The wolves are the heroes in this live recording from two of New England's foremost folk storytellers. Brought out in January 2007, 'Wolves!' received a Parents' Choice Silver Honor award in April, and a starred review in July's Booklist magazine. Full reviews can be read at the couple's website, linked at left. Gripping, funny, moving, always entertaining, Jennings and Ponder present their original treatments of three traditional tales in which the wolves are not the enemy. The stories are humorous, touching, and dramatic; the wolves are sometimes heroes, sometimes chumps, but always sympathetic characters with whom we can identify, and worthy of our love and respect. All three stories are performed in the duo's signature duo storytelling style: voices intertwining and overlapping in a kind of narrative counterpoint. In and around the tales, the couple plays Celtic music on harp and concertina. Hungry Wolf's Lucky Day Pieced together from several Eastern European traditions, with an original 'happy ending,' this story features a sad-sack old wolf, who is continually frustrated in his search for a lucky breakfast. Eventually, a parade of lemmings mistakes his open mouth for the sea. This is probably Tim and Leanne's funniest story, with foreshadowings of Wiley Coyote, and some sly social commentary. (Georgia & Poland) Dog and Wolf An old dog, run off the farm because he's too feeble to keep the wolf away, joins forces with a wolf to get his place back, and is helpful to the wolf in return. Both animals enjoy a delightful retirement, eating and sleeping, and lying around in the sun. (Ukraine) Ailbe's Wolf Mother An abandoned child is raised by wolves, and later becomes a bishop and a saint. He rescues his wolf mother from a hunt, and entertains her (and his wolf-brothers) every evening at dinnertime. A warm and emotional story, with music throughout. (Ireland.) Tim and Leanne say: One of the cruellest and longest 'wars' in history was waged by Europeans and Euro-Americans upon the wild wolf. Images of ravening wolves in art and story are as wrong, ingrained, and vicious as the cruellest racial or ethnic stereotype, and has done comparable levels of damage As we seek to restore the wolf populations of North America, we need to find other ways of looking at wolves-- ways with as much resonance and power as the fairy tales we seek to supplant-- to help us come to be at peace with the natural world. BIOGRAPHY: Tim and Leanne have been making their living together since 1990, performing in Vermont, New England, and points much further afield. In 2005, they were featured at Jonesborough's National Storytelling Festival and the Hudson Clearwater Revival; in 2006 they performed at the Toronto Storytelling Festival, then returned to Tennessee for a week as Tellers in Residence at the International Storytelling Center. Their other storytelling recordings include the ALA award-winning 'World Tales Live at Bennington,' and Tim's solo tape, Weatherbeard ('a rare thing, a tape you cannot upon any invocation of willpower resist listening to'-- SingOut!) They have also recorded two albums of Celtic music: The Water Kelpie and Sheefra.
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