Summer Musical Happenings at Daly Communications !!

Summer Musical Happenings at Daly Communications !!

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 10.50.27 PMMy friend Anita of Daly Communications has a treat for all of you Celtic music lovers. I encourage you to watch out for them and if you don’t know yet, we have already posted past events and releases:

 

Fiddler and original member of Celtic Woman, Mariead Nesbitt just released her traditional Irish album recorded with her Family called ‘The Devil’s Bit Sessions’
Grammy Nominated Violinist Máiréad Nesbitt’s  latest endeavor comes straight from her home where she grew up in Co. Tipperary,  Ireland.  Máiréad has gone back to her roots and has created this unique live album experience with her entire family.  Devil’s Bit Sessions was recorded over a weekend in a “seisun,” a traditional Irish Music session,  in the Nesbitt Family’s home at the foot of Devil’s Bit Mountain. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/devils-bit-sessions-live-feat-mairead-nesbitt/id1249003979
 
Originally from the Scottish Hebrides Isle of Benbecula, the Celtic pop band COAST has released their first cd in the US called ‘Windmills in the Sky’ 
Founded by singer songwriter Paul Eastham the band’s music has a character and style that has been shaped by the dramatic landscapes and cultural aspects of where they grew up or, their roots.
See the video for the song ‘River’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St4OOLWzd7Y & get the cd at
 
SACRED EARTH is Irish Accordian master and music producer, Sharon Shannon’s, first new studio album in 3 years and her 10thstudio album to date. Sharon Shannon is a musician who likes to surprise. While best known for her arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and Irish-influenced compositions, she’s always been eager to explore new styles. 
There are Irish influences here of course but these are cheerfully mixed in with often unexpected styles from around the world, including for the first time, Africa;  Sharon has perfectly mastered an African/Irish crossover. But Sacred Earth is more than this: it contains multiple musical elements from the around the world along with the Shetland Fiddle Tradition, Hip Hop, Country and Blues that all combine to make this album a ground-breaker in many ways.  SACRED EARTH is available at https://www.celticcollections.com/  Also available at Celtic Collections is the 50th Anniversary multiple cd of The Wolfetones and other great albums by multiple Irish artists including The High Kings and Celtic Woman.
The Go Set are a Celtic Rock band from Australia who are releasing their first ever cd here in the US on August 5th called ‘One Fine Day’
Combining the musical elements of the bagpipes, accordion, mandolin and with distorted punk guitars and a rock n roll ethos, The Go Set created a sound and direction all its own. The Go Set is coming in from Australia to appear at the Dublin Ohio Irish Festival on August 4th and 5th for their schedule go to: http://dublinirishfestival.org/schedule/
 ‘One Fine Day’ will be out in the US on August 4th, 2017 to pre-order the cd go to:
http://thegoset.mywaterfrontstore.com/    The first single from the album is ‘Drums of Chelsea’ see the video here  https://youtu.be/MrTah6zWUXY
Find Your Way Home, an Irish Musical Drama hits Albany, Boston & NYC
After opening to rave reviews in Dublin, Ireland, FIND YOUR WAY HOME (An Irish Musical) is making its American debut. Written by Jeff Strange and Jimmy Kelly, two Albany, NY musicians well known on the Irish Music scene, the show has been in development for the past eight years. A true labor of love from both sides of the Atlantic, FIND YOUR WAY HOME is set in post-famine and pre-uprising Ireland and follows an Irish family as they encounter unexpected tragedies and joys in the face of economic hardship  The play features 17 original songs, many of them in the Irish idiom. “But there are scenes where it comes to America,” Kelly said. “There are Appalachian influences, blues influences, and American pop musical influences.”
FIND YOUR WAY HOME  will debut in the US at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY, July 17th, Boston on July 20th at the Hancock Theatre and NYC on July 25th at Symphony Space.   For tickets and further information go www.findyourwayhomethemusical.com Find Your Way Home trailer:  https://youtu.be/J8raJER9jOg
Last but never, ever, the least! A new Van Morrison album out in early september called ”Roll With The Punches’
Van Morrison’s 37th studio album – sees him simultaneously hand-picking a selection of rhythm and blues classics (by the likes of Bo Diddley, Mose Allison, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lightnin’ Hopkins among others) and recording a set of new self-written songs. It’s an album that features raw, intimate interpretations of some of the cornerstones of rock’n’roll alongside five new numbers by one of our most consistently brilliant recording artists. But the first single ‘Bring it on Home to Me’ is available now get it at:  https://vanmorrison.lnk.to/BringItOnHomeToMeSo
Please share will all of your Irish/Celtic music fan friends and enjoy the summer!!
The Warm Elegance of Fraser Fifield’s In Buenos Aires-Listen Today!

The Warm Elegance of Fraser Fifield’s In Buenos Aires-Listen Today!

Fraser-Fifield

Musician photo from his official website.

Jazz is not the popular culture. Jazz is in the same position in our culture as classical music. A very small minority of people really love it. John Corigliano

I think the same can be said about music that is not part of the mainstream like Celtic music. I have followed the musical career of Scottish musician Fraser Fifield and every album from him is an exquisite art meant to be savored!

There is that kind of alchemy that happens when you put two contradicting forces together: the clarity of the instruments against abstract melodies. If you want to know what I mean, try listening to ‘Lament” from  Honest Water. That tune still haunts me just like the day I first listened to it. In-Buenos-Aires-1.jpg

In Buenos Aires highlights the warm and playful side of his musical range. From the liner notes:

Beautiful album of original pieces, recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A unique combination and sound!

Featuring the composer’s soulful low whistle and bagpipes with bandoneon, guitar and double bass from three of the most highly regarded exponents of New Tango, Walther E. Castro, Quique Sinesi and Mono Hurtado.

Recorded & Mixed by Hernan Caratozzolo.

The album cover features an original art by Victoria Fifield.

In Buenos Aires has eleven original tracks. My personal favourite is Cordoba Canntaireachd due to the interesting pipe sound. There are other tunes not to be missed like As A Child, Gaita Y Bandoneon, Improvisation 3 and the rest.

This album is a good one to chill to. Especially when you are in a quiet coffee shop, munching oatmeal cookies and enjoying your espresso. Your fixed gear bike awaits outside, ready to tango with the wind. Yes just like this album. So beautiful and true.

You can buy a copy of  In Buenos Aires from his own website.

 

Sharon Shannon – Sacred Earth album will draw new listeners

Sharon Shannon – Sacred Earth album will draw new listeners

 

SACRED EARTH is Irish Accordian master and music producer, Sharon Shannon’s, first new studio album in 3 years and her 10th studio album to date. Sharon Shannon is a musician who likes to surprise. While best known for her arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and Irish-influenced compositions, she’s always been eager to explore new styles.

1. Rusheen Bay 3:55

2. Sacred Earth 5:04

3. The Machine 4:08

4. Bas Pelles 2:52

5. Pull Out the Stops 3:12

6. He’ll Have to Go 4:08

7. Frenchie’s Reel 2:41

8. The Merry Widow 3:37

9. Let’s Go 4:00

10. Sea Shepherd 5:09

11. The Bull Fiddle 3:48

Every Sharon Shannon release is an occasion to celebrate. Her last release, In Galway In Galway (2015) with Alan Connor, received great reviews. Sacred Earth is a great addition to her discography. I think it is her eclectic style that is the formula to her popularity not just within the genre, to the point that she even got a cameo role in the Colin Farrell movie Ondine(2009) as herself!SharonFinal600

I think the most notable track in this album is The Machine due to its pop friendliness. This is a kind of song that will usher younger fans to her music. I admit I love dancing to it. I also play it when I am out with friends. It’s really a good song with positive driving beat on top of its social commentary nature.

There are eleven track in Sacred Earth. Some, you can expect for their traditional styles like Rusheen Bay, the title track Sacred Earth, Bas Pelles; Pull Out the Stops ..among others. Her accordion playing shines in all these tracks. She is also known for her fiddle technique and  I think it is the percussive nature of her playing is what draws me to her music.

If you are new to her, then I’d suggest you give her a listen as this will open many doors and add a spark to your music appreciation. So, even though Sacred Earth is an eclectic recording, Sacred Earth is still grounded to her Irish roots. Listen to He’ll Have To Go and you’ll know what I mean

P. S. She reminds me of actress Julia Roberts in this album photo but that’s beside the point. Enjoy the music! Buy Sacred Earth here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sacred-earth/id1203288830

Aedín Moloney with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains  ‘REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOM’ Vol. 1 and 2

Aedín Moloney with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains  ‘REFLECTIONS OF MOLLY BLOOM’ Vol. 1 and 2

  For those who were captivated by the prose of James Joyce, ‘Reflections of Molly Bloom’ brings his spirit back to our hearts. I think the world needs his  reflective but at times humorous words. And I think you are in for a treat because it’s literature meets music! If you are a huge fan of The Chieftains then read the press release below as this project will surely delight you with its warms and grace. 
Reflections of Molly Bloom cd cover
“Aedín Moloney brings the spirit of Molly bloom to life, in tune, in harmony, with honesty and with grace.  This recording will forever be in my head.  Sharp, funny, profound and beautiful, we are enriched by Moloney’s voice.” – Colum McCann (National Book Award winner)
Just in time for Bloomsday, June 16th, Wild Mountain Flower productions is proud to present ‘Reflections of Molly Bloom’,  a collaborative recording between actress/producer Aedin Moloney and her father, Paddy Moloney (of The Chieftains).  ‘Reflections of Molly Bloom’ features Aedin Moloney’s renowned interpretation and performance of ‘Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy’ from James Joyce’s Ulysses, complimented with music by Mr. Moloney.
 
Molly Bloom is a fictional character in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce, the wife of the main character Leopold Bloom. The final chapter of Ulysses, otherwise known as “Penelope”, is an unpunctuated stream of consciousness passage comprising her secret thoughts and feelings, as she lies in bed next to her husband.  In the course of the monologue, Molly contemplates her relationship with Leopold, travelling back in time to reminisce on the intensity of their first meeting, a time when there love was once whole.  To reclaim and feel this great love for her husband again, she must first journey further back in time to her youth spent in Gibraltar (her Mother’s homeland), where she rediscovers her true and pure passionate self.
Molly’s soliloquy consists of eight long “sentences.” The concluding period following the final words of her reverie is one of only two punctuation marks in the chapter, the periods at the end of the fourth and eighth “sentences.” The final words of Molly’s reverie, and the very last words of the book, where she finally rediscovers and surrenders to her love for Bloom, are the most famous;  “I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes”
Aedín Moloney has produced with Allen Towbin this recording of her interpretation & performance of Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy. The music selection has been carefully chosen by Aedin with Paddy Moloney, the founder and leader of six-time Grammy award winners, The Chieftains, and includes special guest musicians including Carlos Nunez, Alyth McCormack, Redmond O’Toole, Triona Marshall, Pancho Alvarez, Xurxo Nunez.
 Aedín and Paddy have been collaborating on this project for five years. This is the first time father and daughter have worked together.  It’s a labor of love for Aedín as the music chosen is very close to her heart. The music choices are in keeping with her vision to explore Molly from a female perspective and is meant as an extension of Molly Bloom’s feelings and secret thoughts.  Aedín believes that Molly universally embodies and celebrates all women and all things female, and it attributes this to the genius of James Joyce.  Thus she has dedicated the recording to her beloved mother, Rita O’Reilly.
Reflections of Molly Bloom Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (a double album) will be available on ITunes.  
ITUNES LINKS:
Vol. 1
Vol. 2
 
WEB SITE:  www.wildmountainflower.com           
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MollyTBloom/
Instagram –  mollytbloom
A record release party will be held on June 16th   on ‘Bloomsday’ at Ulysses Folk House in NYC from 1:30-5:30pm. Aedín will be performing sections of Molly’s soliloquy. 

Raise your glasses to a rip-roaring new album from Cheers!

Band: Cheers!

Album: Daily Bread

Release date: May 2017

Snarling, swirling, raging, roaring vocals and electric guitar tempered by fairground accordion arpeggios, whistles and flutes.

‘Chances’ – the opening track on the new album ‘Daily Bread’ from Cheers!

Cheers! was born in a whiskey and Guinness-fuelled frenzy in Pilsen, Czech Republic in 2011 and the first single was released in November the same year. Their debut album ‘Wrong and Right’ was recorded in a 10 hour marathon live session and released in 2013. They are touring almost constantly, playing clubs and festivals, and took their music to Italy in 2015 and 2017. ‘Daily Bread’ is their second album, and unlike their first, this one was made in the studio over a period of weeks, but still keeps a gritty, powerful live sound.

Call me old- fashioned, but I still like my music (if I can’t get it live) to come in CD-sized packages – downloading just doesn’t do it for me, and I put a lot of store in first impressions. A mighty handsome looking CD this is with a work-soiled, heartbroken figure on the front, ironically plastered with the jolly name of the band, and then in sombre, tombstone gothic font, the album title ‘Daily Bread’. According to the band, ‘daily bread’ means several things both in Czech and English, including ‘hunger for what you deserve or daily routine misery, this is what drives the lives of us all…’

cheerscdcover

When I first heard this lot live five years ago, I thought ‘here’s a breath of fresh air on the Czech music scene’ – in fact I was blown away by them then and even more so now. Their debut album was rough and ready, but the energy was definitely there. ‘Daily Bread’ really is a mature piece of work and a labour of love – independently released by the band. The new album is very nicely produced and mixed and all the instruments, even the quieter whistles, fiddle and accordion, keep their character within the melee of driving sounds. Pick me up off the floor guys- I’m knackered just listening to this- but in a good way. My ears are still ringing with the joyful collision of electric guitars and acoustic whistles, the reverberation of accordion and uilleann pipes and Pavel’s distinctive and passionate vocals holding it all together.

cherspromofoto2

Pavel (vocals, acoustic guitar) very kindly took some time out of the band’s busy schedule to answer a few questions about the album.

How long did ‘Daily Bread’ take to record compared to the first album? 

Pavel: Ten times more I think. The first album took 10 hours to record and a couple of days of mixing. We started working on ‘Daily Bread’ this January and recorded it in, like, two months or so. Mixing and mastering took 3 months. It’s plenty in comparison with the first record, but not that much on an LP studio album really.

Influences on your sound?

Pavel: Each band tries to preserve its unique sound or at least that’s what they say. But one way or another, it’s necessary to have a fixed point. In this case, those would be The Dreadnoughts and Dropkick Murphys. I think the sound is overrated though. I know too many bands whose records suck, but rule on stage.

How do you feel about the new album? 

Pavel: Bored of it already. We got to make another (laughs).

What message (if any) are you trying to put across in the songs?

Pavel: Hard to say. Each song’s got it’s own. But overall the usual – love, hatred, people, feelings, politics, etc. That’s what the genre does, don’t you think?

Guards of the Poor (2014)

Where/How can we buy your CD? 

Pavel: It will be available on Itunes, Spotify and other servers in digital format. Physical CD on Amazon or Czech band merchandise e-shops. Or you can contact us directly. Right now we’re trying to spread it over so it’ll take some time before it reaches the counters.

What’s the true story behind ‘Mr. Batter’? 

Pavel: True story? That’s it. We got busted on the streets for stealing copper sheets from a theatre by local police and the night guard pointed us out even though we had no idea. Coming to that, do you need any copper?

What are your favourite songs on the album?

Pavel: For me personally, that would be ‘Dagger’ and ‘Misery’. ‘Misery’ is an old piece and we’ve been playing it since I can remember, and still I get goose bumps when it gets to some parts. We picked the title of the album from its lyrics and I’m glad we did. ‘Dagger’ is a much younger song and was made for the album. Simplicity and straight meaning is sometimes hard to follow, unless the muse kisses you on the cheeks and that happened with ‘Dagger’, I guess. So it makes me feel free every time we play it.

So, prepare to hang on to your seats for an angst-filled 48 minutes and 23 seconds of Celtic folk-punk brewed in Pilsen…

Cheers! on Facebook

Cheers! on YouTube

Cheers! on Bandzone

 

 

Craving for new sound? Get Windmills in the Sky by Coast.

Craving for new sound? Get Windmills in the Sky by Coast.

River is one of the catchiest Celtic rock songs I have heard in ages. There is no comparison because the style is original. Perhaps I would  mention a little bit of Dougie MacLean, Luka Bloom and Simple Minds for reference but I mean when I say that they’re quite unique and captivating. The song (River) starts with a banging of (alsmost gated) drums. The chorus “Take me down to the river..’ is so well-written and recorded that it makes me sing along! It is taken from their new album Windmills in the Sky, consisting of ten songs reflecting their Scottish roots but with modern appeal.

COAST Windmills in the Sky cd cover HIGH RES

New album: Windmills in the Sky

There are five people in the band with Paul Eastham ( Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano)
Chris Barnes( Percussion and Vocals), Finlay Wells (Electric & Acoustic Guitars and Vocals)
‘Mop’ Youngson ( Drums) and Dave Williamson (Bass and additional Vocals). Here’s a brief background from their website:

COAST is a world class, UK based professional rockband started by brothers Paul Eastham and Chris Barnes in 2009.

Paul is an outstanding songwriter, vocalist, performer, producer and virtuoso pianist with an extensive industry CV which includes credits and collaborations with some of the most highly regarded international artists, songwriters and producers.
Having spent many of their childhood years on the Island of Benbecula in Scotlands’ Western Isles, the musical work of COAST has a character and style which is shaped and coloured by the dramatic landscapes and cultural aspects of the region.
With two albums, three EPs and many UK, European and Scandanavian festival appearances behind them, COAST continue with what has been a rapid rise to international acclaim with a new album launching in early 2017 followed by extensive touring of their new high energy show.

Their songs touch various topics and one has such historical content like the ballad “1884.” At times, their music approaches a cinematic scope like the soaring and frisky “Old Atlantic Sky.”  Like their Irish cousins Clannad (who ventured into soundtracking), they’re able to come up with a haunting instrumental piece called “You’re So Beautiful To Me.” I think this track will get Celtic music aficionados (like me) to put them in the elite category of the musical culture. They know how to make a grand close with the title track which showcases their propensity for a grand sound.

Windmills in the Sky is now available for purchase through their website. You can also pre-order CD and vinyl versions.

All About the Celtic Woman USA tour

All About the Celtic Woman USA tour

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 3.56.28 PMIf you’ve been keeping track of Celtic Woman this month, then you know that there have been changes.In fact there is a lengthy article about it in the Chicago Tribune. A harp has also been added to their list of instruments in studio and live. Voices of Angels is the new album that they are promoting in their current US tour. The album was also nominated for the recent Grammys in the category of Best World Music Album. It also entered the Billboard Classical chart at #1. Quite a feat for a group that has undergone so many changes and continues to be a force Irish music internationally.

They will be performing in many places across the United States from this month up to June. So if you haven’t bought your tickets then it is time to do it! Celtic Woman is such a phenomenon like Riverdance. The current lineup are: Susan McFadden, Mairéad Carlin, Éabha McMahon and introduces the breathtaking new Celtic violinist Tara McNeill.

2017 VOICES OF ANGELS NORTH AMERICAN ITINERARY
3/2
Lakeland, FL
Lakeland Center
3/3
Orlando, FL
Bob Carr PAC
3/4
West Palm Beach, FL
Kravis Center
3/5
Tampa, FL
Straz Center
3/7
Fort Myers, FL
Barbara B Mann Hall
3/8
Melbourne, FL
King Center
3/9
Gainesville, FL
Philips Center
3/10
Jacksonville, FL
Times Union
3/11
Charleston, SC
Gaillard Center
3/14
Savannah, GA
Johnny Mercer Theater
3/16
Columbus, GA
River Center
3/17
Greenville, SC
Peace Center
3/18
Augusta, GA
Bell Auditorium
3/19
Charlotte, NC
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
3/21
Salisbury, MD
Wicomico Youth & Civic Center
3/22
Asheville, NC
Thomas Wolfe PAC
3/23
Durham, NC
DPAC
3/24
Baltimore, MD
France Merrick PAC
3/25
Roanoke, VA
Berglund Center
3/26
Newport News, VA
Ferguson Center
3/30
Indiana, PA
Kovalchick Convocation Center
3/31
Lancaster, PA
American Music Theater
4/1
Lancaster, PA
American Music Theater
4/2
Binghamton, NY
Forum Theatre
4/4
Kitchener, ONT
Centre in the Square
4/5
Albany, NY
Palace Theatre
4/6
Providence, RI
PPAC
4/7
Hartford, CT
Bushnell
4/8
Greenvale, NY
Tilles Center
4/9
Portland, ME
Merill Auditorium
4/11
Worcester, MA
Hanover Theatre
4/12
Bangor, ME
Collins Center
4/13
Manchester, NH
SNHU Arena
4/14
Philadelphia, PA
Academy of Music
4/15
Rochester, NY
Auditorium Theater
4/18
Buffalo, NY
Shea’s PAC
4/19
Erie, PA
Warner Theatre
4/20
Cincinnati, OH
Aronoff Center
4/21
Dayton, OH
Schuster PAC
4/22
Columbus, OH
Palace Theater
4/23
Cleveland, OH
State Theater
4/25
Toledo, OH
Stranahan Theatre
4/28
Rockford, IL
Coronado PAC
4/29
Dubuque, IA
Five Flags Center Arena
4/30
Peoria, IL
Peoria Civic Center
5/2
Topeka, KS
Topeka PAC
5/3
Tulsa, OK
Mabee Center
5/4
Memphis, TN
Orpheum
5/5
Cape Girardeau, MO
Show Me Center
5/6
Richmond, KY
EKU Center
5/7
Louisville, KY
Louisville Palace
5/9
Huntsville, AL
Von Braun PAC
5/11
Pensacola, FL
Saenger
5/12
Montgomery, AL
Montgomery PAC
5/13
Bossier City, LA
Horseshoe Casino
5/14
Biloxi, MS
Belcher Center
5/17
Little Rock, AR
Robinson Center
5/18
Lake Charles, LA
Rosa Hart Theatre
5/19
Grand Prairie, TX
Verizon Theatre
5/20
Houston, TX
Smart Financial Center
5/21
San Antonio, TX
Majestic Theatre
5/23
Mesa, AZ
Mesa Arts Center
5/24
San Bernardino, CA
California Theater
5/25
San Diego, CA
Civic Theatre
5/26
Costa Mesa, CA
Sagerstrom Center for the Arts
5/27
Thousand Oaks, CA
Civic Arts Plaza
5/30
Fresno, CA
Saroyan Theatre
5/31
San Jose, CA
Center for the Performing Arts
6/1
Sacramento, CA
Community Center Theater
6/2
Reno, NV
Reno Events Center
6/3
Boise, ID
Morrison Center
6/9
Des Moines, IA
Civic Center
6/10
Green Bay, WI
Weidner Center
6/11
Rochester, MN
Mayo Arena
6/13
Minneapolis, MN
Orpheum
6/14
Kansas City, MO
Kaufman Center
6/15
Springfield, MO
Hammons Hall
6/16
St. Louis, MO
Fox
6/17
Springfield, IL
Sangamon Auditorium
6/18
E. Lansing, MI
Wharton Center
6/21
Syracuse, NY
Crouse Hinds
6/23
Elmira, NY
Clemens Center
6/24
Springfield, MA
Mass-Mutual Center
6/25
Lynn, MA
Lynn Auditorium
Some Music and Dancing this Month

Some Music and Dancing this Month

Ahoy! How are the people of the page? It’s been a while since my last post because of some changes that will always happen as long as we live 😛

Instead of struggling to find something worthy to feature, I found myself looking for ‘news’ bits from Google which is a great way to know what’s going on in our cultural community. This is when I discovered some action happening in Boston this month. If you are a huge fan of The Tannahill Weavers then you will love this news:

webtannahill20weavers-img_assist_custom-251x168

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Celtic Music, Dance Calendar for April

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The Song A Day Project is an interesting channel. This artist by the name of Zachary Scot Johnson loves uploading his tunes and also adding a brief background about them. This talented singer/ songwriter has already shared the stage with Shawn Colvin, Keb’ Mo’, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Don Williams, Jane Siberry, The Be Good Tanyas, Rita Wilson, Steve Forbert, The Verve Pipe etc. Expect variety when you tune in to his uploads.
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Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 9.59.35 AM
  …And do pick up the new album by the amazing Moya Brennan now available via Amazon and other outlets. The cover art is her own painting. According to her press release, she went back to painting only recently. This also happens to be a family album in a sense that she is joined by her children Aisling and Paul Jarvis. If you haven’t yet picked up the recording of Aisling then I can assure you that she has a strong voice with the musical intensity of Patti Smith. As for Paul, he’s getting good with his guitar and this is his first professional project playing various instruments and also adding some technological input to the record.
Celtic Woman new video and more new music!

Celtic Woman new video and more new music!

 

The great thing about the human voice is that it can be honed to stretch its register or to improve its quality. An instrument (a saxophone for instance) can be singular in its quality. You know it’s a saxophone because of its characteristic. But a human voice can have many variations even in the same register. For example, it can be a fuller, bright or powerful soprano. It can be a soft, throaty or smoky contralto.

This is the musical romance that is showcased in the latest recording of Celtic Woman, a new version of Danny Boy. What’s stunning is the utilization of Capitol Records’ Studio A.

Studio A is our largest recording space. Originally built in 1956, Studio A has more than 1500 sq ft of floor space with over 50 years of audio recording heritage. Not only one of the best sounding orchestra rooms in the world, Studio A holds up to 50 musicians comfortably. The combination of timeless history and modern technology is a special feature of this room. Studio A has a variable decay time that can be tailored to your needs, this is accomplished by adjusting the louvered wall panels. Studios A and B can be combined by removing the retractable wall separating the two. The studio additionally features two isolation booths. Ideal for both acoustic and electric instruments, Artists have their choice of a Yamaha C9 or New York Steinway “B” piano. It also has a large private artist lounge above the control room.-Capitol Studios website.

More about the song below:

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Press Release from CELTIC WOMAN
Record “DANNY BOY” for the series, 1 mic 1 take, at the Iconic Capitol Records’ Building

The GRAMMY-NOMINATED GROUP is currently on a 91 city tour of the US
CELTIC WOMAN have recorded a stunning new version of the classic Celtic ballad “Danny Boy ” at the Capitol Records’ Studio A in Hollywood.  Utilizing Frank Sinatra’s microphone and Nat King Cole’s piano it was taped when the multi-platinum international music sensations were in Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards.  The track features Celtic Woman’s exciting new line up of Susan McFadden, Mairéad Carlin, Éabha McMahon and violinist Tara McNeill. The song and accompanying video are the latest in the 1 mic 1 take series recorded at Studio A. The series is described as “what happens when you take one artist, one mic, one iconic recording studio and give them one chance to show their raw talent.”  Previous artists who’ve recorded 1 mic 1 take sessions include Niall Horan, Gregory Porter, Emeli Sandé, Calum Scott, Halsey, Pete Yorn, Broods, and A Fine Frenzy.  Check out the 1 mic 1 take video, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=_7RdcZFYx-U&feature=youtu.be
CELTIC WOMAN are currently out on their extensive US Voices Of Angels Tour in support of their latest album of the same name.  They are accompanied by an ensemble of Irish dancers, bagpipers and a full band playing an array of traditional Irish instruments. The 91-city trek kicked off March 2 in Lakeland, FL and will take Celtic Woman across the country before wrapping June 25 in Lynn, MA. VOICES OF ANGELS, on Manhattan/ Caroline Records, contains some of the most popular songs from the Celtic Woman repertoire, along with several previously unrecorded tracks, all with stunning new orchestral arrangements recorded with the 72-piece Orchestra of Ireland. Celtic Woman has a remarkable 12-year-legacy of introducing the most talented singers and musicians from Ireland onto the world stage.

ABOUT CELTIC WOMAN
Following its debut on PBS in 2005, Celtic Woman has achieved massive success encompassing twelve chart-topping albums, nine DVDs and nine public television specials leading to sales of over ten million albums, with platinum success in nine countries. Each of the twelve CDs–including 2016’s Voices of Angels–has reached #1 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. The group has been named Billboard Magazine’s #1 World Albums Artist six times.  Celtic Woman received its first-ever Grammy-nomination in the World Music category for its 2016 release Destiny. As a touring powerhouse, the group has performed for over four million fans across 23 countries and six continents, with an especially devoted following in America. Their shows are renowned as high quality entertainment with exceptional musical performances and stunning visual productions, enthralling audiences of all ages.

For full tour and more info go to www.celticwoman.com

Media Contact: Anita Daly / Daly Communications /2127720852 / anitadaly@yahoo.com
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The Crazy Rogues – Fleet (EP teaser)

 

Check this band out! They are from Hungary and they admire the music of Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Paddy and the Rats, Firkin and Dubliners. Their unique style is heavily influenced by Irish punk and celtic punk music, as well as country and other folk music.They also like heavy metal and rock music.

They are happy doing concerts in Hungary and also abroad.
“From small pubs to big venues, our own shows as well as festivals, public events.”

Band members are:

Biermann Teo – flute |
Verrasztó László – lead vocals |
Fellegi Krisztián – banjo, mandolin, backing vocals |
Faragó Dániel – violin, backing vocals |
Fazekas Gábor – guitars, backing vocals |
Öcsi Levente – bass |
Nagy Ákos – drums |

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCrazyRoguesBand

https://www.instagram.com/thecrazyrogues/

https://thecrazyrogues.bandcamp.com

 

 

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I Think I posted this video already but it is worth seeing and hearing again 🙂

Post St Patrick’s Day Hangover

Post St Patrick’s Day Hangover

I mean tunes not drink haha!

St Patrick’s has taught us that music is alive and well!

I admit it’s the first time I came across this YouTube vlogger by the name of Jack. Now I have to warn you. There are lots of expletives here. If you are like me who don’t care jumping from childlike innocence to morbidity in a split second then this is for you! Why? Because St. Paddy’s day covers everything under the sun!

Irish Time With Jack ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyZw-…

►Twitter : https://twitter.com/Jack_Septic_Eye
►Instagram: http://instagram.com/jacksepticeye
►Facebook : https://facebook.com/officialjacksept…
►Merchandise: http://jacksepticeye.fanfiber.com/

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Celtic Thunder Billboard St Patrick’s Day

I love these guys. They continue to make good music in the midst these dark times. Wonderful performance of Galway Girl and many more!

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So fitting for the times: And the Wasters are making music for the millennials!

This post originally appeared in http://www.spheremusic.me. I thought of sharing in here because I want more people to take notice.

Music is a substitute for caffeine. If you wake up in the morning and the music is right then the day is auspicious! I am always looking forward to releases from this group (Now called And the Wasters) as their subsequent albums have proven to be really good! Notice the change in the line-up(and name). Here’s a blurb from their site:Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 1.27.06 PM

2016 saw the band change name and take on a new lineup to play main stages at UK festivals such as Bearded Theory and Boomtown Fair, complete an extensive tour of Europe and bring global influences into their sound with their instrumental diversity of accordion, trumpet and violin.

They are the most hard-working group I’ve known and they get better every year in both their studio and live recordings. It is no brainer that everyone in the group has his or her own musical influence and the diversity makes And the Wasters appealing to all music lovers. There is also nuance and complexity I’ve noticed in their music as they strive for artistic growth:

Lyrically, the EP reflects on a sense of sadness, anxiety and uncertainty faced in the modern world, while also promoting an empowering message of solidarity, DIY culture and collective action in their rowdy Punk sound and spirit.

I think this is shown in their song Small Victories. I get that mournful tune on top of the ska-powered rhythm. It is fitting for the times. This contradicting forces are present in all songs. Notably in Reduce, Reuse, Rebel. The Wasters are showing us that the punk spirit is still alive. Despite the excesses and the entitlement that litter this generation, there are still those going against the flow. The production quality is noted here:

Recorded in 2016 across at Music Ape studios & Worse than Bad studio. Mixed and mastered by Matt Martin at Made of Ale (Pumpkin Records). Overdubs on ‘Intro Dub’ by Ian Upsettah.

So the album just dropped. Check out their awesome video below:

Give this band your two thumbs up and buy their albums! It’s a pay-as-you-fee download. Free if ya like 😉 Show your support by giving the world conscience through music!

Upcoming Shows For The NYC ST. Patrick’s Day!

Upcoming Shows For The NYC ST. Patrick’s Day!

Wow the year is moving so fast. I am reminded by two movies I watched today: Passengers and The Space Between Us. Although I have something to say about both films, this isn’t the right place! And hey Asa Butterfield reminds me of my  singer-songwriter friend Layne Greene.
Saint Patrick’s Day Season is just a few days away and Anita Daly (who runs the amazing Daly Communications) is involved with these shows. So if you are around NYC, check these wonderful artists.
I am a huge fan of The Chieftains for decades and it is great to know that they are touring again. Also, Canadian couple Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster will thrill their American fans with their own brand of Celtic music. I posted a review of their holiday album a few months ago and you can tell it was a great listening pleasure for me!
March 4th, the legendary Chieftains bring their 55th Anniversary Tour to Kupferberg Center at Queens College, Flushing NY @ 8:00pm 
 
“55 years, wow, where have they gone as we’re still going strong”, says Paddy Moloney, leader of the six-time Grammy Award winners, The Chieftains.  The Chieftains have been highly recognized for reinventing traditional Irish music on a contemporary and International scale.  The Chieftains were formed in Ireland in 1962 by Paddy Moloney, one of the top traditional folk musicians in Ireland and around the world. Their ability to transcend musical boundaries to blend tradition with modern music has notably hailed them as one of the most renowned and revered musical groups to this day. After more than fifty five years of making some of the most beautiful music in the world, The Chieftains’ music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.  Paddy Moloney says, “This tour will have all the musical force of what we’ve accumulated and achieved over the last 55 years, with a few extra gems thrown in for good measure”.
For Tickets Visit: www.ticketmaster.com  Discount Code CHIEFS
March 17Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy bring their family of fiddlers to Webster Hall, NYC for a special ST. PATRICK’S DAY performance of their ‘From Ireland to Cape Breton & Beyond’ tour @8:00pm
 
The first family of Celtic fiddlers, The husband and wife duo, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, command the stage with an explosive celebration of raw energy and passion that infuses their traditional heritage with their taste for the contemporary. With this show Natalie and Donnell will blend the legendary musical traditions of Ireland with that of their hometowns of Lakefield Ontario and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The show is a family affair including special performances with their children and highlights the unique talents, influences and stories of this amazing, growing clan through dancing, singing and, of course, world-class music making.  The couple is touring after their recent album release of ‘ONE’, possibly the best fiddle album ever recorded. 
 
For Tickets Visit: http://www.websterhall.com/
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I love instrumental music! I feel that… it just goes into your subconscious smoothly. Without the distraction of the lyrics, there is no room for intellectualized things. You just go for the cheese in the sandwich right away. Check this dude out. He’s based in Wales and he plays a hot guitar! I attached the link below where you can listen to his music. His name is Bedwyr Morgan.

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Have you heard of  McPEAKE ? www.facebook.com/mcpeakemusic and they have just released a new EP – Gypsies in the Wood. They put a fresh contemporary spin to traditional songs. For instance, Wild Mountain has that pop vibe with an almost R & B rendering. But it still manages to evoke that traditional vibe.
Their songs can be heard via their website: http://www.mcpeakemusic.com

A brief bio I got from their website:

Ask Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, or Bono about the roots of Irish Music, and they will point you to the McPeake Family!

The four generations of the McPeake Family are one of those rare Irish gems that have been whispered as ‘folk-royalty.’  Their beloved song “Wild Mountain Thyme” has been on the lips of music lovers across the globe – in Irish pubs, concert halls, and music festivals worldwide – since it was first performed in the late 1940s.  This hauntingly beautiful folk anthem has been covered by music superstars such as Glen Frey (The Eagles), Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan and Judy Collins, to name but a very few.

Francis McPeake I penned “Wild Mountain Thyme;” Francis McPeake II influenced Van Morrison, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan; Francis McPeake III taught John Lennon the Uilleann Pipes; and now Francis McPeake IV – who has worked with iconic Hollywood film companies, such as Walden Media, and Academy Award-winning actors – has formed the vibrant new band McPEAKE.

Figuring prominently in the EMMY Award-winning PBS Special “Music of Ireland,” McPEAKE is now taking the world of Celtic music by storm with its own contemporary brand of self-penned songs and compositions. Since their initial tour of USA in 2009, McPEAKE are now on the main stages of the USA festival circuit, performing regularly to audiences in excess 10,000 people. The new generation of this legendary family has developed a distinctive sound that is totally immersed in the popular culture of today, while maintaining a firm anchor in the influences of past generations.

McPEAKE’s unique blend of Indie, Country, Folk and Irish music attracts widely diverse audiences that might not otherwise commingle. Fans consistently use superlatives such as fresh, authentic, original, and dazzling to describe the experience that is – McPEAKE!

“Songs From Before” by Fionnuala Sherry and Other Music.

“Songs From Before” by Fionnuala Sherry and Other Music.

Secret Garden’s Fionnuala Sherry stands on her own in Songs from Before

That distinctive  John Edward Betts violin from 1790 is Fionnuala Sherry’s instrument of choice in both live and studio sessions. And like her choice of instrument, the style of most songs in her album Songs from Before (released in 2011 by  Hearts of Space Records) never stray far away from  the subtle mood of Secret Garden-with notable exceptions in some tracks. I am talking about the stunning rhythmic drum work in Lark in Clear Air and the experimental/ambient style of My Lagan Love. screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-8-19-30-pm

Songs from Before is clearly a nod to Irish traditional music but with modern arrangements, and sans the neo-classical style of Secret Garden. Perhaps there will always be challenges in projects like this one. Will be some of the parts be any lesser than the whole? Will her musical efforts get noticed away from the shadow of million-selling duo that are Secret Garden? But many have ventured this path: Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance, Moya Brennan of Clannad and even Karen Matheson of Capercaillie, among others. I think her strength is in her classical discipline. Couple that with her pop sensibilities and you get a modern album that is also timeless due to its traditional spirit.

I remember one early morning while riding the bike. I was playing this album through my bluetooth speaker attached to my messenger bag. I stopped by a bridge just in time for Lark in Clear Air to play. And it was quite a musical moment.The sweeping view and the stately sound seemed to have created that synergy which was spiritual. I understand that her music is always rooted in nature. There is something organic and soothing about her style. It’s like being inclosed in a thick foliage. It is a private moment keeping the world at bay. Even if it’s just for a span of forty minutes. And it is good enough.

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Have you gotten your own copy of Canvas by Moya Brennan? Yes it is out now. Here’s the editorial review via Amazon:

CANVAS is the ninth solo album from the First Lady of Celtic Music, Moya Brennan. This collection of original songs is steeped in her Celtic roots – Moya comes from Donegal in the NW of Ireland. But, more than ever before, the album has a contemporary twist due in no small part to her co-writers/ composers, daughter Aisling and son Paul, both in their early twenties with strong ambient electronica and contemporary singer-songwriter influences. Moya s haunting, ethereal, vocals have been her unique hallmark both in her years with Celtic music pioneers, Clannad, and in her own solo recordings and film work. The album contains some songs in Moya s native language, Gaeilge, while other songs celebrate, for instance, elemental/environmental themes or lament the child victims of needless war and conflict. Musically the record unveils a spectrum from poignant, fragile beauty through to dramatic, symphonic peaks. The album title comes from Moya s rediscovery of her love for painting. She painted the cover and art featured throughout the CD package. Canvas combines the simplicity, depth and beauty of the extraordinary skills which makes Moya unique in her field. Grammy award winner Moya has sung on most of the world s great stages and has collaborated with many notable artists including Bono, The Chieftains, Bruce Hornsby and Robert Plant. Among her movie credits is her collaboration (and co-writing of the end title song) with Hans Zimmer on King Arthur.

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For Drum Fannatics!

This is interesting! As a percussion enthusiast this is a great find for me. Big thanks to Matthew Bell for pointing this out to me. More about this project from Contemporary Bodhran:

www.kitchatham.com
www.contemporarybodhran.com
Kit Chatham, Matthew Bell, Alex Kuldell, Josh Dukes, and Ryan Mullins play a variety of percussion and stringed instruments in a Genre-defying instrumental mashup. Features Mandolin, Banjo, Highland Bagpipes, Jaw Harp, Irish Flute, Guitar, Kanjira, Pipe Band Snare, Rope Tension Bass Drum, Rope Tension Snare Drum, Bodhrán, tabla, drumset, and programmed percussion.

There you have it for now.

Moving Up with Latitude-Rant Maggie Rant.

Moving Up with Latitude-Rant Maggie Rant.

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Lindsay Schindler (fiddle, vocals)

Glen Dias (lead vocals, recorder and incidental percussion)

Barry James Payne (acoustic guitar, bouzouki, harmonica, vocals)

Rob Larose (drums & percussion)

Steve Clarke (electric and upright bass)

Daev Clysdale (Irish Flute, whistles, accordion).

Additional musicians have also included Alberto Suarez (drums & percussion), Graham Hargrove (drums & percussion), Jay Rheil (drums & percussion), Loretto Reid (Irish Flute, whistles, concertina & button accordion), Dave Nuttall (Irish whistles and wind instruments) and Pat O’Gorman (pipes, Irish flute and whistles).

So happy to finally get my hands on the newest CD of Rant Maggie Rant called Latitude. They made a good buzz prior to the album’s release. Such things are always helpful. The packaging is amazing. The liner notes and artwork give the album a premium feel. You can really tell a lot of thinking went into the conception of Latitude.

I am a big fan of the recorder. In fact the first wind instrument that I picked up was a soprano recorder. The tenor recorder on the other hand has a mellow and mellifluous sound. In the hands of an expert like Glen Diaz, the instrument becomes a powerful tool of universal expression. The best moments are when it goes into duet with Lindsay Schindler’s fiddle. Perhaps other bands have already tried this combination but this is the first time for me. And if you think their recorded music is amazing, you should also see their live shows. They are highly entertaining.

Huge appreciation goes Barry James Payne for providing the golden sound of the acoustic guitar and other instruments. Rob Larose kept everything lively and bombastic. And drums need the groovy bass of Steve Clark-and together they are incredible. Daev Clysdale on the other hand keeps that distinctive Irish feel. Check out the liner notes for details on additional musicians who appeared in this recording.

Their musical efforts did not go unnoticed. As a band, they already picked up the Australian Celtic Award  for International Artist of the Year in 2015. They also got the Jack Richardson Music Award for Traditional Folk/Roots and got nominated 9 times for Traditional Folk/Roots, World Music and Celtic Awards. Their eclectic music is the result of their individual artistic influences. Their website notes that their  sound is a fusion of Latin and Mediterranean rhythms, African hand drumming and percussion, blues/rock guitar backdrops, revved up tempos, unexpected time changes, and a unique rhythmic attack take their listeners on a journey to several cultural musical landmarks. 

The twelve tracks will satisfy your eclectic spirit. It’s like my experience drinking tea infused with different flavors. It always leaves you smiling. Latitude also arrived just  when I am rediscovering my love for World Music. Which reminds me that fans of Jazz and Latin music should get this album!

The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!

The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!

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The minimalist approach of Darren Lynch is comparable to a nice breathing room after the madness of the rush hour.  

Dublin born folk musician and writer Darren Lynch is full of surprises. According to his bio, he started off playing music after finishing a successful amateur boxing career with Crumlin Boxing Club. His first instrument was the banjo which progressed to mandolin and then mandola. I became familiar with his music after listening to his first musical project, The Feekers. They released Tarbolten in 2012. When The Feekers parted ways he continued to explore other creative avenues.

His first novel ‘Siltation’ was published in 2013. All the proceeds from this book are donated to The Irish Cancer Society. If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to do so. His prose is astounding, giving you a glimpse of Dublin through his character’s eyes. After the release of Siltation, he started performing around Dublin. The audience took note of his intricate bouzouki work with The Ballyfermot Rakes.

The Spinning Wheel.

Personel:

Darren Lynch: Bouzouki, Vocals

Derek Copley: Banjo, Mandolin

Ais Conway Keogh: Fiddle

Produced by: Darren Lynch

Recording Engineer: Gareth Desmond, Loop Studio’s

Photography: Joe Butler

From the sleeve notes:

This album is a collection of some of the songs I have sang over the past 15 years or more. Groups such as The Fureys, The Dubliners and Sweeney’s Men –  as well as singers like Pecker Dunne and Brendan Behan – did not merely perform these songs, but offered them to listeners as their own story. 

This is testament to the timeless quality of the art of the folk song and the stories of yesterday, which stand the test of time and filter into the future by their ability to resonate with every era. This is an album of my renditions of these timeless stories.

The Spinning Wheel is a testament to the enduring power of folk music. No technology or fad can destroy its spirit as the music of the people. He sings in the tradition of such greats as Luka Bloom, Andy Irvine and Christy Moore.

The bouzouki is an expressive instrument. It evokes that  ‘afternoon sunshine in the woods’ kind of feeling. There is something organic and sonorous about it especially when played with low chords. And of course there’s his vocal delivery which is timeless in its simplicity and its adherence to tradition. Both his voice and instrument deliver unparalleled expressive power.

Other artists  also appeared in the recording session, notably two virtuoso musicians: Banjo/mandolin player Derek Copeley and fiddler Ais Conway. Recording Engineer Gareth Desmond provided the clean and warm palette to the recording. I like his mixing method especially when it comes to the high-end  and low-end of the sonic spectrum. He takes us  to the surface of the sound, achieving this intimate and airy kind of recording  characteristic.

The rendition of The Wind That Shakes The Barley  (written by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1836–1883)is a refreshing take on this popular track already covered by diverse artists as Loreena McKennitt, Lisa Gerrard, Amanda Palmer, The Clancy Brothers among others.

Dance To Your Daddy showcases his eclectic choice of materials. For those unfamiliar, the track is actually a traditional English folk song that originated in North East England. According to Wikipedia, it was popularised as the theme tune to the 1970s BBC drama serial When The Boat Comes In in an arrangement by the composer David Fanshawe.

Overall, The Spinning Wheel is a satisfying album. It has a pace that moves forward regardless of the tempo. And it is a work of art in its simplicity.

The Spinning Wheel is a high achievement for a singer-songwriter  who performs with bloody passion and then, quietly leaving us with our senses on fire.

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Máiréad Nesbitt Brings the Primal Energy of Irish Music with Hibernia.

Máiréad Nesbitt Brings the Primal Energy of Irish Music with Hibernia.

MÁIRÉAD NESBITT – CELTIC VIOLIN

WITH KARL NESBITT – FLUTE, LOW WHISTLE, BOUZOUKI, DIDJERIDOO. MICK O’BRIEN – UILLEANN PIPES & WHISTLE.

OTHER GUEST MUSICIANS:

KATHLEEN NESBITT – FIDDLE, JOHN NESBITT – ACCORDION, SEÁN NESBITT-ACCORDION, NATHAN PACHECO – VOCAL, NOEL ECCLES- PERCUSSION, NICK BAILEY- PERCUSSION. CASHEL SET DANCERS: GRÁINNE UÍ CHAOMHÁNAIGH, ÁINE CODY, BERNIE SULLIVAN AND COLEMAN LYDON.
THE ORCHESTRA OF IRELAND: LEADER KENNETH RICE. CONDUCTED BY LIAM BATES.

 

It is past one in the morning and I am listening to Hibernia by Máiréad Nesbitt. After many live performances all over the world and being on stage viewed by thousands of people, confidence and sheer talent have been translated into this album of fifteen tunes. One thing I am certain even before hearing this album is that she is a musical force unparalleled in any genre.

Hibernia is the classical Latin name for Ireland. Quite fitting as this album resonates her musical discipline and the visual approximation of the new Irish music. NY Times calls her “The demon of a fiddle player.” I think this is accurate because when she takes the stage , she is like a tempest. The energy is infectious! There is that distinctive characteristic about her music that’s both playful and primal.

There are many fantastic tracks in Hibernia. I was surprised when the opening tune Hollowed Fire is a mellow track because the title sounds like it came from the climax of Riverdance. But it is also an appetizer of what’s to come – the motif of the whole album. Her violin playing is pristine as ever, combining cinematic/visual style to a music that is captivating.

Hibernia tracks are representative of her part in Caltic Woman. You  can imagine this played live with her prancing on stage with the rest of the musicians. But unlike Celtic Woman, this is her own solo effort, backed the best musicians in the field. I admit the high points of the album for me are the quieter tunes like the sublime Seán Ó’ Duibhir A Ghleanna. So why Hibernia?

As stated in the liner notes:

Steeped in the traditions of both Classical music and Irish folk music, Máiréad brings the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of the Celts and the Classics together to create an exhilarating album of the music and tunes of Éire. HIBERNIA, the Classical name for Ireland, features beautiful slow airs, vocals, lively dance tunes, and ferocious, fast-paced reels all anchored by Máiréad’s stunning violin performances. The album features orchestral suites of all original music by Máiréad herself, along with Colm Ó Foghlú and Liam Bates.

For the virgin ears, Hibernia combines the grand tradition of Celtic woman but it is also grounded to the intimate elements of traditional Irish music- which is her her as an artist after the last album Raining Up. It is also worth noting that this is also a sort of family musical affair. She is joined by her siblings including Karl Nesbitt whom I had the honor to interview in the past. Also added is a unique performance by Nathan Pacheco on To Bring them Home, which is worth anticipating.

Hibernia is(as a recording) a wild Irish fairy on the brink of madness. The excitement, danger and exhilaration are all here. And artistically? She is more like Jimi Hendrix meets Rachmaninov. So expect  enchantment from the one and only Máiréad Nesbitt!mairead-photo

Seastar : Music of the Elements

Seastar : Music of the Elements

Plus: Colm Gavin, Cara Dillon and Solas. 

Since its official release back in August of 2016, Never Go Back has reaped positive reviews from Celtic music fans. I for one, finds The Great Silkie a fascinating song. It’s a wise choice for the band to make it an opening track because it warms you up to the style of other songs. It makes you curious and excited.

Powered by the beautiful voice of Fae Wiedenhoeft, this album of fourteen tracks succeeds in its intention of inspiring diverse listeners. The band’s musical style is fresh, friendly  and also easy. What I mean when I say ‘easy’ is that it transcends the genre. Whither you are into Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock or Folk music, this album certainly has something for everyone.

The percussive element of Never Go Back is also what drives listeners to stick around. It never gets boring or draggy. Seastar have a rich sound palette because of their love and mastery of many instruments. Experimenting with scales is also one of the album’s many strengths- as evident in their official single Never Go Back- as well as other songs that project their expertise in World Music.seastar22_large

Now, I checked out the bio of all members and I noticed each has his own history. For example, Ron Allen not only sings and plays the guitars but he is also the owner of Four Lumen Studio in Kirkland, Washington. Captain (born Adam Shea Chambers) plays the bass and he is also a film maker, poet, and novelist. Michael Falcone, aside from being a synth wiz, vocalist and percussionist; is also a filmmaker, voice-over artist and film location scout. Fae(who is the captivating voice of the band) is also an award-winning songwriter and a member of the Grammy Association.

If there is this element that connects the band , then it has to be their love for visual arts. And it all makes sense. If you listen to Never Go Back, you can get that sense of being transported to different places and time with each song. They love adding texture and attitude to each of the instruments used in various songs. And at times I think the instruments are voicing their own story behind the story of the song-writer.

I think Never Go Back deserves an award of sorts for bringing people to the simplistic, down-to earth aspect of Celtic music. It is an album that can feel at home in the trendy but intimate atmosphere of coffee shops or the green sunny warmth of outdoors. And I can certainly ride my bike to these songs. They are so alive, so one with the earth, wind, fire and water.

Visit the official site of the band: http://jetbutterfly.com/band/index.html

Facebook: seastarsings

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Colm Gavin

Now, I ‘discovered’ Colm Gavin through an Enya Official forum around two years ago (with the release of Dark Sky Island) as the young lad whom she took an Instagram selfie with (she treated him for a pint of beer). He is also a frequent guest of Leo’s Tavern and at times  he backs Moya Brennan of Clannad during the tavern concerts(the notable one was a tribute to the late Leo Brennan).

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Enya & I, Leos Tavern, NYE 👌🏻

 

I got intrigued and I followed him on Instagram whom he frequently posts updates as well as snippets of new songs. Her certainly has an amazing talent. A natural tenor and a good interpreter of Irish folk tunes (as well as good in writing his original material), I think he will definitely be Ireland’s notable musical names in the future. Watch out for him!

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Cara Dillon & Solas

I’ve been sharing this video to friends this morning. It is such an amazing interpretation of the traditional Irish song. Cara Dillon has a voice of an angel. I’ve been a fan for six years since I got my hands on After the Morning. She is with Solas-another band that you should not miss!

The Gothard Sisters New Magical Album

The Gothard Sisters New Magical Album

 

The Gothard Sisters define the spirit of the season with their new album Falling Snow. What brought the album close to my heart is its vivacious atmosphere. There is no shortage of upbeat tracks in this 10-track album. Apart from the vocal acrobats, you are in for an instrumental treat like the elaborated God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen , a track that will make members of The Fairport Convention smile!

There are traditional holiday songs like Hark! The Herald Angels Sing which we all love to sing along to. There’s also the ever joyful Winter Wonderland with its notable pizzicato accompaniment. Then there are never before heard tracks like Christmas Flower which will rouse even the Grinch in us, and so much more.

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Happy Elf brings that ancient spirit with its traditional fiddling. Then there’s the folky Still Still Still where the voices blend in perfection. There’s Skater’s Waltz that will delight the Irish music lovers in all of us. And Joy To The World closes this gem, and this will leave you smiling long after the album has stopped playing.

The Gothard Sisters are superb performers and their confidence in live settings shines throughout every recording. Falling Snow is a testament to their matured musicality that only gets better every year. So, if you are looking for a holiday album that reflects that sense of childhood wonderment, then Falling Snow deserves a space in your growing collection!

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Christmas Carols from Cork

Mary Kennedy presents the concert beside the River Lee in the grounds of University College Cork. With stunning performances by Celine Byrne, Brian Kennedy and special guest Enya.

If you haven’t seen this holiday gem yet, then it is time to feast your eyes and ears to the sublime presentation from Ireland. You can really feel the spiritual power of the place. The songs are fitting. And yes there’s Enya!

http://www.rte.ie/player/ph/show/christmas-carols-from-cork-30004440/10666460/

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Albums to buy this season:

THE WEXFORD CAROLS with Caitríona O’Leary Rosanne Cash Rhiannon Giddens and Tom Jones featuring Ireland’s oldest known Christmas music http://heresyrecords.com/

A CELTIC FAMILY CHRISTMAS with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy and their family a beautiful cd every Celtic Traditional Music lover will want in their collection http://www.truenorthrecords.com/album/907

VOICES OF ANGELS by Celtic Woman A brand new line up with beautifully recorded classics, including some Christmas tunes recorded with the Orchestra of Ireland www.celticwoman.com

TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS: A CONTEMPORARY CELTIC CHRISTMAS COLLECTION A re-release of a collection of some of the best Irish and Irish American performers including The High Kings, Damien Dempsey, LARRY KIRWAN, The Celtic Tenors and more great Christmas cd for all of our holiday activities! www.togetherforchristmas.com   oh – it’s produced by yours truly!

HIBERNIA by Máiréad Nesbitt Celtic Violinist & former member of Celtic Woman – US debut album features original tunes, the album’s concept is the crossover of Celtic&Classical violin with symphony orchestra. Another great one for any Celtic music fan! www.maireadnesbittcelticviolinist.com
Again thanks to my friend Anita Daly for this list.
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Big thank you to my friend Paula. She sent me these wonderful gifts!!!!
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A Celtic Family Christmas-Canadian Soul with Universal Appeal

A Celtic Family Christmas-Canadian Soul with Universal Appeal

So this is holiday music Cape Breton style. Natalie MacMaster has always satisfied fans of lively instrumental Celtic music and A Celtic Family Christmas is a joy to listen to. She recorded this with Donell Leahy (from the famous group Leahy). They married in 2002 and have six children together. I think this album speaks about that joy of being a musical family during holidays. You can hear some of their kids performing some of the tracks in the album. I did some Google search while writing this entry and I was reading this article from Windsor Sun.

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It is fascinating for both musical parents to manage six children. But this is no surprising. Celtic music has always been a family affair. Take Clannad, The Corrs, The Rankins etc. Like the connecting lines in a Celtic tapestry, a true Celt would understand how all things are related. Music is no longer an art to be incased in museum displays. It is a breathing , living thing that is part of us, as trees to soil and rivers to ocean.

The Album

A Celtic Family Christmas has eleven tunes. Most of them are familiar tunes you grew up with. But they are given a jazzy, folky and Celticky treatment. The arrangements are interesting (given their joint temperaments and did you know MacMaster is related to Jack White?) and lively.screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-11-54-23-am

The general feel of the album makes you want to get up and dance. There are slow tunes but energy dominates this as a whole. I love the sense of humor that the team have placed in the majority of the songs. The inventiveness is really captivating. I played this with relatives and they just love it! I do have my personal favorites. I love the opening song Angels We Have Heard on High. It’s a rousing tune with that signature fiddling of MacMaster and Leahy. Jazz takes the center stage with White Christmas. This is in keeping with Irving Berlin’s style which is fabulous.  Twelve Days of Christmas never sounded so fresh!

Something for everyone.

This album will touch any generation. It has a timeless appeal. The styles resonate those of eras gone by and contemporary ones making you feel like you have travelled in any times. This will also be a good introduction to those who are not really familiar with Cape Breton fiddle style. But there will be those who will be drawn to the delicate arrangements found in the likes of What Child Is This with its light-as-spring piano intro. A Celtic Family Christmas also features their kids! Yes I think you will also enjoy this album for that matter.

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In other news…

Canadian vocal powerhouse Allison Crowe showcases her amazing pipes with River. It is part of her Advent calendar as she celebrates Christmas with her fans. Check it out. Very powerful.

Flashback!

It is expected that those who fervently love the music of Clannad are also familiar with this little animation. This was release around 1989(where were you?). The story goes like this:

A little girl is given the following for her birthday: a pink piggy bank, a shiny new coin, a picture book about pirates and two tiny dolls-an Angel and a Soldier Boy.  the The pirates jump out of the picture book while she sleeps, and  then steal the shiny coin out of her piggy bank. Their noise wakes the Soldier Boy who chases after them, but he is overpowered and taken prisoner. The Angel sets off bravely to his rescue, out to sea and back again, as they retrieve the coin and bring it safely home to the little girl.

 

 

Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Plus Kyle Carey’s Kickstarter update, The Celtic Social Club and Friday Frolics.

Well well well, lads and lassies my mailbox is buzzing! Music keeps coming in from all sides and this is the busiest holiday so far. There is just so much music to taste (with my ears of course). So first up…

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

It’s been a while since I heard major releases from these two Canadian artists. I never thought it would be a holiday album with their combined musical talents. I am yet to listen to A Celtic Family Christmas so I can post a reactionary entry.

Here’s an in-depth info from their website for those who are curious. Again my big thanks to Anita Daly for always pointing me to the great artists! The album is available from

 iTunes, Amazon and the  Linus label store. The latter also sells other Canadian Celtic music artists of you are curious. Really worth checking out!

“For the album A Celtic Family Christmas, we’ve taken some classic Christmas songs and flavored them with our own brand of Celtic tradition,” says Natalie MacMaster. “We have celebrated Christmas in a big way our entire lives and finally have recorded the music. What ease and joy with which it came pouring out!”  She continues. “Many Christmas songs have gorgeous melodies that stand strong as instrumental pieces and I want it to stay with our fans throughout the holidays and beyond.”

The album creates a counterbalance between both the traditional and modern. Donnell says, “I feel there is a lot of depth behind the melodies and meanings. What I love about this record are the layers of ancient instruments, weaving through and around one another to create a Celtic Christmas tapestry.”

Please visit http://www.acelticfamilychristmas.com or for additional information on Natalie MacMaster visit www.NatalieMacMaster.com and for information on Donnell Leahy visit www.DonnellLeahy.com

Sound great right? I’ve always considered these two as the ‘stalwarts’ of Celtic music. They are the force of nature in the industry, bringing old and new fans together with every release. I am so excited to listen to the album to let you know what I think.

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New Christmas Album: Falling Snow by The Gothard Sisters

Have you seen any of their YouTube videos? If you haven’t yet, you should. They are amazing stage performers and they combine their mastery of the visual as well as musical side of their careers. They have a new album out, just perfect for the holidays.

Falling Snow will be released in the middle of December (16th to be exact) and I am sure this will enchant listeners.

“It was high time for a new Christmas album featuring the songs we’ve been playing at the Christmas shows over the last few years – there were many great songs and arrangements just begging to be recorded,” says Greta Gothard.

“The music of Christmas is so beautiful, it has been a delight to work on these arrangements of eight classics – Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Still Still Still, Winter Wonderland, Skater’s Waltz, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, French Carol (Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant) and Joy to the World, as well as including two new tunes that the band wrote – Christmas Flower and The Happy Elf.”

The press release adds that  although the sisters are known for their Celtic music styles, their western American heritage can be heard in their music. This has always been part of their specialty as a trio and the fusion works positively. Expect magical sounds wrapped in sweet melodies floating, bright as tinsel in the cold magical air! Christmas is coming!

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SeaStar is a blend of both the old and the new, the tranquil and passionate, the dramatic and playful.-Official band website.

Here’s another American band bringing to us cool music. They are called SeaStar. I love that name! They describe themselves as an original Celtic Folk band from Seattle.Seattle is also the original home of Grange music in the 90s, if you remember. The same place in the western United States with many Loreena McKennitt devotees.

There are four members  who are also friends ” who love to play music and share stories with others.” Another interesting background is that they already toured around Ireland, Scotland and other places in Europe.They even shared the stage with notable performers  like Dougie MacLean.

The new album is called Never Go Back. The band described the music as “Dusty dreams, salty seas, and a few silver linings tangle with powerful vocals, contagious melodies, and singable choruses.” They also promised to ” bring together a unique fusion of Celtic, Americana, Folk, and Bluegrass.”

Sounds like an interesting combination! I will post my reaction after I’ve listened to the whole album so watch out for that.

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Kyle Carey has reached her Kickstarter goal with 102% this week. This is really good news because it means her fans are passionate about what she does. I am so excited that the new album will happen and we are all part of it! Congratulations Kyle!

I received this link from the Facebook Celtic Music Fan page and it is an interesting concert held in Brittany. They are called The Celtic Social Club. And judging from the Reggae infused music, they are very inclusive  and they keep the listeners groovin.’ Just look at those people! Visit their website to know more.

 

Have you also heard of the Friday Frolics? They are a Celtic/Folk band from Barcelona Spain. I remember featuring a band from Spain before called Aulaga Folk so I feel a bit nostalgic.
Their  second album is called  Factor 3,has just been released. I haven’t heard the new album yet but I will post the entry here when I am done listening. Their Facebook page is right down below. Check out the amazing video. The music will blow you away. Sooo good!

facebook.com/FridayFrolics

 

Energetic Debut Album by ShamRocks!

Energetic Debut Album by ShamRocks!

Plus…Liz Madden’s “Will You Go Lassie Go” from “Legacy” and The New Blackthorn Stick, the World’s First Irish Clarinet Album.

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Anatoliy Khomenko – violin, mandolin, vocals
Sergiy Khudoliy – accordion, vocals
Alexey Sletkov – drums, additional gang vocals
Nick Turunov – guitars, vocals
Serge Vdovychenko – lead vocals, bass guitar
Andrew Yakovenko – guitars, vocals, tin whistles, flute, mandolin, kazoo

Additional musicians

Alexander Nemish – additional backing vocals
Iryna Dzhola – additional backing vocals

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I love hearing new music. And I have forgone the formula when it comes to writing. I’ve been posting on this site since 2009 and if you look at my archives you can tell that I’ve posted quite a lot. The thing I am grateful for is my fervent love for music. I might grow tired of blogging. Who knows I might pursue a different career path a few years from now. But listening to music will always be my first love. Music takes to a place of joy when the world seems cruel. And years from now, there will come time when we will be taking out the records we bought when we were in our 20s and marvel at how we’ve change. We can also take pleasure at being able to travel back in time and get that understanding as to how we’re in our current state.

ShamRocks

So allow me to introduce this wonderful band from Kyiv, Ukraine. It is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It is situated in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of last year was 2,887,974. Ukrainians are wonderful and talented people. I am so glad that this blog can now reach the fans of  ShamRocks. 

According to Anatoliy Khomenko( violin, mandolin and vocals) “we play Celtic Punk / Stout Rock – our signature mixture of Irish, Finnish and other types of folk music with a variety of rock and metal styles.” Check out their track Kaalifornipolkka. It is their take on Californication, originally by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The polka elements along with the hard rock styles are really fascinating. As my rapper friend Rory Kirwan would say “This is dope!”screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-4-05-32-pm
Captain’s Log is the band’s first album. It also happens to be (from their words) a collection of the best tunes over the 7-year period, from the first demo ever recorded to the latest studio creations. This is the quintessential introduction to ShamRocks as well as the history of Ukraine’s celtic punk scene as a whole. All tracks have been mixed and re-mastered through analog tape to create that immersive “crowded pub” feel.
Lord of the Dance could be a nod to the famous Irish dancer Michael Flatley, but whatever your interpretations to the lyrics behind the songs, it can’t be denied that the band has created a kind of music that has an impact to the Punk, Metal,Ska and Alternative music community. With their raw-sounding intensity and melodic tunes(coupled with the Celtic and folk styles), one can appreciate the genre busting appeal of Shamrocks.
There are ten songs in Captain’s Log. And as indicated above, these songs have been with a band for a couple of years. There are covers as well as original tunes. Fans of Shane McGowan and Dropkick Murphys will get a treat!
I enjoyed the album. It’s a great company to working day when you want something lively to go with your coffee. I also take this for a bike ride. Nothing like a lively tune to greet the day on wheels.
See bandcamp for track listing:
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Liz Madden
Liz Madden’s contemporary singing style is what makes people warm up to her music. Her rendition of Will You Go Lassie Go is tinged with pop, rnb, jazz and even ethnic colours. Anyone who listens to this track will say it is beautiful because of its universal appeal. I am wondering if Legacy is as universal as this track. It makes me curious. I will post an observation when I get the album!
Trivia:
Legacy was recorded with Fionán de Barra (a member of RUNA, has toured with Clannad), mixes Gaelic chants and English vocals, and features guest performances from Joanie Madden (of Cherish The Ladies) and Eamonn de Barra (of Slide). In addition to more than a few original tunes and takes on traditional pieces, the album features recordings of Joan Baez’s “Diamonds & Rust” and Emmylou Harris’ “Boulder to Birmingham”. Thanks to Eric Mace of Valley Entertainment for the info.
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The New Blackthorn Stick
I am crazy about clarinet music! Here’s a new album sampler by The New Blackthorn Stick.
Clips of Gallagher’s Frolics with Mary Bergin and Steve Holloway, Come by the Hills sung by Donie Carroll, Lord Mayo with Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke and Mike Stewart, Tom Steele with Brian Conway and John Walsh, Finn McCool’s Favorite with Jerry O’Sullivan, and more…
You can also hear it from this podcast: http://www.andylamyclarinet.com/podcasts__reviews/