Brobdingnagian Bards Marked by Great Size (Mage)

Marked by Great Size (Mage)

Brobdingnagian Bards

Marked by Great Size (Mage)

Since the Brobdingnagian Bards are one of those acts that conveniently skirt categorization, let's just call them "Celtic lo-fi." The autoharp-and-recorder (and occasionally mandolin) duo of Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee is most often found on UT's South Mall weekdays, noon-1pm, but perform just as regularly at coffeehouses, pubs, and street fairs, a kind of Renaissance version of They Might Be Giants. Their debut, Marked by Great Size, features 16 clever and quirky little tunes -- some traditional, some instrumental, some original, and some that tweak the image they evoke. "Satisfied," "None But a Harper," and "O'er the Way" demonstrate their own affinity for traditional British balladry as deftly as traditional tunes such as "The Gypsy Rover" and "A-Begging I Will Go." The Brobdingnagian Bards shine most when their music twinkles with good humor. "If I Had a Million Ducats" parodies the Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a Million Dollars," while Tom Lehrer's "Irish Ballad" is sung with appropriate panache. Even better are the ren fair staples, "Do Virgins Taste Better" and "The Dragon's Retort," which use the long-suffering tune "Irish Washerwoman" to ponder the age-old questions that every village has to face sometime: Just why do dragons eat virgins? As we go eye-to-eye with a new century, it's reassuring to know Brobdingnagian Bards still take the Y1K problem seriously.

*** 

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle