Máiréad Nesbitt Brings the Primal Energy of Irish Music with Hibernia.

Máiréad Nesbitt Brings the Primal Energy of Irish Music with Hibernia.

MÁIRÉAD NESBITT – CELTIC VIOLIN

WITH KARL NESBITT – FLUTE, LOW WHISTLE, BOUZOUKI, DIDJERIDOO. MICK O’BRIEN – UILLEANN PIPES & WHISTLE.

OTHER GUEST MUSICIANS:

KATHLEEN NESBITT – FIDDLE, JOHN NESBITT – ACCORDION, SEÁN NESBITT-ACCORDION, NATHAN PACHECO – VOCAL, NOEL ECCLES- PERCUSSION, NICK BAILEY- PERCUSSION. CASHEL SET DANCERS: GRÁINNE UÍ CHAOMHÁNAIGH, ÁINE CODY, BERNIE SULLIVAN AND COLEMAN LYDON.
THE ORCHESTRA OF IRELAND: LEADER KENNETH RICE. CONDUCTED BY LIAM BATES.

 

It is past one in the morning and I am listening to Hibernia by Máiréad Nesbitt. After many live performances all over the world and being on stage viewed by thousands of people, confidence and sheer talent have been translated into this album of fifteen tunes. One thing I am certain even before hearing this album is that she is a musical force unparalleled in any genre.

Hibernia is the classical Latin name for Ireland. Quite fitting as this album resonates her musical discipline and the visual approximation of the new Irish music. NY Times calls her “The demon of a fiddle player.” I think this is accurate because when she takes the stage , she is like a tempest. The energy is infectious! There is that distinctive characteristic about her music that’s both playful and primal.

There are many fantastic tracks in Hibernia. I was surprised when the opening tune Hollowed Fire is a mellow track because the title sounds like it came from the climax of Riverdance. But it is also an appetizer of what’s to come – the motif of the whole album. Her violin playing is pristine as ever, combining cinematic/visual style to a music that is captivating.

Hibernia tracks are representative of her part in Caltic Woman. You  can imagine this played live with her prancing on stage with the rest of the musicians. But unlike Celtic Woman, this is her own solo effort, backed the best musicians in the field. I admit the high points of the album for me are the quieter tunes like the sublime Seán Ó’ Duibhir A Ghleanna. So why Hibernia?

As stated in the liner notes:

Steeped in the traditions of both Classical music and Irish folk music, Máiréad brings the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of the Celts and the Classics together to create an exhilarating album of the music and tunes of Éire. HIBERNIA, the Classical name for Ireland, features beautiful slow airs, vocals, lively dance tunes, and ferocious, fast-paced reels all anchored by Máiréad’s stunning violin performances. The album features orchestral suites of all original music by Máiréad herself, along with Colm Ó Foghlú and Liam Bates.

For the virgin ears, Hibernia combines the grand tradition of Celtic woman but it is also grounded to the intimate elements of traditional Irish music- which is her her as an artist after the last album Raining Up. It is also worth noting that this is also a sort of family musical affair. She is joined by her siblings including Karl Nesbitt whom I had the honor to interview in the past. Also added is a unique performance by Nathan Pacheco on To Bring them Home, which is worth anticipating.

Hibernia is(as a recording) a wild Irish fairy on the brink of madness. The excitement, danger and exhilaration are all here. And artistically? She is more like Jimi Hendrix meets Rachmaninov. So expect  enchantment from the one and only Máiréad Nesbitt!mairead-photo

Seastar : Music of the Elements

Seastar : Music of the Elements

Plus: Colm Gavin, Cara Dillon and Solas. 

Since its official release back in August of 2016, Never Go Back has reaped positive reviews from Celtic music fans. I for one, finds The Great Silkie a fascinating song. It’s a wise choice for the band to make it an opening track because it warms you up to the style of other songs. It makes you curious and excited.

Powered by the beautiful voice of Fae Wiedenhoeft, this album of fourteen tracks succeeds in its intention of inspiring diverse listeners. The band’s musical style is fresh, friendly  and also easy. What I mean when I say ‘easy’ is that it transcends the genre. Whither you are into Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock or Folk music, this album certainly has something for everyone.

The percussive element of Never Go Back is also what drives listeners to stick around. It never gets boring or draggy. Seastar have a rich sound palette because of their love and mastery of many instruments. Experimenting with scales is also one of the album’s many strengths- as evident in their official single Never Go Back- as well as other songs that project their expertise in World Music.seastar22_large

Now, I checked out the bio of all members and I noticed each has his own history. For example, Ron Allen not only sings and plays the guitars but he is also the owner of Four Lumen Studio in Kirkland, Washington. Captain (born Adam Shea Chambers) plays the bass and he is also a film maker, poet, and novelist. Michael Falcone, aside from being a synth wiz, vocalist and percussionist; is also a filmmaker, voice-over artist and film location scout. Fae(who is the captivating voice of the band) is also an award-winning songwriter and a member of the Grammy Association.

If there is this element that connects the band , then it has to be their love for visual arts. And it all makes sense. If you listen to Never Go Back, you can get that sense of being transported to different places and time with each song. They love adding texture and attitude to each of the instruments used in various songs. And at times I think the instruments are voicing their own story behind the story of the song-writer.

I think Never Go Back deserves an award of sorts for bringing people to the simplistic, down-to earth aspect of Celtic music. It is an album that can feel at home in the trendy but intimate atmosphere of coffee shops or the green sunny warmth of outdoors. And I can certainly ride my bike to these songs. They are so alive, so one with the earth, wind, fire and water.

Visit the official site of the band: http://jetbutterfly.com/band/index.html

Facebook: seastarsings

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Colm Gavin

Now, I ‘discovered’ Colm Gavin through an Enya Official forum around two years ago (with the release of Dark Sky Island) as the young lad whom she took an Instagram selfie with (she treated him for a pint of beer). He is also a frequent guest of Leo’s Tavern and at times  he backs Moya Brennan of Clannad during the tavern concerts(the notable one was a tribute to the late Leo Brennan).

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Enya & I, Leos Tavern, NYE 👌🏻

 

I got intrigued and I followed him on Instagram whom he frequently posts updates as well as snippets of new songs. Her certainly has an amazing talent. A natural tenor and a good interpreter of Irish folk tunes (as well as good in writing his original material), I think he will definitely be Ireland’s notable musical names in the future. Watch out for him!

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Cara Dillon & Solas

I’ve been sharing this video to friends this morning. It is such an amazing interpretation of the traditional Irish song. Cara Dillon has a voice of an angel. I’ve been a fan for six years since I got my hands on After the Morning. She is with Solas-another band that you should not miss!