrange and interpret the music and bringing out the unique qualities of the specific instruments we specialized in. The hammered dulcimer was a nice addition on this program in Michigan. It brings a bright sparkling Christmasey sound that blended with the other instruments well tunes such as Greensleaves, Rorate and Angels We Have Heard On High. The history of the show is interesting as BMG was looking for new Christmas product and it was a case of perfect timing when our record label Maggie's Music, suggested A Scottish Christmas featuring Bonnie Rideout. A unique partnership was born between BMG- one of the world's largest music entertainment companies and Maggie's Music - an independent label known for its Celtic and Christmas recordings and featuring Scottish music by Bonnie Rideout.With a Herculean effort, amazing short amount of time and immense preparation on everybody's part, we all converged on the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, a site picked by Bonnie Rideout who has performed their before.The production involved executive producer Ed Osborne from BMG; Michael Micardi from Eagle Vision who filmed, engineered and produced the DVD; artistic director and star performer Bonnie Rideout as well as myself representing the label side of things. It was especially thrilling to have members of the THE CITY OF WASHINGTON PIPE BAND and TONY CUFFE participating in this event. The City of Washington Pipe Band has been one of the finest pipe bands in North America for over 30 years. In August of 1999, the band won First Place in the World Pipe Band Championships and the World Drum Corps Championships for Grade 2 in Glasgow, Scotland and was promoted by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association to Grade 1-one of only two American bands in the premier rank. Bonnie began collaborating with the band in 1997 and produced and performed on their debut album, Scottish Rant. TONY CUFFE is one of the best known and loved Scottish folk singers who, sadly, died last year. This DVD is an amazing tribute to Tony Cuffe's immense vocal and guitat talent. The DVD is all it says it is: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and Stereo mixes; Two feature documentaries, Full audio commentary track by Bonnie Rideout and Ed Osborne, Artist Biographies, Discography, Instant Song Access, Full Motion Interactive menus and its 77 minutes long. It's also available on video too!"
A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS PARADISE
A. Goss | MI | 11/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FROM BEGINING TO END THIS DVD IS PURE PLEASURE!THE AUDIO QUALITY IS TOP NOTCH AND THE VISUALS ARE AMAZING. NOT ONLY DO WE SEE THE TALENTS OF BONNIE RIDEOUT AND MAGGIE SANSONE, BUT THE GREAT GUITAR AND WONDERFUL SCOTTISH VOICE OF TONY CUFFE. THE CITY OF WASHINGTON PIPE BAND HAVE TO BE SEEN TO GET THE FULL PICTURE OF THEIR TALENT. ADD THE BAGPIPES OF JERRY O'SULLIVAN AND THE DRUMS AND BOHRAN OF PADDY LEAGUE AND YOU'VE GOT A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS DVD TO ENJOY FOR YEARS TO COME. BONNIE RIDEOUT ON FIDDLE HAS A TRULY DYNAMIC STAGE PRESENCE, AND LEAVES NO DOUBT SHE LOVES WHAT SHE DOES. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS DVD TO ANYONE WHO LIKES GOOD HEART FELT MUSIC."
Karen A. Decoster | Detroit, MI | 01/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was at the spectacular concert (in Michigan) where this DVD was filmed, and after watching the DVD, I appreciated the show even more. Bonnie Rideout is a unique performer who comes across as if she genuinely loves what she does. Her bandmates are polished professionals who are just as inspiring.In this DVD, fiddler Bonnie and her bandmates perform various instrumentals, with some vocals here and there. The only complaint I have is that Bonnie doesn't sing enough, because she's wonderful when she does sing! She even performs a bit of her "mouth music", which is sort of a Scottish "scat" technique. Listening to the bagpipes and hammered dulcimer music must be a preview of heaven. In addition, she employs two Celtic dancers in this show, and they are a joy to watch.The show is fun, it's delightful, and the DVD quality is simply brilliant -- made more so by the fact that the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts (where it was filmed) is a spectacular performance venue for an intimate performer like Bonnie Rideout. The lighting and stage design was superbly done as well. Buy it!"