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To purchase a Blue Waltz CD, send $18 to:
Julee Glaub, P.O. Box 15125, Durham, NC 27704
Color Our World
By Amy Graves
Dolly Parton, Jessica Simpson, Jewel. Could it be that blond divas have more fun? When the mood strikes for some old-timey music, though, you almost have to go brunette. North Carolina folk-trad singer Julee Glaub is no color-process queen, but she's got the pipes for Irish and Appalachian ballads and waltzes. When Glaub fell in love with Celtic music, she did what Simpson probably couldn't do without a specially equipped touring bus and entourage: She spent eight years living and working odd jobs in Ireland so that she could learn the ballad traditions. Her new CD, "Blue Waltz," shows how much this music sounds like our own mountain music. She sings at Christ the King Presbyterian Church tonight with folk fiddler Pete Sutherland and guitarist Joe Newberry. It's free, so you can splurge on the 14-ounce double cheeseburger at Mr. and Mrs. Bartley's Burger Cottage after the show. At 7:30 p.m.
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From the August 2004 edition of Irish Music magazine:
But on this new CD of hers, "Blue Waltz", Julee also presents songs from the Southern tradition, and these are sung in a style that tells you she could be nothing but an American from the South. So Julee is indeed a great talent with an unerring and focused ability to reproduce the most characteristic and distinguishing nuances of both traditional styles. And all done without effort, nothing forced or overwrought. Added to that for good measure is the selection of songs she has chosen and the absolutely inspired choice of musicians and they arrangements they provide. Not just the playing technique is faultless, the accompaniment and delivery matches perfectly mood of the words and the singing.
Julee Glaub is a native of North Carolina, and she "fell in love with Celtic music" and journeyed to Ireland, where she spent almost eight years collecting and learning the ballad tradition from the source. A friend of Julee's who says "her singing can move the most veteran listener, bringing a new depth of feeling to the ballad tradition" quite rightly adds this insightful observation: "I celebrate Julee's place in Irish song not as a native Irish singer, but rather, a Southern American with a rightful claim to interpret the music of the Celts who settled and influenced the mountains and valleys of her origin." The songs are a delightful mix of old and new and include a variant of the traditional "The Gypsy Davy" and "The Maid Who Sold the Barley", and contemporary numbers, "The Blue Waltz" (title track), by Joe Newberry, and "Mountain Fields" by Pete Sutherland.
Julee Glaub's relaxed, thoughtful and at times contemplative delivery, is in sharp contrast to the tremendous energy and dynamism she has applied to the study of song on both sides of the Atlantic, and her long apprenticeship in mastering styles and knowledge of the songs she sings. We're all the better for hearing her, and she joins that select group about whom I say, that if I were a song, I'd want Julee Glaub to sing me.
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From Ireland to Appalachia
By Eric R. Danton, Courant Rock Critic
It's no secret that Appalachian music and traditional Irish songs share more than a few similarities the former sort of stems from the latter, in fact.
The connection is more than a musicological formality for singer Julee Glaub. She discovered that it's quite personal while making "Blue Waltz," her new album. "I feel like I'm finally expressing my true musical heart," Glaub says from her home in Canton, not far from where she plans to unveil "Blue Waltz" with a local gig Saturday.
The North Carolina native's second album is a collection of tunes that reflect both cultures. Many are traditional; others, including the title track, were written by friends and musical collaborators.
Glaub began noticing links between the traditions while she lived in Ireland, where she spent six years absorbing the music. The more she immersed herself in Irish music, the more clearly she saw its relationship to the songs she loved while growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
"They're very, very connected, and it's been fun for me to see the connection in the music and in the stories," she says. "I've sort of been [homing] in on being a purist in the Irish tradition for so long that for me, it's really stepping out."
The record features contributions from an all-star roster of Irish musicians, including Altan guitarist Dáithí Sproule and Claudine Langille, formerly of Touchstone.
One tune, a traditional song called "The Wounded Hussar," also features cello from Slovakian musician Jozef Lupták, who lives near the Danube River where the song takes place.
"It's this crazy Irish story about this soldier who was a mercenary in the Irish war, but he had fought on the Danube River, so it's got an Eastern European setting," Glaub says. "I brought him all the way over just to play that song. People thought I was crazy." Glaub moved to Canton five years ago and is holding her CD release party Saturday at the Collinsville Congregational Church, 7 South St., as a thank-you to the community for its support.
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Waltzing Between Two Cultures
From the July 2004 edition of The Irish Letter
On "Blue Waltz," Julee Glaub finds a unique place where Irish and American song traditions meet. Some great players from The Chieftains to Eileen Ivers have explored how Irish melodies and rhythms crossed over the Atlantic, to be reinvented here in Amerikay. But Ms. Glaub, a North Carolina native who's lived in Ireland, has a knack for getting at the pure spirit of the thing the loneliness and desire that drives these songs, whichever side of the Atlantic they came from.
There are lots of small surprises here, starting with "The Time Draws Near." If you don't read the liner notes, you'll be hard pressed to know whether it was written in Donegal or Dixie. "Horse and Plow" seems like a 100 year-old lament, until the lyrics bemoan the fact that gas-driven tractors enrich OPEC (it was written in 1982). Other Irish songs, including the beautiful "Islander's Lament," show off Ms. Glaub's talent for digging up great tunes that haven't been recorded by anyone else.
The Appalachian songs shine in this setting. Glaub's deep, silky voice couldn't be more different than Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain howl. But when she sings "When Sorrows Encompass Me Round" and the haunting "In the Lone Graveyard," complete with gospel choir, the same hard-edged spiritualism rings through. Thousands of Irish songs have been written about emigrating to foreign lands. But the American ones are more religious giving voice to people who've already sailed the Atlantic, and who know heaven is the only next stop on the line.
Ms. Glaub's singing style feels just as Irish or American as each song needs. I don't know the name of the last tune, because it's not listed on the album cover. But it rounds this great collection out with a sexy, upbeat song from America, where we're all, thankfully, naive enough to think that redemption lies in simply "drifting up a lazy river with you."
By Brent Hallenbeck, Staff Writer
She's from North Carolina, she loves Irish songs and has a big place in her heart for Vermont. That geographic amalgamation gives Julee Glaub a varied sound that separates her from the crowded field of folk-based singers.
Her new CD, "Blue Waltz," spends much of its time in the British Isles with traditional-sounding tunes such as "The Islander's Lament" and "The Maid Who Sold the Barley." Her Southern background, though, gives her music dimension. The title track, as Glaub notes, has a definite Patsy Cline thing going, showing that she can wrap her sterling voice around Appalachia as easily as she can all things Celtic.
Her Vermont ties are many. "Blue Waltz" was recorded at Charles Eller Studios in Charlotte. Her CD release mini-tour that will take her through Connecticut, Massachusetts and North Carolina starts Friday at The Old Lantern in Charlotte. Composer and performer Pete Sutherland of Monkton produced "Blue Waltz."
Sutherland, who wrote two songs and played numerous instruments on "Blue Waltz," will join Glaub at the show, as will Irish singer and guitarist Dáithí Sproule, fiddler Randal Bays, multi-instrumentalist Joe Newberry and banjo/mandolin player Claudine Langille.
Julee Glaub and Friends to Perform in Collinsville
By Arlene DeMaris, Correspondent
When Julee Glaub performs at the Collinsville Congregational Church on May 1, she'll be coming home in more ways than one. A native of North Carolina, Glaub fell in love with Irish music and traveled to Ireland after graduating from Wake Forest University. She ended up spending eight years in and around Dublin, learning and collecting tunes from traditional singers. She returned to America inspired to spread the music and culture she had absorbed, eventually settling in Canton Center a move she thought to be temporary, at least before she succumbed to the area's charm.
Now, with the release of "Blue Waltz," her second CD, Glaub has come home to the Appalachian music she grew up with, blending old-time tunes with their Celtic inspirations. Explaining the mix, Glaub says, "My last CD had one Appalachian song, and when people heard me sing it in concert, they would say, 'You really sing it from the soul.'" And no wonder, because when she sings an Irish ballad, the influence of her Southern origins can be heard clearly. These intersecting traditions are what gives Glaub's voice it unique and compelling quality, and sets her apart from other vocalists performing similar material.
For "Blue Waltz," Glaub assembled a band of "good friends" who also happen to be traditional and folk music luminaries. They include Vermont performer and producer Pete Sutherland; renowned Irish singer and guitarist Dáithí Sproule; master fiddler Randal Bays; banjoist, guitarist, fiddler and singer Joe Newberry; banjoist and mandolin player Claudine Langille; and cellist Jozef Lupták of Slovakia. All except Lupták (who has a previously scheduled engagement) will appear in concert at the Collinsville Congregational Church. "I wanted to find a local place for the concert," says Glaub, explaining her choice of venue. "It's a way for me to give back to a community that has given me such incredible support." The concert is a first for the church and, for Glaub, a natural setting for her heartfelt music because, as she says, "all music is spiritual."