an interview with Cindy Reich (August 07 Celtic Connection) Sometimes the good guys do win in the end. From a debut recording made in the bedroom of band member Shane Power to a song that was included in every demo iPhone, Guggenheim Grotto have won fans all across the land. Their debut album, “Waltzing Alone”, released in Ireland in 2005 is an addictive blend of memorable melodies, outstanding songwriting and vocal harmonies, which is utterly captivating. It became the number one folk album on iTunes downloads and the first cut, “Philosophia” was included on every demo iPhone. The Guggenheim Grotto are multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Shane Power, Kevin May and Mick Lynch. So how does one get from a debut album recorded in a bedroom in north Dublin to the darlings of Apple, Inc.? I asked Shane Power. “Apple/iTunes have been amazing to us”, he replied, “and its great to know that they”re interested for all the right reasons. Apparently you can”t buy your way on to a feature like Single of the Week or iTunes, nor can you buy any sort of favors or advertising that will put you to the top of the pile for consideration.” “The iTunes crew sit down together and decide what they like or wish to promote, and luckily for us they chose The Guggenheim Grotto.” “Being featured on the iPhone was a great buzz for us as we”re all into technology and we”ve always used Mac”s when making the Album, and indeed are currently using Apple machines to record the new album!” ”The only problem with the iPhone”, laughs Power, “is “I want one now!!! But they”re not available here in Ireland “til next October or November.” “Maybe by that stage they could squeeze a mobile studio into the iPhone so we could take it on the road with us…now that would be nice!” While the GG might be deep into technology, their CD, “Waltzing Alone” is a work of art, in both sound and packaging. It is a small book with a slot in it for the CD to fit in. There is a lot of information packed into it and it is as tactile as the CD is listenable. Band member Kevin May explains, “One of my favorite albums is Leonard Cohen”s “Greatest Hits”. “Normally I don”t like greatest hits albums, but this one has all his early hits like “Suzanne” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” and on this album he had little paragraphs on each song like where he was when he wrote it, or any little anecdotes that may be attached to it. And I loved that about the album”where you can really get in behind the writer or get a sense of the time in which it was written.” ”It adds to the experience as a whole, you know?” Kevin continues. “I love holding something in my hands when I”m listening to an album for the first time”scanning thru the pictures. So I guess it was very much an homage to all those earlier albums that we”d loved that would”ve had extensive sleeve notes.” Although The Guggenheim Grotto have gained wide acclaim with “Waltzing Alone”, their live show is even more impressive. The lads are delighted with the prospect of winning over a whole new audience during their performance at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons in August. They played to several sold out venues on their last tour while still relatively new to U.S. audiences. With all of the success and buzz surrounding The Guggenheim Grotto”s “Waltzing Alone”, is there pressure on the band now for the next recording? Shane replied, ”The new record is going brilliantly…we”re recording about three days a week at the moment and hope to have it all ready by Christmas, which probably means a release date of early to mid next year.” “We can”t wait to get it finished”although “Waltzing Alone” was only released in the U.S. last September, it”s nearly three years old for us now.” Are you guys going back into the bedroom to record? The atmosphere of “Waltzing Alone” is so nice” ”Yes”, agrees Shane. “We”re back in the bedroom for this recording too”it worked for us last time. If it ain”t broke”.” “We bought ourselves some great new equipment”, Power continues, “so this time it”s become easier to capture some great sounding performances in our home studio. I can”t say for sure yet what the finished results will be, but its going to be another genre-mixing, song loving, band-playing album with maybe a dash of electronica on the side. We look forward to unleashing the results on the world!!” You can catch The Guggenheim Grotto live and unleashed on Sunday, August 19 at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival at the Planet Bluegrass ranch in Lyons, Colorado. Check out The Guggenheim Grotto at their website: www.guggenheimgrotto.com Guggenheim Grotto joins Judy Collins, Ray LaMontagne, Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak, Richie Havens, and many others at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, August 17-19 at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, CO. Tickets ($40 Friday, $45 Saturday, $45 Sunday, $105 3-day pass) and camping ($45-60) are available now at www.bluegrass.com. (from The Celtic Connection August 07 issue)

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