Cross-pollination in Music

Feat. Nick Burbridge, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Luthier, Ailie Robertson, Timothy Des Roches, Photography G, Kevin Burke and Cal Scott.

Just Water, written by Nick Burbridge, read by Gerard Murphy, directed by Andy Jordan, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 – 25.2.1998.

Here is one of the best presentations I have ever heard. One must not narrate a story alone but he must bring the emotions to the fore. I don’t have to know what the story is all about because Gerard Murphy has a way of getting into your heart with his delivery. But yes it is important to note that this is written by this week’s featured artist Nick Burbridge.


Jamie Smith’s Mabon is now on the second edition of their Windblown tour. Here is a shot of their gig last night.

“Thanks to all who came to the show in Abergavenny tonite.You were a Fantastic crowd. see you again in the future.” Click to enlarge.


If you are in Denver Colorado and if you are looking for a photographer to take an awesome photo of your band then check out Photography G. So what is Photography G? G stands for the photographer by the name of Garrett. So who is Garrett?

“Garrett stands out among Colorado photographers because of his ability to “cross-pollinate” from one style to another, bringing a fresh and lively approach to all areas of his repertoire. Garrett’s remarkable ability to anticipate and capture moments instinctively and artfully gives the viewer a natural and organic experience of the real feelings and moments in our lives and world.”

Cross-pollinate. I like that term. That photo below is Damien McCarron of Celtic rock band The Indulgers. I think Garrett captured the spirit of Damien’s music.Or should I say Damien posed the spirit of his music!

Click to enlarge


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67 Music presents this exclusive chat with Kevin Burke and Cal Scott! This is really worth checking. ” Sometimes it’s interesting how life works. In this particular scenario, a certain fiddler from England & Ireland making his way in the world serendipitously meets an American traveling through Ireland.” I love that intro. Yes amazing thing happens when you really do something with what you’ve got. I love the rhythmic tone of Kevin Burke’s voice as he narrates his experiences. Cal Scott tells an interesting story about how he met  and collaborated with Kevin Burke.You might also take note of the topic around 20:00 about selling through niche market and about the economics of releasing though  a major label. There is also a this polarity between the classical and traditional world. This proves that something really exciting happens when two artists of different backgrounds work together to create something fresh. Still in the spirit of cross-pollination. Really worth your time. The interview is presented by Steve Behrens. Good job Steve!

Read more here:



Ailie Robertson: Some hornpipes from her gig in the Netherlands on Saturday night. I think the beauty of music such as this one really shines when played at such an intimate venue that way it has always been played hundreds of years ago. The warm ambiance of having the audience huddled closer is really appropriate than the arena type that now dominates a lot of music today.


Luthier Timothy Des Roches on the new harp he is working….

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Yes you have noticed the thread running through this post today. It is all about cross-pollination of culture.  The merging of two opposite ideas to create something remarkable. In some cases it doesn’t have to be total opposites but a sense of relatedness. I remember that my venture into the realm of trad music could not have been possible if there was not something in me that likes Celtic music. Sometimes the ‘style on the side’ can play a role in getting the music out there because it is part that makes the music universal. That is why there are certain types of music that we can consider as having ‘universal appeal.’ Examples are that of Enya and Clannad.

While traditional music concentrates more on the specific regional style, Celtic music as a whole looks more into the continental aspect of that style. Thus incorporating every sound around it. Artists like Loreena McKennitt and Connie Dover and Alan Stivell have incorporated this kind of approach. It is through the general sometimes that we discover the specific of vice versa. Such is covered in the interview with Kevin Burke and Cal Scott by 67 Music.

There is also something powerful when one becomes an expat musician. There are great numbers of London based Irish musicians who are able to create an amazing combination of urban sophistication and tribal appeal. I have covered them in my past posts. And there are artists who continue to break barriers by fusing different genres as in the case of The Big Fat Electric Ceilidh led by Dave Martin. And the list goes on as in the case of Welsh band Jamie Smith’s Mabon that released a very important record late last year called Windblown. There are more coming our way. It is really a fascinating time to be in the music. If only the passion pays off because I still see  a lot of musicians releasing albums through their pockets.


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