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Rambles Net Cultural Arts Magazine Review

Arlene Faith's River of Dreams is a beautiful and peaceful album of Celtic instrumental music, following on the heels (after a three-year delay) of her previous CD, Celtic Violin. Ably accompanied by seven other musicians, the sounds of Faith's violin is enhanced by piano, whistle, concertina, mandolin, bodhran, uillean pipes, cello, bass, guitar and percussion. The 50 minutes of music pass as if the listener is floating on a tranquil and deep-flowing river. Each track is subtly different, but the pace on the whole is unhurried, stately and gentle. "Dances With Elves" sees the tempo increase considerably on the sixth track for a light and sprightly reel. Faith, who composed all of the tunes on the CD, co-wrote this track with husband and fellow musician Russel Kortright. "Whistle Song" is another lively jig... read more

Daily Planet Review
Telluride, Colorado

‘Come take a drink from the River of Dreams’
kik: Second Celtic CD released by former resident

By Bob Beer

Residents of Telluride in the 1970s will remember recording artist Arlene Faith as Gidget Baird, a classically trained violinist who turned to playing country fiddle.

Now, Faith, who has lived in Nashville for almost two decades, has released her second CD of Celtic instrumental music, entitled River of Dreams. The 11-song CD follows Faith’s successful Spirit of the Celtic Violin, released in 2000. “I tried to keep the CD concept in a Celtic theme throughout,” Faith said in a recent interview with the Daily Planet. The title cut “was meant to invite others to take this little journey with me, as well as a dedication to my cousin and her children and the victims of 9-11, that they might be in the land of their dreams which went unfulfilled in this lifetime,” Faith said. Faith’s cousin, Evelyn Dieter and her two children were killed tragically last year outside of Zurich.

Faith’s violin, along with her husband, Russ Kortright’s guitar work, created an inspiring tribute to her late cousin, also a classical violinist who was a member of a 100-year-old chamber orchestra in Zurich. “Her brother and sisters and I were all violinists starting at a very young age,” Faith said.

The instrumentals on the CD range from traditional Celtic dance music depicting faeries and elves joyously dancing in the velveteen woods to haunting, sometimes dark, somber tunes reflecting on life’s tragedies.

“Ancient Voices of the Sea” is Faith’s interpretation of “the sea being somewhat haunted from shipwrecked sailors and those lost at sea who never made it back home.”
“Saint Brigid’s Tear” fuses the folklore of Saint Brigid, who was the daughter of a pagan Druid holy man of the ancient Celts, with “the voices of Catholic nuns.” Saint Brigid cried for the hungry poor in that far-away land and her tears caused fruit trees to grow, Faith said. After Christianity was introduced to the Celts, Brigid was sainted and Celtic women wore crystals around their necks depicting her tears.

“Enchanted” is Faith’s interpretation of giving oneself over to enchanted fantasies, emphasizing her classical training.

“Evelyn” is a haunting tribute to Faith’s cousin. “She was tragically taken along with her children, leaving a deep mark on our entire family, which will never be the same without her,” Faith said. Evelyn and her two children were victims of domestic violence that took all by surprise. “I believe she was with me throughout the making of this CD, and her memory is one of the treasures of my life,” Faith said.

“Creating River of Dreams helped me through a very difficult time and I am grateful,” Faith said. “Every time I put this CD in the player, it takes me back, not only to the soul-searching time I was experiencing, but further … it’s like I finally managed to be a real part of what I was writing about.”

The tragic circumstances that lead to River of Dreams notwithstanding, the CD is filled with deep, rich earthy tones complemented by airy musical side trips that tweak the listener’s mind into flights of fantasy. Listening to the CD before going to sleep almost guarantees vivid dreams.

River of Dreams may be purchased online by going to

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