Phantom Tollbooth Review - LJ Gets 5/5

The Phantom Tollbooth Website has reviewed the album and given it 5 tocks (the highest rating it can get). They have also made it one of the writers top three picks for November alongside Jeff Johnson and Phil Keagy's Frio Suite.

The full review reads:

I have got to say from the get go that I am totally biased about this album, I absolutely love it. Ever since the release of the first album by the band Iona I have been a huge fan of the music of Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald. I find it to be intelligent, deeply moving and intensely spiritual. I am not a big fan of most modern praise and worship music, I find most of it to be shallow and quite banal. It seems mostly to concentrate on what the writer can do and has done for God. Contemplative music on the other hand, especially the instrumental variety, makes me think of just who God is and the wonders of what He has done in the past and continues to do today.

In the music of such artists as Jeff Johnson and the periodic teaming of Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald we have some of the most amazing and breathtaking contemplative music of the past few decades. Life Journey is meant to be seen as a companion piece to the book of the same name by author Mary Fleeson which by the way is nothing short of brilliant. The thirteen pieces of music contained in this project are meant to reflect the ideas, thoughts and prayers put forth in each of the chapters of the book. Most of the music which is performed by Bainbridge and Fitzgerald, with some assistance by Iona drummer and violinist Frank VanEssen, is centered around the woodwinds of David Fitzgerald with Dave Bainbridge providing ethereal music beds as well as some tasty guitar work. There are pieces which will remind the listener of some of the more adventurous jigs and reels from Iona's musical collection but there are more pieces that will cause the listener to sit back and ponder the mystery and wonder of the God who created us.

As I said earlier I am very biased about this collection of music, it inspires me to desire more of extraordinary art and the God who inspires men to create it.

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock



Phantom Tollbooth reviews Life Journey Book and Follow up Life in Christ

The following review was written on the Phantom Tollbooth website about the Life Journey book which inspired the Life Journey CD.

Over the past 37 years that I have been striving to be serious about my faith, I have used a wide variety of devotional books, booklets and pamphlets. None have had the emotional and spiritual impact as these two books by author Mary Fleeson. Although they would fall into the category of devotional works, they are so much more. Each section of the book contains an original art piece by Mary and these pieces are used as the jumping off point for the topic of that particular section. The art work is done in a style similar to and inspired by the Lindisfarne Gospels and The Book of Kells

One of the things that has encouraged and inspired me the most is the Celtic style prayer that closes each section. Having traveled mainly in evangelical circles for over three decades now, I find much of my prayer life is the wish list type of prayer. You know, it is basically God do this for me, God do that for me. Celtic prayer is an entirely different style altogether though. An example from the book reads thus: 
Precious Lord,
Help me to obey you,
Help me to love, 
Help me to live,
Help me to help others,
Help me to praise,
Help me, 
My Precious Lord.
The prayers are centered on God and who He is, not on my needs and wants. Although praying for our needs is a vital part of a healthy prayer life, it is definitely secondary to praising God for who He is. The art work in these books is amazingly beautiful and is worth having the books for in and of itself, but as I said before these books contain so much more.

There is also a companion album  for the first book, Life Journey featuring musical pieces for each section done by Dave Bainbridge & David Fitzgerald. As with everything these guys do, it, like the book that inspired it is magnificent.

, 5 for each book

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock


Cross Rhythms Review

Rating 9/10

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

After a break of nearly a decade, Iona founder members Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald have teamed up to produce a stunning new album of instrumental pieces based on the book of the same name by Lindisfarne artist and writer Mary Fleeson. Featuring Fitzgerald's flute set to a backdrop of bird and sea noises recorded on the island itself, "The Unknown Destination" sets the scene for an emotive and deeply spiritual album that is designed to compliment Fleeson's work whilst allowing both entities to exist in their own right. An album of virtuoso performances, Fitzgerald expertly works his way through a number of wind instruments such as soprano sax on the haunting "Your Breath" and whistles on "Light Eternal" whilst Bainbridge's considerable guitar skills come to the fore in the epic "Tree". For the most part, the two musicians work against a setting of atmospheric keyboard washes and ambient sounds but are arguably at their best getting their musical teeth into some complex reels in the enthralling "Magnificat" which adds pace to the proceedings. A captivating and passionate release from the Celtic veterans.


Musical Pilgrimage by L Davies on Amazon

The following was written on our amazon product page.

5 ****** Musical Pilgrimage by L Davies (W. Yorkshire)

Beautiful & inspiring. From haunting & mystical to wild & foot-tapping, tracks that make you want to leap up & take to the road, others that take you to your knees. Dave Bainbridge & David Fitzgerald have captured in music the spirit of the journey which Mary Fleeson's book invited us to experience. Reflecting the ebb & flow of tides & seasons & of a life fully-lived. Truly a musical pilgrimage of the heart.