Kleptic OddYaSee

Four Shillings Short

Four Shillings Short
734 Homer Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Paula Benson


A musical group that doesn't fit neatly into any music genre, Four Shillings Short is comprised of four bay area musicians who describe their music as a unique blend of Traditional Celtic and American Folk with influence from Brazilian Jazz, Blues, Raga, and Rock. Unique indeed.

Not too long ago I finally got the courage to put on their CD and take this fascinating musical odyssey. I got my four year old in the tub, sat down on my bed, spread out my bills and other important papers of life, and settled in for the journey.

Here is what happened:

My husband walks into the bedroom as the first song begins, a haunting instrumental intro with sitar. He comments, "Oh, nice, leave it on. I'll be right back." He returns moments later and the music now has the sound of a traditional Irish jig. He remarks that I should have left the other music on, but the Irish music is nice too. Before I can respond, my son screams from the bathroom with soap filled eyes. We both go to investigate the tubby disaster. Dad handles the problem, so I return to the bed and skip forward to a song on the CD that I wanted to hear about the Internet. My husband returns to the bedroom, hears yet another selection from FSS, this one a bluesy tune, and marvels at the diverse music I am listening to. Laughing, I explain that it is all one group, the CD I am to review for FAME. He smiles and says, "Um, ... good luck."

Good luck indeed.

The musicians are Aodh Og O'Tuama (lead vocals, tinwhistle, spoons, recorder), Christy Martin (lead vocals, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, sitar, bodhran, and tamboura), Kristoph Klover (electric/acoustic guitars, mandola, oboe, and vocals), and Jeff Buenz (fretless base). Each member brings a wealth of experience and musical education to the group which translates into a rich, blended sound. They further spice the fourteen selections on this CD with their own twisted energy and kelptic sophistication. Whether its the traditional lyrics of O Susannah or the timely story of Internet Blues, it is a style and interpretation all their own. The selections on OddYaSee include:

  • Peace in Erin
  • Kelptic Dulaman/Julia Delaney
  • The Lark in the Morning
  • O Susannah
  • Warlike Lads of Russia
  • Beerdans Set
  • Internet Blues
  • Killkelly and Emigrant's Jig
  • Priosun Chluain Meala
  • The Blacksmith
  • As I Roved Out
  • Childgrove Set
  • Out of the Window
  • Hard Times

To include Kelptic OddYaSee in your musical library means one-of-a-kind listening pleasure. I highly recommend falling asleep some night to the sounds of this group . . . you'll be amazed at the dreams their music can conjure up. But be careful. I woke up four shillings short and the bills still needed to be paid.

Edited by Shawn Linderman

Copyright 1997, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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