In this edition: Dave Hum, Cormac O Caoimh, Frost at Midnight, Lignit, Kevin McKidd, Dave Martin and Gillian Boucher
The midweek edition became a weekend post due to ISP issues. Now everything is back so we are back in business. How are you lovers of Celtic music and beyond? A couple of days ago, I had an interesting chat with Martin Tourish which turned into a nice interview. So you will see Gillian Boucher in this edition because I was reminded when he said he played with her along with other artists when they were in Asia specifically the Philippines.
Next you will see Kevn McKidd who recently starred in a critically acclaimed animation The Brave. It is great to see Hollywood stars being proud of their Celtic roots. We also have a featured MP3 from Roby Atkins who is part of Frost at Midnight and yes they play great Welsh tunes. You see the guy doing techno stuff in the pic with the penguin shirt? That is no other than Scottish producer and percussionist Dave Martin who will be our next featured artist. He is part of the Big Fat Electric Ceilidh. The two men above are in my featured reviews: Dave Hum and Cormac O Caoimh. I enjoyed their CDs and I am sure you will too! You will see a video by Czech Republic based Bluegrass band Lignit with Jeremy King on the bodhran. Please enjoy and drop me a message so I can improve this site further.
Album Review: Celtic and Bluegrass 5 String Banjo by Dave Hum
Depressed? Annoyed because you are having ISP issues and it has been more than a week and they were not able to fix the problem? Just crank in one of Dave Hum’s CDs and you will forget your frown. He has a happy way of playing that every track shines with optimistic vibes. I think he is the only one I know who plays the five string banjo as of the moment and he plays it like no other kind of master. Credit goes to the fact that he plays all the instruments including the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and percussion.
His years of busking and playing all over London with the band The Huckleberries have done him well and now he is gathering enthusiasts who love traditional Irish, Celtic and Bluegrass music. My experience listening to his nontraditional album Traveling Light made me aware that he is very much into the music of the times. Well in that one he experimented with a little bit of electronic music and reggae. Here, he is playing the standards which people who listen to this kind of music will surely love. We all know that traditional music is no longer traditional when it isn’t played in a certain way and Dave knows this path so well that he actually gave tribute to the tradition by coming up with a CD composed of 21 delightful tracks.
This is a perfect kind of music if you are having little bit of traditional music party over the weekend. Just put this in your player and you will be guaranteed with tracks that will last you a while. And after one listen, the album tempts you for another spin. That is how good it is-excellent playing but music that is not intrusive you can just talk while you let this play in the background. Tracks like Cripple Creek, Farewell to Erin, Mason’s Apron and the theme from ‘The Third Man’ (taken from the 1949 BBC movie) will put a smile on your face. There are other greats like his interpretation of Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Drowsy Maggie.
You also need to check out the artwork that Dave did himself. It show’s a traveller(as the cover is meant to depict the Irish travellers having to leave their country and head for America which is how a lot of the Irish and Scottish tunes merged with the blues, gospel, oldtime and bluegrass music-Dave) carrying a staff while running around with a kite. A dog runs before him carrying a stick. There’s a girl on near left playing a fiddle. There’s also a woman beyond riding a horse. On the right looks like a trailer house with a woman watering azaleas. Then there’s the 5 string banjo where the peacock is sleeping. The colors almost remind me of ‘flower power’. Well, this goes to show that the artist is an all around kind of guy. Makes you wonder more and wait for more recordings from Dave Hum.
First track off his 5-String Banjo CD1. Yes that is Dave without his disguise!
More about the artist here: http://www.davehum.com/
Album Review: a new season for love by Cormac O Caoimh
Like water color painting still running and moist, the music of Cormac O Caoimh seeps into your heart rendering you speechless with emotions. His classical guitar style combined with other influences is a joy to listen to. It makes you feel filled up, like you’ve just eaten a good meal. The spiritual nourishment that his music imbues is no accident.
Being from Ireland and having shared the stage with such artists as Declan O’Rourke, Damien Rice and Damien Dempsy to name a few; made his music eclectic but never losing that Irish spirit that is all over this CD. His lyrics are heartfelt and reflective as in the case of the opening track There’s Gold There Somewhere” –Who am I? Who are you? Who do we intend to be? It’s hard it’s hard when we can’t stand on our two feet…A combination of poignancy and passion is exemplified in the title track: With every morsel of muscle, Molecule of mind, I’d try to justify new oceans and new tides and new seasons, a new season for love…
On this side of the world it is the season of rain. And his music is the perfect soundtrack for that. There is a balance of musical precision and inventiveness that pull you up from the introspective lyrics that at times seem to overpower you with sadness. His voice is a fine instrument. I like the kind of ease he puts in singing like he is talking to you-almost intimately, close to your ears so there is no need to sing loudly …but rather in a breathy style. The transparency of the vocals and the gossamer arrangement make A New Season for Love a truly luminous listening experience.
It isn’t the kind of CD you will grow tired as in the case of those with too much fireworks in the production. This is something that grows on you. A kind of music you want to take with you anywhere when you need something warm and introspective.
One of my favorite tracks of the album A New Season for Love. This one is called Heart Attack.
More about the artist here: http://www.thecitadels.net/
Tambourin by Frost at Midnight
Frost at Midnight is a project band led by Welsh musician Robert Atkins. It is nice to hear refreshing Welsh music based on tradition.
Robert Atkins, guitar, bass, keyboards; Catherine Atkins, vocals; Catherine Handley, flute with Johnny Quick, vocals; John Tribe, harmonica.
Featured Video: Lignit – Balada o Jenny (Official Music Video 2012)
Let us check out the Bluegrass scene in the Czech Republic with Jeremy King on Bodhran.
Interesting Documentary: A Journey Home With Kevin McKidd
I am currently working on a feature with Scottish musician/producer Dave Martin. He is involved in a musical project with Hollywood actor Kevin McKidd and I thought this is a nice intro to a feature I am doing with Dave. I found this video really inspiring and I hope you feel the same way too. Enjoy!
Travel with Kevin McKidd to his hometown in the Scottish Highlands as he revisits his childhood, performs and records the Speyside Sessions Album with classic Scottish folk songs with his friends, and reconnects with his roots.
Gillian Boucher, fiddle, plays a lively set
My interview with Michael Tourish brought me back to the music of Canadian fiddler Gillian Boucher. She is currently residing in Ankara Turkey. More of her music here: http://www.myspace.com/gillianboucher