Violinist Sarah Frank of The Bombadils (Interview)

Also in this edition, music by:Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac,Grace, Hewat & Polwart – ‘disappearance set, Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video,MacKelmore & Ryan Lewis- “Irish Celebration”,Celtic Woman – Orinoco Flow,Clannad – I Will Find You, Connie Dover – Peggy and Her Gallant Soldier, Ma Zadig A Ma Mamm( Brittany) traditional Breton folk song,  Mary Jane Lamond – Bòg A’Lochain, Cheers – Bard, She Moved Through The Fair by Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley and presenting 67 Music!

Canadian violinist Sarah Frank  of  The Bombadils discusses creativity, singing and recording more this 2013!.”

Two album releases, live performances  and collaborations:  Sarah Frank is becoming one of Canada’s bright young star in the  folk scene. The prestigious McGill University school of music brought her, Luke Fraser Anh Phung, Evan Stewart and former member Noam Bierstone to form The Bombadils. I have watched their growth as a band since the release of their first album. Now the Bombadils are reaching out to new territories. Some of them made collaborations with other musicians(along with a solo project between Sarah and Luke Fraser) while still being true to their roots and going strong with their distinctive style of music.

Sarah Frank  is the four-piece ensemble’s violinist and vocalist. She has this sweet silky voice that sounds effortless even in the midst of playing a fast tune with her instrument. The Bombadils have traveled and played in different places all over Canada. The video diaries they created about their tour in the east coast were memorable. They played music and clowned around while on a VIA train ride. They are great and witty entertainers. After accomplishing interviews with one half of the band already, I’d say you better keep them on the radar. Because something is always going on. To hear them live is really worth it. And having The Bombadils music is to have something to keep you company when you long for a sound that’s inspiring, comforting and beautiful. Sarah Frank is our artist of the week.

CMF:What inspired you to pick the violin up as your main instrument?

Sarah Frank:When I was four years old, my parents asked me if I wanted to play violin or cello. I didn’t know what a cello was, and the word violin sounded familiar, so I said violin.

There were five of you in the band, unfortunately Noam left for France! How will the band be able to fit the new arrangement of four people in future recordings?

We’re sad that Noam left! We decided that he can’t be replaced. So now we have the challenge of finding percussion within our own instruments. Evan and I are incorporating more “chopping” (dropping the bow against the strings as percussion), and Anh is beat-boxing from time to time. Traditional bluegrass has been our main inspiration for finding a way to create percussion without a drummer.

Who are your earliest musical influences?  If we raid your record collection, what can we find there?

To be honest, I was really bad at listening to music when I was younger! But I listened to the Suzuki method violin recordings, as well as the music my dad had playing in the kitchen (Leonard Cohen, KD Lang, Neil Young, Dire Straights, Bob Dylan, Glenn Gould… lots more) and CBC radio. In the last few days I’ve been listening to The Monroe Brothers, random Youtube videos of Stuart Duncan, Meaghan Smith, Rose Cousins, and my friend, Rachel Baiman in her duo, 10 String Symphony.

Tell us about the Bombadils blog ( that we are seeing more updates plus more videos from you!

We’ve been meaning to make a blog and upload more videos for a while now, but it was put on hold while we were finishing up our studies at McGill University. We’ve all graduated now, so we’re happy to have more time to put into making videos and blog posts.

I love Hint! I see that it is the first time Luke’s mandolin playing is showcased on a video but you mentioned that he has played it before on various tracks. I also realize that Evan has this elegant style in composing music. Anh makes lush sound with her flute. What do you think of the whole band in terms of progressing musically?

I love the music that Anh, Luke, and Evan make! I also love playing with them because they know how to laugh and not to take themselves too seriously. I think this all brings positive energy to rehearsal and to the stage, and helps us remember that, even if the music isn’t perfect, (which it never is!) it’s appreciating how music brings people together that’s most important.

I think we have readers who are also independent musicians and band members and with this thought, would you care to share how Fill Your Boots came to be?Can you tell us the amount of work, time and also the financing aspects that shaped the album up to its release?

“Fill Your Boots!” was a lot of fun and took a lot of time, and it was all worth it. We were really lucky to have our friend, Duncan Ferguson, as our recording engineer and co-producer. The album served as a school project for him so we had access to the studios there, although the accessibility was limited to overnight. We often started recording at 11 P.M. and stopped around 4 in the morning. It took some getting used to, and we definitely got silly at times, but it all worked out. As far as the financial aspect of things, we used a website called Indiegogo to raise funds ahead of time. People were really supportive and pre-ordered CDs, t-shirts, and other goodies.

You have this certain style of singing which reminds me of how a flute sounds like. How did you achieve your technique and how do you maintain your voice through gigs after gigs.

I’m not someone who naturally knows how to project or sing with good technique, but I’ve always loved singing and really wanted to make that a regular part of the music I make. So when I was in high school I starting saving up money for voice lessons, and that’s still what I do. My teacher right now, in Montreal, is Jonathan Patterson, and I think he is the best ever. He really made me realize that the voice is an instrument to be learned like any other, and that different timbre, tone, and volume can be created if you practice just like you would practice another musical instrument.

What’s waiting for The Bombadils this 2013?

In February we are touring Alberta, and we’re looking forward especially to opening for Lennie Gallant at the Calgary Folk Club. We’re planning on touring the east coast of Canada again, and in the fall, we’d really like to make a big loop that will bring us through the eastern States. We’d also like to record more this year!

It seems this Canadian artist has a bright future! Check more of her and The Bombadils here:

Additional video:

Recorded at MMR studio at McGill University in Montreal.
Please visit for more information.
Band Members: Sarah Frank, Evan Stewart, Noam Bierstone, Luke Fraser, and Anh Phung
Producer: Duncan Ferguson
Sound Engineers: Duncan Ferguson, Benjamin Smith
Video Editing: Denis Martin
Camera: Denis Martin, Phil Gosselin, and Pouya Hamidi


Another online Celtic music site worth checking: 67 Music!
This site is run by my friend Steve Behrens and it is one of the top notch sites in terms of promoting Celtic music. The site is also very easy to navigate and offers a variety of things that will keep you browsing for hours.
 What is 67 Music about:67 Music is a music media and promotions company exclusive to Celtic Music.  Our primary goal is to bring global attention and recognition to Celtic music in all it’s forms, and to the artists who make it.  We seek also to bring together organizations and companies into a tight knit Celtic community, inform fans of new events and releases, and maintain the grand heritage.
Celtic music shuffle.
I will make it a habit to post diverse music as much as possible. This is a diverse musical culture we have embracing everything in a global scope.

Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac – “Seinn”

There is something about Mary Jane Lamond’s singing that’s intriguing and addicting!

Latest release from Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, “Seinn”, available at


Grace, Hewat & Polwart – ‘disappearance set’

Three amazing artists share the stage to render one of the most beautiful songs to come out of the Orkney Folk Festival. Each has something special to offer vocally and instrumentally.

Annie Grace, Corrina Hewat and Karine Polwart at the 2008 Orkney Folk Festival. This is the medley of songs they named the ‘disappearance set’, teasingly nicknamed by Martin Simpson their ‘separation anxiety set’. I like how the power surges around 4:54.


  Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video Ever Made

Aside from the fact that it is in black and white, it conveys an old world authenticity.  The music is amazing. It is by filmmaker David Hoffman. You can get this video from amazon and also from

About: Visit to get this entire program.Each scene in this classic bluegrass documentary present incredible mountain music and dancing. Bluegrass Roots lets you experience the real people and music that dominated the southern mountains 50 years ago. It presents the most extraordinary singers, players and dancers the BlueGrass Mountains had to offer. Most of the songs are classics, including Mountain Dew. This scene was filmed at Bascom Lunsford’s home in his living room. When the film aired on TV, TV Guide gave it a full-page review because most Americans had never seen Bluegrass and Country music.
David Hoffman – filmmaker


MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – “Irish Celebration” (Official Music Video)

This video has already received 4.4million views in youtube. It is rap and contains explicit expression.

PRODUCED BY – Ryan Lewis
VIOLIN – Andrew Joslyn
TRUMPET – Owuor Arunga
ADDITIONAL VOCALS – Tim Haggerty, Noah Goldberg

DIRECTOR: Stephan Gray
DP – Ryan Purcell
B CAMERA – Stephan Gray
C Camera – Ryan Lewis
AC – William Brody & Conor Hair
GAFFER – Tred Baylis
KEY GRIP – Blue Boy
HAIR/MAKEUP – Shawn Shelton
PRODUCER – Bret Seeger
EDIT – Stephan Gray


Celtic Woman – Orinoco Flow

This is a great performance . I admire the production everyone has put up to keep this together. This is a song composed and performed originally by Enya and it reach the top of the UK and US charts in 1989.


Clannad – I Will Find You (Official video)

Wow it took me decades to find an official video to the song taken from the first ever Clannad album I got.


Connie Dover – Peggy and Her Gallant Soldier

If Ever I Return is an amazing album filled with artfully crafted songs and timeless melodies. Connie Dover is a gem to be listened to for generations. What attracted me to this song is the tempo and also the love story between Peggy and her lover soldier.

You can get her recordings here:


MA ZADIG A MA MAMM ( BRITTANY) traditional Breton folk song

Wow I am glad I stumbled upon this amazing song from Brittany!

Brittany,vocals, frame drums, Breton, Celtic folk songs, traditional
Celtic folk music, Adam Reid, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, SANDRA REID – VOICE


Mary Jane Lamond – Bòg A’Lochain

This is the 6th track  from her album Suas E!

Lyrics and translations here:

Listen to more of Suas E! Here:

You can view her entire catalog via Amazon:


She Moved Through The Fair by Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley

Info: Celtic Twist’s unique take on this timeless classic. Arranged and performed by Phil Holland and Dave Palmley of Celtic Twist. From their album Twist in the Tale available by writing via the contact form on the website.


 Cheers – Bard (Official Music Video 2012)

They project high energy live shows and amazing musicianship.Members are from the Czech Republic which is now a place with growing Celtic scene headed by bands like Poitin and also the band from this video Cheers!

Celtic Folk-Punk
Režie: Pája Junek + motivy z filmu Stakonický dudák (Karel Steklý, 1955)


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