The Bow and the Lyre

The Bow and the Lyre
Oak Leaf 2115 - 2003

"The Bow and the Lyre" glows with soulful melodies. Though all the music was written by Barnes, the pieces here sound timeless and often allude to ancient forms, themes and notions. "Recercar in Winter," suggestive of 16th-century lute music, establishes a lyrical and contemplative mood, a tone sustained by the harmonics-laced "Daybreak at Poulenabrone," which unfurls as elegantly as a vintage Celtic air, and "Crossing the Shannon," a steel string weave that's part travelogue, part tone poem. As the album unfolds, Barnes continues his travels. He draws closer to home with the vivid Chesapeake Bay portrait "Dance of the Blue Heron" and deftly underscores connections between African and American music with "A Wandering Moor," colored by bluesy drones, sliding riffs and pentatonic runs. All the while, Barnes's gift for evoking time and place is pitch-perfect. -- Mike Joyce, The Washington Post

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