Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Storytelling: The Oldest Art

Tales from around the world told by Cris Riedel

$15.00 includes shipping & handling. To order email: cris@storiesconnect.com 

Reviewed By Linda Goodman 

            This delightful CD, recorded live at Debbie’s Café in Wayland, New York, features familiar multi-cultural tales given new life by the strong voice and enthusiastic telling of an intuitive teller who grabs the essence of each tale and makes it sing.

            Cris Riedel clearly treasures these stories.  From England’s Lazy Jack, the folktale predecessor of Forrest Gump, to Europe’s Clever Manka, who outsmarts the men in her life at every turn, the listener in engaged and eagerly anticipates the next chapter.

            Do some folks really believe that men work harder than women?  Let them listen to the perils and pratfalls of Sweden’s The Husband Who Minded the House.  That will set them straight!

            Little Rough Face, a Mic Mac Version of the Cinderella theme, and Japan’s The Boy Who Drew Cats both feature outcasts whose hearts and talents win for them both love and honor.

            The First Strawberries is a pour quoi tale about how that delicious fruit came to flourish in Cherokee country.  If an angry woman does not notice the first enticement, make the next one irresistible. Having the Sun as a friend is helpful.

            Friends Always, from India, details the strong bond of friendship that develops between an elephant and a dog.  An elephant is also involved in the Chinese tale Elephant and Hummingbird, which reminds us that if we all do our part, the impossible may become possible.

            Riedel’s stories are nice complemented by Karen Wollscheid’s colorful CD design. The wise owl on the cover seems particularly appropriate.  Kudos to Brandon Pender, recording engineering, for manufacturing a live café CD that sounds flawless enough to have been recorded in studio.

            As Riedel states both in her introduction and on her CD jacket, these stories are “so old on one knows who told them first.” Such things do not really matter. With talented tellers like Riedel sharing them, these tales are given a life of their own. They will live in the hearts of listeners and be passed along until time’s end.

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