A Holiday Album For All

Also in this edition: Marc Gunn, Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley Duo and Jamie Smith’s MABON

Album Review: Together for Christmas(Various artists)

A CONTEMPORARY CELTIC CHRISTMAS COLLECTION’ with Larry Kirwan, The High Kings, Damien Dempsey, The Elders, Kyf Brewer, Cherish the Ladies + more!
What’s holiday without Celtic musicians coming together in one albumTogether for Christmas CD cover
Together for Christmas CD cover

right? I am listening to Together for Christmas and I see great reasons to own this album. It contains eclectic sounds from rock, jazz to classical. I also noticed the huge efforts placed by the contributing bands, sound people and solo artists each track.

Songs from Together for Christmas is something you can listen to again and again because it is an amazing gift you want to unwrap and play either through your headphones or huge speakers. It has the great casting and track order. Lots and lots of surprises!

The Elders make  perfect album opening due to the upbeat and catchy melodies of Christmas Day. Solid harmonies, strings and stirring chorus can get you up your feet. Ashley Davis moves me with her terrific voice. Fans of Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt will warm up to her haunting and captivating style in Nolaig Moon. Her voice is so good I sometimes overlook the craft placed in this song which is equaly amazing! I will definitely check more of her own projects.

John Munnelly adds that Beatlesque touch with the jolly Happy Christmas. Cherish the Ladies offers a fine  instrumental track in Deck the Halls. Take it from the pros in the genre. A combination of traditional carol sounds and Irish jigs.

Kyf Brewer’s gruff vocals and upbeat pace of Whiskey for Christmas will keep you humming and tapping up to the end of the end..Emma Kate Tobia soars with her angelic soprano that adds a magical touch to this album. It creates a soothing balance like watching snow crystals fall slowly to the ground. Walking in the Air is true to its title in every way.

Track Dogs is a band with nice surprises. They do a kind of alternative rock with a touch of shoegazer sound. The Celtic Tenors top the bill with Silent Night. Those who got their album Feels Like Home will know what to expect. The Celtic Tenors are like the Three Musketeers. When they blend their talents they make powerful songs.

Happy Xmas is a popular tune originally done by Lennon and Ono. Sarah Mclachlan also covered this track. It is nice to finally hear it in another interpretation through Larry Kerwan and Ashley Davis.The Wild Colonial Bhoys surprise us with their punk inspired sound that has both the hint of The Beach Boys and Traditional Irish sound.

Damien Dempsey’s almost a capella rendition of Oh Holy Night  showcases his robust voice while keeping true to the atmosphere of the song..The High Kings give us the new sheen to Driving Home for Christmas. It’s another classic!  I was crossing my fingers when I saw this in the tracklisting. I didn’t want to be disappointed. And  good enough, The High Kings add freshness to this classic. They make it very Irish yet preserving the spirit of the original composition by Chris Rea.

The Temple Bar Band feat. Dave Brown and Claire Pelo make a beautiful nod to 2000 Miles (originally done by the Pretenders). This time, you hear the choir of children.. And yes! Clair Pelo has a terrific voice. George Murphy Feat Emma Kate Tobia   don’t need further intro with Fairy Tale of New York. This track was released as a single last year. I am glad that it finally  made it to this compilation. Their talents are amazing together.

Tara O’Grady closes this compilation with her jazzy take on Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Everyone’s style stands up. The range of artistry and genre covered by the artists who contributed their talents in this release are wide. You will enjoy it!

Special thanks to Anita Daly

DALY COMMUNICATIONS for this wonderful album.


Gigs, news etc!

Ok, now get ready for the mentionables!


Image from Marc Gunn

Image from Marc Gunn

Mark has been a blogging buddy since I started this site in 2009. This fella is a huge volcano of creativity. He is a great example for those who want to keep the Celtic Music scene alive.

From Marc:

“In addition to fine tuning my Christmas playlist, I finished a Celtic Christmas drinking songs show for the Pub Songs Podcast.   I also started compiling songs two shows exclusively for the Celtic Christmas Podcast.  The first goes online today!

I invite you to listen to the Celtic Christmas Podcast.  It features Celtic Christmas shows from many of the top Celtic podcasts online.  I didn’t update it last year, but I’m bringing it back again in 2012.  Subscribe at http://celticchristmaspodcast.com/


Christmas Track :Snowfall-Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley Duo

This track reminds me of a little music box. The high bell sounds are really great to hear. The heavenly voice  of Phil Holland is something you don’t want to miss here. The kind of feeling you want to have when you think of this season. I think more and more, the Holland and Palmley dou are transitioning into what I can only describe as breath taking sound! They have evolved in terms of artistry and so do we!




Fans of the amazing Welsh Celtic band Jamie Smith’s MABON will have something to rejoice this 2013. Tour dates are announced!

According to John Eeles (Facilitator /  Sound Engineer):

“The band have just wrapped up a great year, with sold out shows during the recently completed tour and widespread critical acclaim for their new album.

2013 is already gearing up to be a busy year, both in the U.K. and abroad, with plans afoot to put a European tour in place, and dates in Canada and Scandinavia in the pipeline.”
For more information on the shows and the band go to the website :
So there you have it folks. More news to come. Stay tuned to my next edition which is still about Celtic music news for you.



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