Padraig Duggan-The Spirit of His Music Will Always Live in our Hearts.

Padraig Duggan-The Spirit of His Music Will Always Live in our Hearts.

 

August 9. Moya Brennan posted a photo of Padraig Duggan with this caption: My dear uncle and fellow Clannad member, Padraig Duggan, passed away peacefully this morning. Rest in Peace Padraig and thanks for all your music over the years

***

Today, we reflect and remember Padraig Duggan of Clannad.He passed away this week due to a recurring illness. It was  a shocked because he was only 67 and this is so unexpected. For lovers of Irish music, The Duggans are a duo that I am sure you are familiar with. I am currently listening to their music via YouTube and these are songs from their 2005 album Rubicon.

13892191_1219840401412518_8437395483652165862_n

Padraig Duggan.

You can feel the passion of the brothers as they are joined by special guests: Moya Brennan on vocals, Bridin Brennan, Deirdre Brennan, Andrew Roberts, and Ciaran Byrne on backing vocals, Maire Breathnach on viola, David James on cello, Peter Jack on bass, Ingolf Kurkowski on drums, Ian Parker on piano and keyboards, and Ian Melrose in guitars, whistle, dobro and backing vocals.

According to Noel and Padraig Duggan:

The Rubicon is the point of no return. It is the place at which someone must continue on their present course of action. For us, the Rubicon is very significant. Musically, we felt that this album was the only direction that we could take at this time. The night was approaching and we could hear the wind rise. We now feel that we have crossed the Rubicon. Clannad-Banba-Frontal

Duggan played guitar, mandola, mandolin and provided vocals for Clannad. I think his most memorable contribution was with Banba. It’s the album that introduced me to the Clannad discography and I just fell in love with their sound. His mandolin playing was highlighted especially in tracks like The Other Side and Sunset Dreams.

Apart from the Duggans, Padraig was also a member of Norland Wind with his nephew Ciaran Brennan.

His contribution to music will never be forgotten and peers mourn for his passing.

Advertisements
CULTURAL ROADMAPP: IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY —A GROUNDBREAKING GPS-ENABLED AUDIO TOUR APP FOR MOTORISTS— TO LAUNCH CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN ON INDIEGOGO

CULTURAL ROADMAPP: IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY —A GROUNDBREAKING GPS-ENABLED AUDIO TOUR APP FOR MOTORISTS— TO LAUNCH CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN ON INDIEGOGO

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 7.28.11 PM
Sorry for no update for a while!!! It’s been a crazy month. But do check this project out. I think this is really exciting as it involves music, motorcycles and technology:
The transatlantic startup Cultural Roadmapp is launched its first crowdfunding campaign on June 7, 2016, in Indiegogo’s Transmedia category. The campaign for $35,000 will enable the startup to create a pilot audio tour for a GPS-enabled app illuminating the prodigious culture and heritage of Ireland’s west coast. Designed specifically for motorists on Ireland’s 1500- mile (2500 km) Wild Atlantic Way driving route, the hands-free app will comprise four audio tours. The pilot audio tour app spotlights Counties Clare and Limerick.
In both format and content, Cultural Roadmapp offers the immersive cultural experience more and more tourists today are searching for. Unlike the few audio tour apps for motorists available on the market, Cultural Roadmapp weaves unvarnished expert interviews, storytelling, and humor with world-class musical, literary, and dramatic performances–all 100% hands free. The app’s hands-free capability is made possible by the latest GPS technology, called “geo-fencing.” After downloading the app to a smart device, the user plugs the device into the vehicle’s USB port.
Sensing pre-identified landmarks on the tour route ahead, the app triggers the vehicle’s speakers to automatically play audio providing a delightful cultural-historical context to the landmark and local area. Without the need to keep hands and eyes glued to multimedia apps and traditional guide books, motorists can enjoy the scenery as they listen. Based in New York City and Ennis, Ireland, and founded in 2014, Cultural Roadmapp is in its early stages. Founder and president Deborah Schull is a senior writer-producer whose credits include an audio tour for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, which earned the museum world’s prestigious MUSE Award in 2011.
The startup team includes Leah O’Brien Bernini, an ethnographer and ethnomusicologist who directs content collection and curation, and Oisín Mac Diarmada, a world-renowned Irish fiddler and the startup’s music director. For more information about Cultural Roadmapp and its upcoming Indiegogo campaign, please go to http://www.culturalroadmapp.com/press. Also see Cultural Roadmapp’s Indiegogo Campaign Page at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cultural-roadmapp
Flow by Nua: The Great Sound Of The Outdoors

Flow by Nua: The Great Sound Of The Outdoors

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 7.48.00 PM

Flow is a follow-up to their highly acclaimed debut album Bold. And they satisfy music fans once again!

I have the habit of bringing my huge speakers outside while chilling in my hammock. This happens every morning because I work at night.On most days the music consist of Spotify playlist-the current stuff, whither its chilled or lively tunes. There are days when I like playing Celtic music because it is good to listen to when it rains.

So I pumped up the copy of Flow which is the newest album by Canadian trio Nua. I got a positive reaction from people who happened to be nearby when they heard the tracks off the album. My cousin who was in the kitchen remarked that the music makes her want to dance, without being intrusive or noisy. She has a point. The trio have always maintained a minimal approach in their sound while maintaining that positive and uplifting style. Flow is not an exception. The tracks all go together and they have this fresh, clean and golden feeling in them.

Why golden? The music reminds me of the outdoors. It’s like sunrise against your face when you wake up in the morning. James M Law has really established his  emotional style of fiddling underneath the controlled delivery. Graeme McGillivray has a kind of playing style where his guitar sounds whispy, almost transparent. Jacob McCauley(who is my bodhran hero) has maintained that expressive mastery of the instrument that talks to you. If percussion can speak, then that has got to be the way he plays.

Flow promises to satisfy traditional music fans. The album has twelve tracks. The range of styles explored are Jazz, folk and world. There is something here for everyone. Even if you are not  hard core trad/instrumental fan , you will like Flow as proven by the reaction I got from bystanders. It is hard to choose a favourite as all tracks are beautiful in their own way. But Wide Open is a good introduction to the mood of the whole album. Like I said, Flow is the sound of the outdoors, the sound singing streams and the dance of sunlight against your face. Smuggler Cove is also a favourite due to the interesting arrangement. I don’t know if Ghostrider was inspired by the film but hey, whatever floats their boat right? Law, McGillivray and McCauley have created another masterpiece that will stand the test of time. Time to grab the album and share it with everyone.

Visit: http://www.trionua.com for more info about the trio.

My Short But Sweet Interview With Scottish Superstar Eddi Reader

My Short But Sweet Interview With Scottish Superstar Eddi Reader

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 7.43.50 PM

I put Eddi Reader up there with the best artists in the world. Artists whose every release is always anticipated and also celebrated. She recently dropped her Best Of album and if you haven’t read my review yet, please check it out.

This little Q&A was arranged by my good friend Anita Daly. I got a kick after discover this in my mailbox. Eddi Reader has taught me that tact and simplicity always yield good results.  $_35

She also shares with us how she is able to maintain that amazing voice! We should all try her techniques if we want to have a singing career.

  1. The Best of presents the evolution of your musical evolution through the years. Was it an arduous process trying to decide what tracks finally make it to the compilation?

I didn’t choose the tracks, it would have been almost impossible.. I never look back musically so although it sounded like the right time to assess and look at the path I have been on, It was best to keep a good distance so that when I listened I could hear it as a new complete experience.  I set aside some time one afternoon and listened afresh to what my Manager Tom Rose chose.

I was very happy with it.

  1. Looking back, have you known all along that you are going to be this influential?

I don’t have any idea that I am.  I do meet people and younger ones who love bits and pieces of what Ive offered up.  But if I have influenced I didn’t mean any harm. haha

  1. What do you miss the most about being with Fairground Attraction?
Being in my twenties with energy of a cheetah!
  1. Your voice is a fascinating instrument. How did you develop that style of singing and how do you maintain the your beautiful voice?
I drink loads of water when I work.  I try to nap if I have no energy.  Sleep repairs muscle and tissue.  I try to remember not to shout too much when I talk.
  1. How’s the book coming along?(Reader is writing a book for publication  about her great-uncle Seamus (or James) Reader).
I will be relieved when it decides its done with me.  I miss it when I’m away from doing it. But it sometimes seems endless.
  1. Your success has influenced young women singer-songwriters to be brave. How do you see the music business today as compared to the time you fronted your first band?
Thank you . I hope that’s somehow true. But I think every human has a love of something and a feeling of purposeful drive.  Nothing can stop anyone expressing themselves musically if that’s what they love to do.
I am not sure what the music biz is doing now. I ignore it as much as possible.  I think the same is true today as it was before my time: Do it with love and light and the joy will be a great reward, the Mercedes will come later.
  1. And finally, your message to your fans?

To anyone who has spent time listening while I sing I want to say thank you so much. xxxxx

The Best of Eddi Reader

The Best of Eddi Reader

The Best of Eddi Reader: Her life,  art and her persistence that is truly Scottish

30 Song career spanning remastered Double CD.
Compiled by Tom Rose. Mastered by Mark Freegard

My introduction to the beautiful voice of Eddi Reader was through the TV program of Jools Holland. I think she was promoting her album  Angels and Electricity. What a gorgeous voice! I started paying attention to her releases.That is why I am gushing all over when I got the chance to review her 2-disk Best of Album. The Best of Eddi Reader takes us to several decades of music- when she shot into international recognition with Fairground Attraction up until her more recent Celtic influenced music. $_35

The album has 30 songs and it is eclectic. You can hear original pinned tunes as well as covers-I love her version of Declan O’Rourke’s Galileo-a song that has been covered by many artists. She closes the collection with Henry Mancini’s Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her voice is bright and clear as sunrise.It is a fine instrument of nuance (delicate as rose petals) and with  heartbreaking intensity that is very Scottish. Her music combines influences from American Rockabilly, fifties standards, traditional Scottish and pop. There is always something for everyone, in this album.

Her gifts extend to acting as well. She played Jolene Jowett, a singer and accordionist, in John Byrne’s Your Cheatin’ Heart,a comedy-drama series for BBC Television, set in the country music scene in Scotland. In 2009, she performed in period-drama Me and Orson Welles, and starring Zac Efron,  and Claire Danes, performing a song in a style of 50s standard.

She is also a prominent advocate of the Yes Scotland movement. In fact, Reader is writing a book f(or publication in 2016) about her great-uncle Seamus Reader, who was head of the Scottish Brigade of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, when the Irish War of Independence broke out in 1919, later becoming a founder of the abortive Scottish Republican Army, which attempted to replicate the Irish struggle in Scotland between the wars.

The Best of Eddi Reader is a closer look at her interesting musical career and which makes her a fascinating Scottish treasure. Call her feisty or amazing-she’s got it all covered, being able to maintain a multi-faceted career which continues to enchant listeners and will continue to do so.

Tracklisting:

CD 1

  1. Find My Love
  2. Perfect
  3. Whispers
  4. Patience of Angels
  5. Dear John
  6. What You Do With What You’ve Got
  7. Kiteflyers Hill
  8. Wings On My Heels
  9. Muddy Water
  10. Leezie Lindsay
  11. My Love Is LIke A Red Red Rose
  12. Wild Mountainside
  13. Love Is The Way
  14. Roses
  15. Baby’s Boat
  16. Vagabond

 

CD 2

  1. My Old Friend The Blues
  2. Dolphins
  3. Hummingbird
  4. Semi Precious
  5. The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Moon
  6. Galileo
  7. Willie Stewart
  8. Ae Fond Kiss
  9. New York City
  10. Dragonflies
  11. Follow My Tears
  12. Snowflakes In The Sun
  13. Love Is A Losing Game
  14. Moon River

You can buy the album here: http://www.eddireader.co.uk/music/the-best-of

Thanks to Daly Communications.

 

The Narrowbacks:A Hot Surprise This Winter

The Narrowbacks:A Hot Surprise This Winter

nar·row·back /ˈnæroʊˌbæk/ [nar-oh-bak]
–noun Slang.
1. Disparaging. an Irish-American.
2. a person of slight build who is unfit for hard labor.

The brain child of a future banker and a drop out bartender, The Narrowbacks are a fresh voice for songs and stories old and new. After some late night sing songs, a couple whiskeys and a few lost jobs we came up with a young punk attitude that found itself running through the veins of an old time folk band.

If Joe Strummer, Shane MacGowan and Bruce Springsteen survived a drinking session through the 5 boroughs, the hangover would be called The Narrowbacks.

If you have devoted your life supporting Celtic music then you’ll know that the world never runs out of great talents. There will always be amazing bands from any time, any place. They just need a good channel to get exposed to enthusiasts.

Such is the case of The Narrowbacks from New York. For those who are not aware New York has offered us great bands since the 90s like the October Project and Black 47. There are more though they escape my fingertips as of the moment but yes, New York is an amazing place when it comes to unique bands. And the musical energy of the place is a big influenced to these musicians behind the band. They have their own eclectic styles and influences and they all bring it to the band. So what you get is music that seems to come from many sources yet so distinct and so exclusive to the Irish musical culture.

They are adept in performing old a new tunes but they have a knack for great arrangements that the old and new songs can sound as if they all came from the same era. When it comes to energy well, they have it all as all bands celebrating the spirit of Irish rock. Fans of Barleyjuice and Dropkick Murphy’s will love their style of music.

I really enjoyed listening to their songs especially the crowd rouser Paddy’s Field.

Check out the press release:

Releasing new single ‘Shannon’ Friday February 19th prior to album release in April!

If Joe Strummer, Shane MacGowan and Bruce Springsteen survived a drinking session through the five boroughs of New York City, the hangover would be called The Narrowbacks. The brainchild of a future banker and a bartender, The Narrowbacks are a fresh voice for songs and stories old and new.  The band is currently winning over audiences with their high energy set of tunes and over the top performances.  They have played gigs at notable venues such as The Stone Pony, Webster Hall and the Bowery Bal1room.  They have shared the stage with Flogging Molly, Black 47 and The Dropkick Murphys.  But maybe their most note worthy shows have been in support of The Ice Bucket Challenge, performing at many charity events to raise money for the cure of ALS and their dedication to the cause has helped fuel their notoriety and is taking them nationwide.

The band has been brewing on the East coast and developing their own unique style of ‘Celtic Rock’.  Not to be stuck in that genre the band can rock out with any of the best players out there.  Music writer Colleen Taylor of The Irish Echo says of the group, “Their music is literally and figuratively electric and it sounds best live… The Narrowbacks fill the need for a young Irish-America that knows how to rock.”   They receive constant rotation on radio stations such as WFUV in NYC and Sirius XM on Larry Kirwan’s ‘Celtic Crush.’

After a few years recording their own versions of traditional Irish and folk songs and anthems, the band will be releasing an album of all original tunes in April. To get a taste of the music they will be premiering a single called ‘Shannon’ on February 19th on iTunes.  Disc Jockey Bruce Swan of WPKN radio says, “The new single ‘Shannon’ from The Narrowbacks is classic storytelling, genre-bending and non-stop great.  If this is the start of what is yet to come, the new cd from The Narrowbacks will kill it.”

The band is gearing up for the St Patrick’s Day season with a March tour and show dates include March 16th at The House of Blues in Boston opening up for The Dropkick Murphys and March 17th at Webster Hall NYC.

The new single, ‘Shannon’, will be out on iTunes on Friday February 19th. We can send on an MP3 if you are interested for review and airplay.

For more information and full tour dates go to:  http://www.narrowbacks.com/

MEDIA CONTACT: Anita Daly / Daly Communications / 212 772 0852 / anitadaly@yahoo.com

 

The marriage between trad and electro:Jiggy the Band

Jiggy is the name of the group!

I got a surprise via Soundcloud. I heard this cool group from out of the misty universe which is the internet.They call themselves Jiggy. It seems that they are the answer to my longing for the fusion of electronic beats and traditional music. Perhaps there are very very few bands doing that these days, a kind of style started by The AfroCelts in the 90s.

So who are the artists behind this fascinating group? According to their website:

“New Irish band Jiggy put some serious pep in the step of traditional Irish Music.”      Irish Central

 

Jiggy is a very groovy collective!4f3805_e87d8b99cc764d7fa0fbe281a6b65af5

 

Featuring the talents of traditional musicians; 

Daire Bracken (fiddle), Aoife Kelly (fiddle), Éamonn Galldubh (uilleann pipes), Éamonn De Barra (flute & whistle), Robbie Harris (percussion), Niwel Tsumbu (guitar & Vocals) and Yoshi Izumi (bass) who have teamed up with DJ Jack on the decks. 

 

Jiggy has developed a sound unlike anything else, fusing vocal lilting & beatboxing, Irish traditional music, hip hop dance grooves, world music rhythms and harmonies. Expect a thrilling live set of original music and traditional dance tunes. 

 

Jiggy also features special guest beatboxer MIC Bandit.

 

Jiggy have collabrated with producers Steve Lynch (Stellarsound), Mark Murphy (Sound Butlers) and Sam Jackson. Mastering is done by Fergal Davis.

Oh so that’s it! Sounds like they have many exciting things coming this year. Is there a studio album that we can buy? Here’s another info from their website:

Jiggy are in the studio recording and mixing the new album!

 

Jiggy have just released ‘Laethanta Saoire’

Laethanta Saoire is composed by guitar ledgend Steve Cooney and out now on iTunes, Amazon and eMusic. 

Produced by Sam Jackson

Mastered by Fergal Davis.

 

Buy now on  iTunes 

Ok I gotta go back to my dancing. I can’t stop!

4f3805_0db80348a26b477ca84a3a3622f25fad.png

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Wow it’s really 2016. More exciting things happening in music. There many bands lining up to be featured, and so many tunes to be savoured. Yes you will hear then soon. I just keep them in my ‘drafts’ section and I am not revealing yet as I want to keep the suspense 😉

So for starters let me wish everyone a great new year and the best in 2016. Here are the picks of the day :

 

“It was recorded in real time with minimal overdubs” Caitriona O’ Leary Talks about The Wexford Carols

“It was recorded in real time with minimal overdubs” Caitriona O’ Leary Talks about The Wexford Carols

the-wexford-carols-covers

Happy Holidays! I wrote an entry about The Wexford Carols by Caitriona O’Leary a few days ago. And it is a delight to receive a response from the interview questions I sent her with the help of my friend Anita Daly. So here they are and I was not really surprised that she mentioned Bjork as one of her influences. These two have amazing voices.I am sure Bjork would love O’Leary’s rendering of the traditional carols. The album’s production is superb, the artwork is exceptional-plus you gotta get your hands on the liner notes as a lot of inspiration was poured in making this project. Read further and more surprises await you!

  1. The Wexford Carols was released very early of this year. What’s the story behind the re-release?

Actually the album was released for Christmas last year! But I feel that The Wexford Carols has the potential to be a long-lived perennial offering and that we hadn’t reached every music lover just yet!

  1. You are backed by fantastic studio musicians, singers and sound  tech people. It must be an exciting recording session.
 

It was indeed a very exciting session. It was recorded in real time with minimal overdubs. Basically, we were all in the room (a beautiful, converted 17th-century stable house with huge windows overlooking woodland), making the music at the same time – watching each other, responding to each other’s musical impulses.

  1. How extensive was the background research for this album?
 

I spent many years researching the carols. I started dabbling about 20 years ago, but it has really been the past couple of years that I completely submersed myself in the material. I have visited the church in Kilmore (where the carols are still sung), spoken with local Wexford historians, and spent many happy hours in Dublin libraries and music archives unearthing clues to the melodies that had been lost.

  1. Are you working on a new album and if you are what can we expect?
  1. What’s the inspiration behind this album, and the musical direction you took in recording this(see answers to question 6).
 

I am indeed working on a new album – The Wexford Carols, volume 2! There are still a dozen carols hiding in Wexford history and we want to bring them into the light too. We will be recording in the spring with the renowned producer Ethan Johns and taking a different musical approach to the first volume. It’s a very exciting prospect!

  1. Who are your major musical influences?
 

I have many, many musical influences! Nina Simone, Skip James, Sara Ghriallais, Chabuca Granda, Jordi Savall, Björk…you can probably hear bits of all of them in my work (Björk not so obviously…yet…)

  1. what your biggest Christmas wish?
 

Peace on Earth and goodwill towards all creatures and the planet.

Enjoy your copy of The Wexford Carols. It is an album that’s meant to enchant you not just this holiday season but for all seasons!
The Wexford Carols brings the 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs to your Living Room

The Wexford Carols brings the 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs to your Living Room

WexfordCarols.

Like the warm hearth of the past, The Wexford Carols is a joy to listen to!

For the rest of us who respond to our shared musical genre (especially in terms of holiday tunes), The Wexford Carols is a perfect release. This album is the focus of interest not just among ‘academic’ listeners but also among those who are looking for a solemn musical mood. The are twelve tracks off this album and my personal favorite is the a cappella song The Darkest Midnight In December. This song has a special meaning to me. It is from an unknown author. The original text has around 11 stanzas. Now, those who are unaware since the album’s release last January of this year, The Wexford Carols, is a collection of 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs. So that should be interesting!

The rest of the tracks have this common simplicity even when there are instrumentations in the arrangements. Catriona O’Leary has a voice of an earthly angel. She is also backed by talented musicians, singers and technical people including:

Rhiannon Giddens – Voice, Fiddle, Minstrel Banjo

Rosanne Cash – Voice

Tom Jones – Voice

and also:

Adrian Hart – Fiddle

Eamonn de Barra – Flute, Whistle

John Smith – Guitar, Mandola

Dónal Lunny – Bouzuki

Kate Ellis – Cello

Greg Cohen – Double Bass

Mel Mercier – Bodhrán, Bones

Graham Hopkins – Drums

Joe Henry, Producer

Ryan Freeland, Recording Engineer, Mix and Master.

The Wexford Carols is a perfect gift to listeners of all genres of music. It is not often when we come across a collection of work that’s well researched and rendered in a passionate manner. This album by the way was mixed in the studio to sound like a live recording. So when you listen to it, it seems like you are listening to an actual live performance in an intimate setting like a cafe or pub.

TRACK LISTING – 61 Minutes

  1. Tell Shepherds – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
  2. An Angel This Night – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
  3. Jerusalem Our Happy Home – Tom Jones, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary & Rhiannon Giddens Backing Vocals
  4. This Is Our Christmass Day – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
  5. Now To Conclude Our Christmas Mirth – Rhiannon Giddens, Singer, Tom Jones & Caitríona O’Leary Backing Vocals
  6. The Darkest Midnight In December – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
  7. An Angel This Bright Midnight – Rosanne Cash, Caitríona O’Leary, John Smith, Graham Hopkins Vocals
  8. Behould Three Kings – Rosanne Cash, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary, John Smith, Graham Hopkins Vocals
  9. The Angell Said To Joseph Mild – Tom Jones, Singer, Caitríona O’Leary & Rhiannon Giddens, Backing Vocals
  10. A Virgin Queen In Bethlehem – Caitríona O’Leary, Singer
  11. Christmas Day Is Come – Rhiannon Giddens & Caitríona O’Leary, Vocals
  12. The Enniscorthy Christmas Carol – Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Caitríona O’Leary, Tom Jones, Vocals

 

Visit: http://www.caitrionaoleary.com

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wexford-Carols-Catriona-OLeary/dp/B00N35JA2I

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wexford-Carols-Catriona-OLeary/dp/B00N35JA2I

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wexford-Carols-Catriona-OLeary/dp/B00N35JA2I