Guitar Virtuoso with an Acoustic Soul

Jan 30th, 2017 Celtic World, Music Rob Reid 5 min read

I knew of Tony McManus as one of the world’s premier acoustic, fingerstyle guitarists before he moved to Elora, the village that’s also home to Kevin Breit, another world renown guitarist. After interviewing McManus in advance of occasional area concerts, album releases and annual master guitar workshops conducted in his hometown, I discovered how nice the down-to-earth, transplanted Lowland Scots was as a person. I…


Music of Rivers

Oct 3rd, 2016 Armchair Fly Angler, Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 10 min read

Fly anglers and writers — not to mention fly angling writers — are fascinated by the evocative relationship between music and rivers. I’m no exception. One of my favourite fly fishing writers, W.D. Wetherell, who is also an accomplished author of novels, short stories and non-angling essays, reflects on the music of rivers in a chapter titled Symphony in Vermont River, the first volume in…


Musings of an Obsessive Diarist

Dec 6th, 2015 Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 9 min read

Robertson Davies was a cunning literary prestidigitator whose legerdemain spanned the breadth of his writing. After all, he disguised Fifth Business, his masterwork, as an epistolary novel rather than acknowledge that it is a postmodern fusion of spiritual autobiography and romance quest in the shape of C.G. Jung’s myth of individuation. Similarly, while written as a letter to his headmaster, the novel is actually a…


Celtic Crusade with a Canadian Thrust

Nov 29th, 2015 Books & Literature, Celtic World Rob Reid 5 min read

Once upon a time the Medieval Celtic World was synonymous with the Dark Ages. That perspective began to be challenged, and was eventually modified, with a series of books with titles that made grandiose claims championing Celtic achievement in all its manifold forms. The Celtic stone got rolling at a rapid clip in 1995 with How the Irish Saved Civilization. Subtitled The Untold Story of…


Quiet Joys of Choral Evensong

Oct 13th, 2015 Celtic World Rob Reid 5 min read

Since joining Church of the Holy Saviour’s community of faith four years ago, I have wrestled with a perplexing question: why do so few parishioners attend Evensong? To me the evening choral service, conducted on the third Sunday of every month from September through May, is the midtown Waterloo, Ontario Anglican church’s best kept liturgical secret. I’m not qualified speak to the liturgical components of…


Spirituality Through the Back Door

Jun 23rd, 2015 Celtic World Rob Reid 11 min read

I entered the miraculous, marvellous, sacred world of Celtic spirituality through the back door. And I haven’t retreated since. I was never a regular churchgoer. Although I was baptized in an Anglican Church, where my mother and her sister went as children and where my mother and father were married, I didn’t attend church regularly growing up. Sometimes I accompanied friends to their churches, but nothing ever…