“If laughter is good for the soul, Marc Gunn’s music will save us all. He’ll have you laughing so hard you won’t be able to sing along.”
~ Jessica Brawner, author of The Official DragonCon Survival Guide and Charisma +1: The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Gamers, Geeks & the Socially Awkward (Life Stats)
“I have had the pleasure of performing with Marc Gunn on several performances. Rarely have I seen a performer put so much energy into their art. It’s always a pleasure for me and the audience.”
~ Randy Wothke, lead of The Rogues, Scottish bagpipes and drums group from Houston, Texas
“With more than a dozen albums under his belt and the highly successful Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, it is easy to see why Marc Gunn is one of the highest regarded names in the Celtic Music scene”
~ Phil Duckworth, owner and host of Paddy Rock Radio
“Marc’s podcasts have brought new fans to our band and helped spread our name around the globe. His work is a huge asset to the online world of Celtic music.”
~ Cheryl Baldino, Manager, Burning Bridget Cleary
St. Patrick’s Day gets the blues in ragtime when Marc Gunn is jazzed about Celtic music. The Bridge is a boundary-crossing monument to Marc’s love for his new home, New Orleans. In full heartthrob mode, …his vocals are strong yet tender, and the effect is hauntingly masculine. The tone is light and the songs are instantly memorable, which makes this a great purchase for anyone new to the Celtic scene.
~ Dionne Charlet, Review from Where Y’at, March 2010
If you are already a fan of Marc’s, you may be surprised at the sound of this CD. The autoharp is still prominent, but the sound is less traditional…the music is just outstanding and provides the perfect support for the vocals.
Marc sings here with more sincerity and professionalism than any of his many earlier and estimable musical projects. With this CD, I believe that Marc has reached every goal he intended for himself. It is greatly to be hoped that he will continue to record with these musicians and provide us with such perfect, fresh, renditions of songs both traditional and original.
~ Associated Content
Marc Gunn performs Irish and Irish-influenced music… Not long ago, he had the wild idea to release a CD of Irish drinking songs for cats. It sounds crazy, but it really was a fun CD. Now, Marc has released a CD of Irish Drinking songs for humans, and this human absolutely loves it.
Marc has a perfect voice for Irish music, and the perfect attitude. I especially love the humorous drinking songs, and Marc’s enthusiasm and barely suppressed laughter give these old songs brand new life.
When Marc sings “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” for instance, you don’t get the sentimental twaddle this song sometimes becomes. You get smiling! Irish! eyes! “Wild Rover,” which is my favorite Irish song anyway, really carries you back to a bygone pub in a bygone time and a romantic wild Irishman telling his tale. “Finnegan’s Wake” has never been more fun.
~ Associated Content 2010
“Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers” – Get it in CD, iTunes, and MP3
Folk music lovers of all sorts flock to Marc Gunn’s music, cat lovers or not. “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers”is available in CD, iTunes, and MP3 at CDBaby and through Marc Gunn’s website. His website also offers MarcSongs Podcats with free MP3’s every week, and Marc Merchandise, including his original paintings, and other uniquely Marc Gunn specialties.
“Whiskers in the Jar…” Playfully Beckons
Like kittens to a ball of yarn, fans scamper to own a copy of his new release, “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers,” available on CD and MP3. Yet again, Marc Gunn’s creative spirit rises above the bar to bring a most beautiful, yet lighthearted, Celtic music experience. “Whiskers in the Jar..” follows Marc Gunn’s earlier release of “Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers,” also still available at CDBaby and through Marc’s website.
“Whiskers in the Jar…” pounces all over the listener in Irish and Scottish tunes remixed through catnip, mischief in milk, chases and frolics with dogs, and Sylvester & Tweety®. Whispers of wizard magic with Harry Potter® even appear! Marc Gunn’s musical renditions are enticing to all, cat lover or not.
Marc Gunn’s Hysterical Feline Parodies
All in all, “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers” includes fourteen tunes. Marc Gunn puts a whole new spin to the yarns of old Irish tunes. This high-spirited CD is a joy for folk music lovers of all sorts, cat lovers or not.
Some of Gunn’s fresh collection on “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers” include:
· Orange Kitty’s Mew from the original May Morning Dew
· Whiskers in the Jar from the original Whiskey in the Jar
· When the Dairy Farm Caught Fire from the original Old Dun Cow
· Kitty Martin from the original Henry Martin
· Big Strong Cat (My Puddy Tat Sylvester) from the original My Brother Sylvester
Marc Gunn is a most talented folk singer and songwriter of Celtic autoharp original creations, living in Austin, Texas. His cats, Torre and Tiziano, are often fitting inspiration for Marc’s beloved songs. His musical talent ranges from Irish drinking songs and Celtic ballads to American folk songs, acoustic Alternative Folk, podcasting, and, strangely – yet wonderfully – cat songs! “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers” is just one of many CD’s to Gunn’s individual and compilation credit still available.
Happy Anniversary, Marc Gunn!
July 2008 is Marc Gunn’s third anniversary bursting onto the Celtic music scene as a full-time successful musician. “Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers” bursts with Marc’s unique flare. His reputation for professionalism, soulful instrumentals, and perfect transitions from laments to pub songs, brings folks back for more, as his fan base grows exponentially!
If that were not enough, Marc Gunn also masters the art of Ezine publications. His newsletter topics include the Celtic musical group Brobdingnagian Bards, poetry, renaissance festivals, and of course autoharp music, cats, and musician life in general.
Marc Gunn is on a musical high and will certainly be making his mark on the scene for a very long time.
Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for the Cat Lover is a purrrr-fect time to check him out!
~ Associated Content
Marc Gunn, naturally! He combines his love of cats and his wry sense of humor with his gift of voice and music. Marc Gunn’s newest release,Irish Drinking Songs: The Cat Lover’s Companion, sprinkles the wee small ‘meows’ of his favorite feline pets into the mix. The songs are traditional, but Marc’s renditions are unique, fun, and purr-fectly wonderful.
Marc Gunn’s Irish tunes hearken back to Burl Ives’ ballad style with a twist. Marc Gunn lures the listener away from the day’s cares into a fun escape. Random cat “meows” slip into the mix, evoking the playfulness of Weird Al Yankovic’s recordings. Irish Drinking Songs – The Cat Lover’s Companion is a fresh, saucy recording of familiar, fun Irish tunes.
Track by Track
1. Finnegan’s Wake – This one is sung very fast, telling the story of the ‘supposed’ death and wake for a man named Finnegan. As the ballad reaches its hysterical climax, it seemed Marc might break-out into laughter before he could finish the song.
2. Black Velvet Band – A playful Irish ballad with Marc Gunn’s ‘tongue-in-cheek’ warning of the dangers of drink. What’s not to love here?
3. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Not the mournful soul-searching style often heard, but a cheerful, sparkling rendition only Marc Gunn can do!
4. The Moonshiner – My personal favorite! My feet tap! My head sways! A grin ‘shines’ across my face as I listen “….’til I die!”
5. I’ll Tell My Ma – A most spirited, catchy version of the traditional North Ireland children’s song, I’ll Tell Me Ma.
6. Patriot Game – A timeless piece; Marc Gunn remakes it into a heartfelt hymn and a whispered prayer. It is a fitting reminder to us of the sacrifices young men and women make for their countries still today. I dare you to try to keep yourself from hitting the ‘repeat’ button over and over again. Marc Gunn’s voice and strings bring an amazing reverence and awe to this beautiful song.
7. Black Is The Colour – A Celtic-style traditional love song mournfully shared reaching deep into the listener’s soul.
8. Bonnie Ship the Diamond – A sea shantie, or chant, sung in such a way that Marc’s words are rhythmic, as if he is leading the crew of a sailing ship working in unison to heave in the ropes. The listener can nearly feel the sea air on their face, as Gunn sings “…a-fishing for the whale…”
9. Gypsy Rover – A fun, romping, romantic old Irish ballad! 1
10. Wild Rover – Simple, unadorned fun!
11. The Barnyards of Delgaty – Quick and energetic amusement all the way!
12. Fiddler’s Green – A soulful and mournful lamenting ballad.
13. Lord of the Dance – I can never get too much of this song. It is the quintessential Irish ballad tribute to God’s gift to man, “…I’ll live in you if you live in me…”
I highly recommend listening to this new disc, Irish Drinking Songs: The Cat Lover’s Companion, in conjunction with Marc Gunn’s previous disc, Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers . He brings a fun twist to all the songs. When “Lord of the Dance” becomes “Lord of the Pounce,” it is way over the top!
Irish Drinking Songs: The Cat Lover’s Companion, by Marc Gunn, is available now through MP3s direct from Marc’s website, thanks to SoundClick; Available June 2007 on CD; Coming soon to CD Baby and to iTunes.
Marc Gunn, indie Celtic musician, prolific Renaissance Faire performer, and former Brobdingnagian Bards lead vocalist, is doing some extra touring this year. Gunn is bringing his trademark autoharp sound, rich and evocative voice, plus his take on cats to MarsCon in Bloomington, Minn., AggieCon in College Station, Tx., I-Con in Long Island, N.Y., and Starfest in Denver, Co. Gunn’s release of more than 32 Cds—not counting compilations—led Modern Bard to dub Gunn “The Chuck Norris of Renaissance Festival Musicians.”
In addition to his ever growing discography, Marc Gunn is a wildly popular podcaster in the celtic music and Renaissance festival markets. According to Sonic Bids, Gunn also is a “pioneer in viral marketing through MP3 downloads.” Over the past several years, Gunn has given away 10,000,000 or more free MP3 downloads. Sonic Bids notes that Gunn’s “Celtic Music Podcast,” on iTunes, has enjoyed over three million downloads.
Gunn’s plenteous disc selection includes his last three, Going for Brogue: Irish Pub Songs and Sea Shanties, Whiskers in the Jar: Irish Songs for Cat Lovers, and What Color is Your Dragon?
Gunn has taken his autoharp to new places, melding Celtic roots music with jazz, blues, American folk music and modern forms and rhythms. Gunn’s live shows, including a recent stint headlining an Oscar party for “Lord of the Rings,” complement his copious work in the studio. A regular at Dragon*Con, this year Gunn also brings his live act to MarsCon, AggieCon, I-Con and Starfest.
Mix American and Celtic, folk and blues, new and old–and you will have a peek inside Marc Gunn’s latest effort, “The Bridge”. The CD starts off with the title track, and it is heartfelt. I loved it–you can just feel the passion coming through. Next is “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”, and it’s such a departure from Gunn’s typical fare that I was genuinely surprised!
This made me excited to see what else the album had in store, and I must say, it was a tour through many different influences. I thought of it as Gunn’s musical history–even that of his current home. I enjoyed the fact that you could hear the impact of his move to New Orleans pop through here and there. It was fascinating to see the unveiling of what formed this artist, and although I am sure there are more ingredients than there was room for, it does give the listener plenty to think about in terms of Gunn’s background.
An upbeat version of “Black Velvet Band” and a crisp rendition of my favorite, “Wild Mountain Thyme” are among the standout tracks here, but each and every one of them is crafted expertly. Simple acoustic accompaniment fills the tracks, but I have never heard the likes of how he plays on ”Healy Pass”. It is tremendous. Gave me chills.
Gunn never does anything halfway, and this CD is no exception.
Marc Gunn is known the world over for being one of the biggest promoters of Celtic music in the business. His “Irish and Celtic Music Podcast” (3,000,000 downloads on iTunes) and “Renaissance Festival Podcast” are popular downloads on the World Wide Web. He is also known as the lead vocalist of the Brobdingnagian Bards, who have frequented Renaissance Festivals and Fairs for a number of years now. He is a regular performer at Dragon*Con, the largest Sci-Fi and Fantasy fiction convention in the world. He was even tapped to headline a Lord Of The Rings Oscar night party. Late of Austin, Texas, recently relocated to New Orleans to be part of the city’s musical renaissance. Gunn sent us a copy of What Color Is Your Dragon?, his 2007 release to check out. So what are we waiting for?
Gunn has certain themes that recur throughout his music that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Much like the guys from Big Bang Theory, Gunn is fascinated with The Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, dragons and innuendo. All of these subjects are delivered in the classic style of an Irish or English bard, the sort who would travel from town to town in Medieval times to bring news, stories and songs to the working and farming classes in exchange for food, drink, lodging and perhaps a few coins. Gunn kicks things off with the humorous Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits; implying that the pint sized anti-heroes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic series might just drink you under the table. A Rabbit For Halloween is an interesting tale in music about rabbits, witches and brooms. It’s highly entertaining and a perfect example of the Bardic style Gunn lives by.
Samwise Gangee is another trip to Tolkien’s Hobbiton. It’s very well done but likely to appeal only to hard core Tolkien fans. The Virgin Diet (How To Have Fun Losing Weight) is absolutely hilarious, although perhaps not entirely PC. Dub this style Geek-Folk if you want, but this is the sort of song that used to earn Bards their bread and butter. How Do You Tell A Woman You’re In Love is an interesting turn, with Gunn sounding vaguely like Gordon Lightfoot. It’s a solid tune that sounds like it could have its genesis in a Renaissance Fair musical production.
From the drinking game category Gunn comes up with the Pleasant Pheasant Plucking Song. This tricky bit of musical alliteration is ripe for slips of the tongue that would send the censors into fits of apoplexy. It’s a party song that gets more and more debilitating the more you miss, but the highlight of the record is Lusty Young Sith. In classic bard style, Gunn tells the story of a light saber battle that’s full of sexual tension and innuendo. Each stroke and thrust of the ensuing battle is lovingly detailed here. If I Were A Horse takes on another function, winning the award for the most creative use of the word snot in a song. It’s an entertaining ditty, particularly after a flagon or three.
My other favorite from the CD is The Last Chicken Of Dublin, which details the dangers of running a-fowl of authority. This song is entertaining and bold without going over the top. Gunn visits Tolkien’s world twice more: The Nazgul Song and Gollum Blues. Both are fun to listen to but are likely to be a bit much for non-fans of The Lord Of The Rings. Gunn takes one amusing and off-beat crack at opening up the Harry Potter narrative with a song in the voice of the son of Professor Lupin and Tonks: My Father Was A Werewolf. This one will appeal to fans of J.K. Rowling’s classic series as it is faithful to the spirit of Harry Potter without being stale. Other highlights include Monkeys Over Mongolia, Pig’s Song and I’ve Saved The Earth.
Marc Gunn pulls this music off as more than just a novelty act because he sells every note of every song. There is a fair bit of novelty value here, but Gunn is a serious musician who chooses to have fun with his material. What Color Is Your Dragon? Is a lo-fi classic, getting at the Celtic roots of folk music like few others in the genre. This CD will appeal heavily to Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fans, SCAdians and other Renaissance Fair folken. Beyond that, anyone who likes singer-songwriter styles may recognize this is it in its rawest, most basic form. Even if you’re skeptical of the subject matter, sit back, relax (as you might) and give it a fair listen. Marc Gunn will charm you, make you laugh and perhaps even make you think. Somewhere along the way magic happens. What Color Is Your Dragon? Is a classic; a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc. Don’t pass it by.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
Interview with Bengal’s Corner:
I am a not so innocent victim, fallen prey to the seductive lure of traditional (and not so much) Irish music, thanks to the multitask man, Marc Gunn. Hyperactive, Marc can’t stay still. His mind boils with hundreds of new ideas every week, and we are lucky because he actually pursues part of them and shares the great results with us! Marc is a musician with passion for his Irish origins and the Scottish and Celtic influences. Thus, expect great humor, mystery and romance in his compositions, exploring his creativity with any topic in mind.
Are you a cat lover? Do you love to sing Irish drinking songs? Then this unique CD for the die-hard cat fanatic was made for you! Listen to all the tunes you hear on st. Patrick’s Day by the Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers, the Wolfe tones, and the Irish Rovers. Then laugh out loud at the clever lyrics Marc Gunn has created to accompany the music – for example, Lord of the Pounce – a parody of Lord of the Dance. It goes on like that through fifteen feline adapted tracks which have garnered applause, encores and four-paws up from combo cat and Irish music lovers all over the world.
Should you be concerned over your dignity? An old Irish Saying goes: “Never trust a man who doesn’t like cats.”
Now then, are you saying to yourself, is this man daft, drunk, or both? Well, he was sober when he made the CD – you can tell that from the quality of the music. But he is a bit over the top when it comes to his unabashed love of cats. And that’s purrfectly alright with us; we definitely understand what these amazing creatures will do to one’s mind and heart. And we’re not the only ones who appreciate what Marc has accomplished when he combined cats and celts to create this furry well-done collection…
So there you have it – and we hope you’ll buy it. Marc funded the project himself because none of the labels could be persuaded that an irish music CD featuring feline related lyrics would be of any interest. Our hope is that it will become such a huge hit Marc will be able to finance a sequel – the songs are written; but there’s no money in the kitty – ahem, we mean we’re out to prove the music label’s are wrong. There IS money in the kitty!
Some albums dazzle you with the depth of lyrics, brilliant instrumental arrangements or sheer diversity of music. This CD is not one of those.
Instead, Marc Gunn (a founding member of the Brobdingnagian Bards) goes with a gimmick. Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers is exactly what it claims to be. The question is, how well does the gimmick stand up?
Pretty well, actually. Let’s face it, Celtic music lovers are often somewhat obsessive about the tradition. Cat lovers are notoriously obsessive about their pets. Put them together and … well, you’re going to have a lot of people obsessing over your album. Anyone out there who loves cats and Celtic music might go into apoplectic shock with this one.
The songs are pretty standard Irish fare, the sort of things you’d hear being sung drunkenly in many a pub. But Gunn, clever wordsmith that he be, has rewritten the lyrics to fit his feline theme.
“Wild Rover” becomes “Wild Kitty,” “Gypsy Rover” becomes “A Cat Named Rover,” “Lord of the Dance” becomes “Lord of the Pounce,” and so on. You get the idea. “The Cat Came Back,” sung to the familiar tune of “The Moonshiner,” tells the infamous tale from the cat’s perspective. Just how did he survive all those catastrophes, anyway? Gunn has your answers.
Gunn leads the way on vocals and his ubiquitous autoharp. A variety of musicians (posing as the Dubliners’ Tabby Cats) join him, adding fiddles and flutes and meows where needed.
So, Celtic cat lovers, rejoice! Marc Gunn has made an album just for you.
Review of “Soul of a Harper” by Marc Gunn:
I first came across Marc Gunn in a Celtic music community I belonged to. Intrigued by his intelligent comments, I wandered over to his website and discovered several mp3s from both him and his duo, The Brobdingnagian Bards (who he has several other CDs available with). I never quite know what to expect from independent artists. I was very pleased to find that Marc’s music (and the Bards as well) is the kind that is easy to fall in love with upon first listening to it.
Soul of the Harper, released in 2004, is a compilation of Marc’s solo endeavours from 2000-2003. The music ranges from solo autoharp instrumentals to both traditional songs and tunes. This is, perhaps, the true beauty of this album, and gives you a true picture of what this artist is about. It is not purely traditional, purely composed, purely song, or purely instrumental. It is a combination of all four of these elements, which enables the music to stay fresh with each subsequent track.
Highlighting a few of my particular favourites on this album is difficult, as I enjoy each song and tune. “The Parting Glass” is one of the highest points of the album. A traditional Irish song sung with no accompaniment, it is soulfully rendered by Marc’s deep, velvety voice. Also a high point is “The Leprechaun,” one of Marc’s composed songs, which shows his humourous side. Written in 2001, it’s chock full of silly voices that are bound to make you laugh, as well as some light self-mockery, and creates an analogy between the modern idea of a Leprechaun and the unfortunate antiquated thinking of some Celtic musicians. Upbeat with a rollicking autoharp accompaniment, this song is just fun to listen to. On the more serious side of Marc’s own songs is “The Bridge,” a song about the distances so many will go for love.
At turns romantic, silly, nostalgic, and fun, this album has something for everyone on it and comes highly recommended.
This is an absolutely brilliant single and a great advertisement for the CD. The three songs are standard Irish drinking songs (who doesn’t know Finnegan’s Wake, When Irish Eyes are Smiling, and Wild Rover?) rewritten to be about cats…complete with meows, hissing, and a set of brilliantly funny lyrics.
Of course, it also contains Marc’s fantastic voice, touched with a bit of laughter that’s readily heard, as well as some wonderful guest meow-ers…erm…performers. Simply put, these songs are FUN and no one is more aware of that than Marc himself. If you don’t find yourself giggling like mad through Wild Kitty, I’d be completely shocked. It’s guaranteed to put you in a good mood and cause you to laugh out loud.
Soul of a Harper and Memories of Middle Earth
Marc Gunn’s rich warm vocals are perfect for the ballad style of his original tunes. His self-described “reflective and romantic” personality shines through in the Renaissance Celtic inspired music found on his solo CD, Soul of a Harper as well as his work with Andrew McKee (the Brobdingnagian Bards) on Memories of Middle Earth.
Such romantic offerings as the original tune, “Buttercup’s Lament” and the traditional “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” come from his heart, and the listener feels as if he is present in the room.
This sense of presence is also evident in the many humorous tunes to be found on both discs. These are great pub songs, and deserve to be heard live. From the pictures (in costume) on the websites (thebards.net and marcgunn.com) and their obvious popularity (numerous gigs), it seems this group is best enjoyed in live concert. Many of the tunes can be categorized as filk music, that is, music about sci-fi and fantasy topics.
Instrumental-only pieces are also featured on both CDs.
If the novelty of costumed bards singing about Elves and Hobbits isn’t enough, their unique instrumentation sets them apart. Marc Gunn plays autoharp, accompanied by Andrew McKee on recorder and mandolin.
As far as Celtic music goes, this is definitely not a traditional offering. As far as Christian goes, neither of these albums are particularly Christian in content. Soul of a Harper and Memories of Middle Earth. are a unique combination of fun, folk and fantasy ingredients with a dollop of renaissance romanticism.
This CD should probably be called Soul of an Autoharper. Most people would expect to hear either classic or Celtic harp, and the CD cover, which has a picture of Marc Gunn and the tuning keys of his instrument, does not make this clear.
The best tracks are the first and last songs and the instrumentals, all written by Gunn. “The Bridge” is a heartfelt song about reconnecting with a lover, and Gunn’s rich voice works well for the lovely “Buttercup’s Lament,” inspired by The Princess Bride.
The three instrumentals are simply played (I don’t know if there is such a thing as a virtuoso autoharpist, anyway), but these stately, medieval-sounding melodies get a light, airy touch by the autoharp. They evoke a feeling of mystery and the romantic Celtic spirit. Flowery titles like “Kyara Elven Mistress of Whispers” fit these tunes well.
Gunn delivers a lively version of Robert Burns’ “Killiecrankie,” an adequate one of the traditional “Lanigan’s Ball” and a moving version of Burns’ “My Love is a Red, Red Rose.” The standard “The Parting Glass,” done here a cappella, has been heard too often to be enjoyable, particularly when sung in Gunn’s dirge-like fashion.
Gunn’s attempts at humor fall flat, as in “The Leprechaun” (“There’s a leprechaun in my head/I wish that I were dead.”). When Gunn changes his voice to indicate the sound of the leprechaun taunting him, you can’t help but think that the wee bit o’ a lad has a point, especially since the song places him in a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.
“The Barrel Song” is the retelling of an old joke in ballad form, and “Middle Earth Bragging Song” namedrops from you-know-where. Of course, everyone has a different opinion about humor.
Gunn is a member of Renaissance Festival super-band Brobdingnagian Bards. The pleasant music on this CD would likely be even more enjoyable live in Ye Olde Shire.
— Dave Howell, Rambles