New Album Out:Simple Pleasures by Poitín

New Album Out:Simple Pleasures by Poitín

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Poitín are:

Jaroslav Macháček – fiddle and founder member

Jeremy King – bodhrán, vocals, Brighton-born

Jakub Siegl – guitar, vocals

Jan Brabec – bouzouki, banjo, whistles

Sasha Marešová – whistles, flutes

Tomáš Pergler – concertina, whistles

It is the start of Autumn and we got an auspicious release from Czech-based Celtic band Poitín. Simple Pleasure is the new album and it marks the continuation of their exploration into Celtic styles while retaining their distinctive sound.This is also their sixth studio album, spanning sixteen years of recording history.

Simple Pleasures has thirteen tracks (my lucky number) and you can hear instrumental as well as vocal tracks driven by their punchy and elegant delivery. The Jolly Beggarman, the opening track tells us what to expect in the album in terms of the overall atmosphere. Introduced by Jakub Siegl’s acoustic guitar strumming, the song was recorded by Planxty in 1973(other bands also recorded the song). And although I forgot the Planxty style, I love this version and arrangement. There’s the banjo extravaganza (featuring Jan Brabec) of Brendan’s Reels, the John Martyn pinned Spencer the Rover and many more.

Every band member has a moment. Last Beautiful Loneliness highlights the playing of Sasha Marešová and Jaroslav Macháček. O’puss No. 7 ( is one of my favorite tracks) features amazing variations and Tomáš Pergler’s concertina. Pleasant Month of May is perhaps Jeremy King’s most beautiful vocal performance. I wish it were longer though. Twenty Candles on Poitín’s Cake  is the right tune to wrap up the album because it goes out with a bang.

Everything you can expect with the group is in this album: attention to detail, excellent playing and great post-production technique. Sonically it is their slickest album to date. I also love the album liner notes featuring the photography of Vladislav Škach.

It is always an occasion for The Celtic Music Fan when a new Poitín album is out. It is a pleasure to watch their every release and that they continue to be a musical force as a band.

Band bio:

Poitín formed twenty years ago in Pilsen in the Czech Republic and have toured in Poland, France, Italy and Germany. All the members are Czech apart from the singer and bodhrán player who is originally from Brighton in the south of England. Their latest album Simple Pleasures (out September 2016) is Poitín’s sixth studio album. The 13 tracks are a mix of traditional Irish, English and Scottish songs, jigs and reels, but many of the sets also feature original tunes by the band. Poitín play concertina, bouzouki, banjo, guitar, fiddle, whistles, flutes and bodhrán, and former band member and sax player Helena Marková returns as a special guest to add another interesting twist to this new album.

 

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Lau, So Happy To Be Playing Live in the US (Q & A with Martin Green)

Lau, So Happy To Be Playing Live in the US (Q & A with Martin Green)

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The band members of Lau are in middle of their American tour. You can get the tickets here. Now is your chance to hear their epic recordings getting a live treatment. And if you are lucky enough, you might even get to interview band members. I am so happy to have my questions answered by Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) courtesy of my friend Anita Daly.

1. You are starting  your US tour. Are you excited?
Always exciting to be in America, we have some good friends here and there is such remarkable music to enjoy.

2. Is this your first time performing in the US?
Lau have been in the US several times, but this is the longest tour to date, fantastic to get a chance to explore a bit more.

3. The Bell that Never Rang continues to receive positive reviews. How’s the recording process?
It was an extremely enjoyable process Joan Wasser came over from New York to record with us in Scotland, she has an amazing energy about her as a person and as a musician. We learned a lot from her during the recording.

4. The title track is an epic track that calls to mind British bands like Renaissance and Fairport Convention. What’s the story behind this song?
The Bell that Never Rang is part of the city of Glasgow’s coat of arms. The piece was commissioned by Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. It is a celebration of Glasgow (a place we love very much).

5. What have you learned collaborating with other bands and also maintaining Lau creatively?
Lau is a small band, and has never changed line-up (and never will) and so we find it hugely useful to collaborate with other musicians, it brings new ideas on and helps keep us open to new ways of thinking.

6. What’s your favorite song in the new album?
Death of the dining car, Kris sounds like Paul Simon, and I’m into that.

7. Your message to fans?
It’s great to be over here, hope you can make it out to one of the shows!
Cheers
Martin
The Beautiful Drama Unfolds:The Bell That Never Rang by Lau

The Beautiful Drama Unfolds:The Bell That Never Rang by Lau

 

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1 First Homecoming

2 The Death of the Dining Car

3 Back in Love Again

4 Tiger Hill (Armoured Man)

5 The Bell That Never Rang

6 Ghosts

 

A true audiophile loves traveling though the highways of sounds. And the new Lau album provides this opportunity. Partly experimental and partly rooted to British folk, The Bell that Never Rang is an exquisite aural experience that will please crowds on both ends of the spectrum.

Lau comprises  Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics), Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) and Kris Drever (vocals, guitar).With their combined influences, they merge the world inhabited by the likes of Radiohead and the tradition of Fairport Convention. Which is also to say, that Lau continues to hold the sumptuous sounds of bands that came from the region before them.

The experimental nature of their sound is no accident. According to their bio, the three members have their involvement in so many different solo projects. This includes making records for other artists, and providing creative spark for their peers. Which is such a feat considering that they are still able to be consistent in releasing albums via Lau. It is a wonder that they can maintain that creative focus with so many choices and many musicians to collaborate with. But perhaps, like making a family, it all boils to decision. And they have decided to stick to their own kind of sound and band.

The Bell that Never Rang is a joy to listen to. At the center of the new album lies the epic seventeen-minute, collaborative title track, with The Elysian Quartet. This track is so massive and dense that its gravity seems to pull the songs around it to its core. It’s almost a religious experience!

I enjoyed this album and I hope you discover the same experience as you journey through their sound, which is also a journey to your heart.

Don’t miss their US tour by visiting their Gigs section: http://www.lau-music.co.uk/gigs/

What a Treat! Spencer Murray & Pipeslinger

What a Treat! Spencer Murray & Pipeslinger

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If you are a fan of Celtic music then the name Spencer Murray is no stranger to you. Yes it is the first time I got hold of his full-length album but I am familiar with his videos for years, via YouTube. The album in question is called Sound and Fury. It has twelve tunes with alternating vocal and instrumental leads.

According to his bio, he has already (quote) performed with Grammy winner Carlos Nunez, Scottish fiddler Bruce MacGregor of Blazin’ Fiddles on his Canadian tour and with the Barr Brothers on the mainstage of the 2016 Edmonton Folk Music Festival. In 2015, Spencer became the first ever Canadian to win the senior flute competition at the New York Fleadh, the biggest Irish music competition in North America and went on to represent Canada at the All Ireland Championships in Sligo, Ireland.

Sound & Fury is a rich musical tapestry encompassing modern and traditional tunes from Scotland, Ireland and various Celtic nations. His bagpipes are mellifluous and he weaves his performance like a master yarn artist. Each melodic line weaves a story that resonates around our ancient souls.

There are bombastic and gentle moments in this album. For instance, in Strong Ciders, a gentle piano melody introduces the track and builds up gradually into complex rhythmic structure, yet maintaining that intimate and wispy feel- as introduced by the guitar. The album features his favorite musicians:  Jake Charron on guitar and piano, Shane Cook on fiddle, Daniel Stadnicki on percussion, Elliot Thomas on banjo and vocals, Keith Rempel on upright bass and Spencer Murray on Irish flute, tin whistle, Scottish borderpipes and Uilleann pipes.

The album showcases each of the musician’s talents as the recording introduces that breath of space between instruments, clarity that keeps us on the loop of who’s playing and what instrument. Sound & Fury closes with Clawhammer Reels that will surely keep enthusiasts tapping their feet! Spencer Murray is also part of The Log Drivers.

Released August 24, 2016

Spencer Murray – borderpipes, uilleann pipes, flute, whistles

Jake Charron – guitar, piano

Elliot Thomas – vocals, banjo

Keith Rempel – bass

Daniel Stadnicki – drums

Shane Cook – fiddle

Daniel Gervais – fiddle

Loretto Reid – concertina

Dana Wylie – vocals

Eric Wright – electronic production

Recorded and Mixed by Harry Gregg at The Audio Department & Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Mastered by Phil Demetro

Art by Kat Gomboc  www.katgomboc.com

 

Van Morrison Keeps Our Souls Singing Along

Van Morrison Keeps Our Souls Singing Along

 

Tracks

  1. Let It Rhymepackshot
  2. Every Time I See a River
  3. Keep Me Singing
  4. Out in the Cold Again
  5. Memory Lane
  6. The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
  7. Holy Guardian Angel
  8. Share Your Love With Me
  9. In Tiburon
  10. Look Behind the Hill
  11. Going Down to Bangor
  12. Too Late
  13. Caledonia Swing

Keep Me Singing, the much-anticipated album by  Northern Irish musical legend Van Morrison got its release this September. Finally, it is great to be treated to an exquisite musical experience with this album. Morrison has established his name in the music world with Astral Weeks among his other great albums.

My introduction to his music began with his contribution to The Long Black Veil by The Chieftains in the mid-90s. It was also the time when his Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison topped the jazz charts all over the world. His eclecticism is his asset. It is through that vision that he continues to collaborate successfully with notable artists from different genres while influencing them at the same time.

Keep Me Singing has thirteen songs. All of them are classic Morrison with touches of folk, jazz, soft rock and traditional Irish. The timeless sound transcend  decades. Listening to songs like The Pen is Mightier than the Sword calls to mind his earlier albums. The feel of the songs are warm and rich which calls to mind those live recordings from bygone days before the introduction of computers. So for people who love the taste of nostalgia, this album is for them.

The string arrangement feels cinematic and this is expressed in songs like Let it Rhyme, Every Time I See A River, Memory Lane and others. Too Late is the first single off the album and it is an upbeat song. Too Late is the single off the new album. It is an upbeat track that will surely catch your attention. Keep Me Singing is another musical treasure to keep. And the good feeling keeps coming!

 

Also available from
iTunes – http://po.st/KeepMeSingingiTunes
Amazon – http://po.st/KeepMeSingingAmz
HMV – http://po.st/KeepMeSingingHMV

Follow Van Morrison online at:

http://www.vanmorrison.com
http://po.st/VanMorrisonFacebook
http://po.st/VanMorrisonTwitter
http://po.st/VanMorrisonYouTube
http://po.st/VanMorrisonSpotify
http://po.st/VanMorrisoniTunes
https://itun.es/gb/g79