The Advent Edition

In this issue: Thomas Johnston, Christmas by Baltic Crossing,The Bog Hoppers, Enda Seery’s Blog,Happy Birthday Kevin Crawford(December 6),Celtic Rebels Band,McDermott’s 2 Hours – Stor Mo Chroi and  Affiniti.

Moving on with the week full of new music and bands.

Thomas Johnston

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

For the past five years, Thomas Johnson has been doing his PhD on traditional music in education. Performing took a backseat. He is finally finishing up and soon he will be working with other musicians. For now he was telling me that there’s nothing much to talk about. But if you have seen the two videos I posted here, you can tell that he has a LOT to say as far as teaching music is concerned.

Thomas is warm and charismatic and these qualities translate well in his teaching method. He loves to discuss about many interesting points about music and other intellectual pursuits. Since he is currently doing a lot of research on how Irish traditional music is taught, he has a lot of recordings which he did with other musicians, which he said he hopes to make them into his solo work next year.

So what’s his music like? He sent me a recording he did with other musicians. According to him: “I’m playing a tune (on a low F Colin Goldie whistle) called ‘Crinniu Na Mbad’ which means ‘Gathering Of The Boats’.  It was composed by Sean Quinn (fiddle player from New York).  I recorded it with Sean Og Graham (guitar) and Liam Bradley (keys) for a musical project some years ago.”

I hope you enjoy this one as I did. He will soon be our featured artist as he answers questions related to his teaching and playing.

A live performance from O’Connor’s bar in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland, during the launch of the Online Academy of Irish Music in April 2011. This session was webcast on The tunes are Johnny Cronin’s, Molly Bawn, The Sandmount and Martin Mulhaire’s. The musicians involved are Eoin O’Neill on bouzouki, Yvonne Casey & Majella Bartley on fiddle, Mikie Smyth on uilleann pipes, Stephen Markham on piano, Kirsten Allstaff & Niall Keegan on flute and Thomas Johnston on whistle.


Christmas by Baltic Crossing

Through our exchange, Thomas sent me a link to this video. It is very timely. These are musicians from Denmark. I always consider Danish musicians as really good in whatever musical field are in, be it electronic or in this case Celtic. I bookmarked this one and will be playing this in days to come!


The Bog Hoppers

The Bog Hoppers
The Bog Hoppers

Combining the rebellious spirit of punk and the melodic Celtic folk style, Seattle based The Bog Hoppers are gaining fans not just in their hometown but also all over the United States. It is through their awesome recordings and energetic live shows that they are able to win listeners and Boggers as I call them. I admit their track Cod Liver Oil  caught me by surprise because I thought the low sound was a didgeridoo until I realized it’s a male voice only sang so low. It’s really worth a listen.

I love the fact that their music is lively without being noisy or too intrusive. It has all the right ingredients of a good recording that can be listened to again and again. Instrumentally, I think the band are seasoned and you can really sense the effort they put in every song in their debut album. Learn more about them here:

Enda Seery’s Blog

Irish musician Enda Seery who released the highly acclaimed album The Winding Clock is working on his second album. All of the info are documented in his TradConnect Blog. He is also offering skype lessons which you might want to check out. I love the humorous tone in his writings. But check the video below. He is a pro as far as teaching is concerned. Trivia: he used to be an English teacher. He is also teaching Gaelic. I am afraid his blogging would take my readers away! Hahaha. Cheers Enda. You are awesome!


Happy Birthday Kevin Crawford(December 6)
The Celtic Music Fan wishes Kevin Crowford a happy birthday today!!!! Here he is playing the wooden flute during the  Killarney School of Music Award Ceremony. Kevin is adding more years, more talent and more wisdom in his music!


Celtic Rebels Band

Now for something different, you might want to check out the music of The Celtic Rebels Band from New Jersey. Very soothing. I was listening to this over hot tea and biscuits while looking at the beautiful sunset. Kind of  a sad song but the melody makes you warm.

McDermott’s 2 Hours – Stor Mo Chroi

I got the hang of these band’s music. They’re one of those influential bands that emerged from the UK. The latest news says: Their latest, long-delayed, but much anticipated album, Besieged, is due for release in 2013. Live work has not been a feature in recent times, but Nick Burbridge also collaborated with Tim Cotterell on an acoustic album, Gathered, released in 2012 to great critical acclaim, continuing a long commitment to making music for its own sake, without commercial aspirations, but aimed to take its place in the idiom.

Something Pop and Classical: Rebirth
by Affiniti

I am sure genre aficionados will go ahead and get a taste of this new offering from these three talented musicians: Soprano Emer Barry, violinist Mary McCague and harpist Aisling Ennis. If you want your music dreamy and easy then sample their album from the link below and tell me what you think.


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