Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Second Hand Rose

Compact Disc Review

Available from Ellouise Schoettler

Email: 301-951-1213 $15.00
Recommended for teens and adults.

Reviewed By Linda Goodman

This CD, recorded live at Strathmore Hall Arts Center in Rockville, Maryland in April, 2007, embraces an environmental theme: reduce, reuse, and recycle. All the stories on this CD extol these virtues.

The Thrifty Tailor is an ancient folktale about a man whose love for his beautiful coat prevents him from discarding it when it gets worn out. Creatively thinking outside the box allows him to preserve the fabric he cannot do without.

In the story Handmade, a news article that claims young girls are learning to sew again brings back nostalgic memories of treadle sewing machines and explains the difference between handmade and homemade.

The Wedding Dress recalls the memory of a bride who finds the wedding gown of her dreams in a second hand shop after the wedding. She buys the dress anyway, planning to save it for her daughters. Of course, younger generations have varying tastes that do not necessarily value old world quality or style. What to do? I won’t give away the ending, but suffice it to say that art plays a big part in solving this dilemma.

The Cussing Cover, collected by folklorists Randy Russell and Janet Barnett and recorded with permission, tells the eerie tale of Mavis Estep, who was born in a thunderstorm and, therefore, fears a death by lightening. She extracts promises from her husband, and disaster results when those promises are not kept.

What could be worse than traveling to a funeral, only to discover that one’s suit has been left behind? Good Will Mourning reveals that the solution to this problem lies in thrift, artistic vision, and a little help from friends.

The last story on this CD, Secondhand, is cute, short, and funny – the perfect ending to this delightful recording.

Live recordings often sacrifice sound quality for the sake of the energy that only a live audience can bring. In some places, this CD’s sound fades in and out, but the stories are so well written and so well told that the few sound flaws are easily forgiven. Ellouise Schoettler has once again produced a well-rounded and enjoyable recording. It pays homage to history, folklore, and environmental responsibility. It is educational, entertaining, and endearing. Those who love such stories will be glad to hear this CD.

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