Bands and Artists to Watch Out For 2011!

Music was my refuge.  I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.  ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

Truly to sing, that is a different breath.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron

Forget the gods and goddesses of pop charts. Here is where the musical action is. I think you are missing  a lot if you think that bright young talents are only those you see on Seventeen Magazines and Rolling Stones(the latter lost my respect after featuring Britney Spears on the cover and calling it rock). Real musicians go to Music production courses. Not that it is really a requirement. But at the end of the day, it is really music that matters. It is a sickness that has no cure.

It is however great to know that the guys I am listening to don’t spend hours in the mirror trying to make sure the hair looks nice and the clothes they wear look hip in the camera. OK, it is important to look good but at least not as an obsession. No pitch shifter for you, or music moguls trying to scout for talents and later on eat them. I am sure you have heard the latest news right? People who get into the music are blessed-only the business itself can suck. And if you are not strong enough, then you will wind up on a cover of a magazine as a ‘has been’ or worse.

My friend Jimmy and I spend hours upon hours chatting about music . And we always come out with something new because we challenge one another in terms of finding new music out there. As a true musician, he spreads the word through his sessions. And as a true music lover, I spread the art through this medium. And it works! Yay! I have another friend Christi who adds her insight about music . And Irish-American herself, she is always knows what bands  are interesting. So the three of us work together to throw  ideas and it is a teamwork that has started in March and continues to do so.

In all relationships there are always challenges. But finding a common ground will always keep one afloat and sane. In my case it is always about music. After all, a heartbeat is one of the best music there is. And I am attracted to that. So when all else fail, listen to music. And you will know that everything will be ok.

Let me introduced you to the bands that caught my attention with their playing. And yes they are young!


left to right: Luke Fraser,Evan Peter Hodgson Stewart, Noam Bierstone, Sarah Frank and Anh Phung . Photo by Marshall Gayman
left to right: Luke Fraser,Evan Peter Hodgson Stewart, Noam Bierstone, Sarah Frank and Anh Phung . Photo by Marshall Gayman

The Bombadils are a five-piece Celtic band based out of Montreal, Quebec. With a combination of Irish drinking-song entertainment and danceable instrumental sets, The Bombadils have impressed loyal pub-goers as well as some of the top musicians in Canada.

I stumbled upon one of their youtube videos and I was hooked! Unique blend of influences and remarkable stage presence.

Sarah Frank: fiddle, vocals is armed with a mad playing style that can reach the frenzy and then come down to a a nuance.
Luke Fraser: guitar, mandolin, vocals is one amazing vocalist that probably got a bit of blessing from uncle Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket. You should see him strum and you know you are in for some electrifying performance.
Anh Phung: flute, vocals keeps that perky and chirpy side of the music .
Kit Soden: (Former member) guitar, vocals, the rhythm man .
Evan Stewart: bass is the grooves guy.
Noam Bierstone: percussion adds the crunch and slam to the tapestry of sound these guys create. and  


Tyler Carson is a violin player for life. He has been performing professionally since 11 years old. He started out busking and managed to take it from there, via the free business cards that he handed out, to performances around the world including Japan, Thailand, Cayman Islands, New Zealand and even some big TV shows including the Jerry Lewis Telethon in Hollywood (performed just after Savion Glover and just before Jason Alexander). He was also a soloist with the 50 piece Victoria Symphony Orchestra on several occasions starting at the age of 13. He  played a lot of different styles and loved it, but that said, it has given him quite the challenge as a grown artist. Here is a proof why he is the devil of the violin.


Jeremy Kittel is rapidly earning a reputation as one of the nation’s most creative young musicians. Classically trained, he grew up in the Irish, folk and jazz music scenes of Ann Arbor and Detroit. As a youth he often traveled to Ireland and Scotland to further his studies of traditional music. In addition to performing with his own band and as a soloist with orchestras, Jeremy tours worldwide as the newest member of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet. You should check this performance out and you will know what I mean.


Ciorras left to right: Dermot Sheedy,Tadhg Ó Meachair,Stephen Rooney,Robert Harvey,Ciara Cunningham, Tommy Fitzharris, Tara Breen, James Mahon
Ciorras left to right: Dermot Sheedy,Tadhg Ó Meachair,Stephen Rooney,Robert Harvey,Ciara Cunningham, Tommy Fitzharris, Tara Breen, James Mahon

Ciorras (info from the official website) were formed as a band in 2010 when the individual members were among a large number of young musicians who featured in the hit TG4 series, Lorg Lunny. As part of his journey around the country searching for young musical talent, these 8 young musicians were invited by maestro Dónal Lunny to create a new band with a fresh, new unique sound in traditional music. Thus Ciorras was born, a young and innovative band centered around Dónal’s new percussion instrument ‘The Greadán’, creating a sound that is a hybrid of both new and old traditions.

This exciting new band have a diverse repertoire of newly composed tunes sitting comfortable alongside the more traditional repertoire and a selection of lesser-known songs. With an impressive assortment of instruments between them including fiddle, concertina, pipes, piano accordion, keyboards, percussion, low-whistles, voice and no less than 4 exceptional flute players, the possibilities are endless as demonstrated in their choice of repertoire woven among imaginative and original arrangements and played with an energy and enthusiasm that showcases the phenomenal playing ability and musicality of these outstanding young musicians.



Fiona Kelleher-Folk Roots call her “A gifted vocalist” . This is what I noticed when I heard her song ” I Will Put My Ship in Order”. I guess for those who are ‘recovering’ from a truly bad personal experience, this song can be a source of healing. There is nuance, intelligence and yet power in her voice. It is like hearing the tinkling of a wineglass behind the fogging window of a cozy bar.


Toby Shaer from England leads a band called Under The Ice: an eclectic blend of funk, Jazz and Celtic music weave seamlessly you wont recognize at first listen which one starts and which one ends. This is interesting for a young band. Especially when a  lot of young people right now are into the more popular forms of music. This is a plus. He has another project called Boy Cries Wolf and you can hear them here:



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