Raise your glasses to a rip-roaring new album from Cheers!

Band: Cheers!

Album: Daily Bread

Release date: May 2017

Snarling, swirling, raging, roaring vocals and electric guitar tempered by fairground accordion arpeggios, whistles and flutes.

‘Chances’ – the opening track on the new album ‘Daily Bread’ from Cheers!

Cheers! was born in a whiskey and Guinness-fuelled frenzy in Pilsen, Czech Republic in 2011 and the first single was released in November the same year. Their debut album ‘Wrong and Right’ was recorded in a 10 hour marathon live session and released in 2013. They are touring almost constantly, playing clubs and festivals, and took their music to Italy in 2015 and 2017. ‘Daily Bread’ is their second album, and unlike their first, this one was made in the studio over a period of weeks, but still keeps a gritty, powerful live sound.

Call me old- fashioned, but I still like my music (if I can’t get it live) to come in CD-sized packages – downloading just doesn’t do it for me, and I put a lot of store in first impressions. A mighty handsome looking CD this is with a work-soiled, heartbroken figure on the front, ironically plastered with the jolly name of the band, and then in sombre, tombstone gothic font, the album title ‘Daily Bread’. According to the band, ‘daily bread’ means several things both in Czech and English, including ‘hunger for what you deserve or daily routine misery, this is what drives the lives of us all…’

cheerscdcover

When I first heard this lot live five years ago, I thought ‘here’s a breath of fresh air on the Czech music scene’ – in fact I was blown away by them then and even more so now. Their debut album was rough and ready, but the energy was definitely there. ‘Daily Bread’ really is a mature piece of work and a labour of love – independently released by the band. The new album is very nicely produced and mixed and all the instruments, even the quieter whistles, fiddle and accordion, keep their character within the melee of driving sounds. Pick me up off the floor guys- I’m knackered just listening to this- but in a good way. My ears are still ringing with the joyful collision of electric guitars and acoustic whistles, the reverberation of accordion and uilleann pipes and Pavel’s distinctive and passionate vocals holding it all together.

cherspromofoto2

Pavel (vocals, acoustic guitar) very kindly took some time out of the band’s busy schedule to answer a few questions about the album.

How long did ‘Daily Bread’ take to record compared to the first album? 

Pavel: Ten times more I think. The first album took 10 hours to record and a couple of days of mixing. We started working on ‘Daily Bread’ this January and recorded it in, like, two months or so. Mixing and mastering took 3 months. It’s plenty in comparison with the first record, but not that much on an LP studio album really.

Influences on your sound?

Pavel: Each band tries to preserve its unique sound or at least that’s what they say. But one way or another, it’s necessary to have a fixed point. In this case, those would be The Dreadnoughts and Dropkick Murphys. I think the sound is overrated though. I know too many bands whose records suck, but rule on stage.

How do you feel about the new album? 

Pavel: Bored of it already. We got to make another (laughs).

What message (if any) are you trying to put across in the songs?

Pavel: Hard to say. Each song’s got it’s own. But overall the usual – love, hatred, people, feelings, politics, etc. That’s what the genre does, don’t you think?

Guards of the Poor (2014)

Where/How can we buy your CD? 

Pavel: It will be available on Itunes, Spotify and other servers in digital format. Physical CD on Amazon or Czech band merchandise e-shops. Or you can contact us directly. Right now we’re trying to spread it over so it’ll take some time before it reaches the counters.

What’s the true story behind ‘Mr. Batter’? 

Pavel: True story? That’s it. We got busted on the streets for stealing copper sheets from a theatre by local police and the night guard pointed us out even though we had no idea. Coming to that, do you need any copper?

What are your favourite songs on the album?

Pavel: For me personally, that would be ‘Dagger’ and ‘Misery’. ‘Misery’ is an old piece and we’ve been playing it since I can remember, and still I get goose bumps when it gets to some parts. We picked the title of the album from its lyrics and I’m glad we did. ‘Dagger’ is a much younger song and was made for the album. Simplicity and straight meaning is sometimes hard to follow, unless the muse kisses you on the cheeks and that happened with ‘Dagger’, I guess. So it makes me feel free every time we play it.

So, prepare to hang on to your seats for an angst-filled 48 minutes and 23 seconds of Celtic folk-punk brewed in Pilsen…

Cheers! on Facebook

Cheers! on YouTube

Cheers! on Bandzone

 

 

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My Short But Sweet Interview With Scottish Superstar Eddi Reader

My Short But Sweet Interview With Scottish Superstar Eddi Reader

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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

Titanicdance will have you on the edge of your seat: My Interview with Raymond Sweeney

Titanicdance will have you on the edge of your seat: My Interview with Raymond Sweeney

  I wrote an entry about this Irish song and dance phenomena Titanicdance a few days ago. Now, Producer, Creative Director and Lead Dancer Raymond Sweeney, took time to answer this interview. I am currentlyqvzrbp44upehnzbms7a4

listening to the soundtrack while transcribing our online conversation. You have to see this show. This is the best thing that happened to the stage since Riverdance and Celtic Tiger. Please don’t forget to visit their Indiegogo campaign and hopefull take part as one of the show’s backers. This is music and dance arrange in a way that will captivate both young and old fans of Celtic music.

1. Hi Raymond, you are from Donegal which is known as a place that gave birth to global artists.What’s the story behind Titanicdance?
It was in 2012 on the 100th year anniversary of the tragic events of the Titanic that I came up with the idea to do the show. Creating my own production was something I always dreamed of doing so I got a team together and started choreographing the show with Louise Hayden & James Keegan in a little prefab in my dad’s work yard. It took many long hours of hard work, determination and a lot of patience but it was all worth it as the end result exceeded our expectations.
2. You joined Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance at 16. What were the challenges of being in a big and famous troupe at a young age?
Being from a small village in Donegal and heading into the unknown was exciting but scary at such a young age. It was a huge challenge trying to meet the standard required for such a large production and as well as the dancing there was a lot to learn about performing on stage. The other thing I found challenging was being away from home at such a young age and getting used to my new independence. It was a great experience. 
3. I think Titanicdance will strike a universal chord as the story (Titanic) itself is still a phenomenal success brought about by books and of course Hollywood.
This is so true and is the reason why we think we have something special.
4. What’s the training ritual of your dancers before a big event?
Well it takes many weeks/months preparing for a big show as first and foremost fitness is very important as well as learning routines etc.. The choreography of Titanicdance is of a very high standard and therefore plenty of training is required to get it perfect for show time.  
5. How do you handle the responsibilities of leading 30 top Irish dancers?
I’m fortunate enough to have the experience of being a cast member and touring in a big dance production for over 15 years and therefore I know how to find the right balance to treat cast members in a firm but fair way in order to get the best results. I have a lot of friends that I have work along side and toured with previously and that are now in my cast, now being Creative Director and having to direct them and call the shots isn’t always easy but I do it in a manor that they still so me respect. 
6. How is it like working with producer David McLaughlin? You must be great pals right now.ykusbiflr8xnphaiihly
David and the whole team have been great. Everyone really believes in this production and works endlessly to make sure it will become a huge success. I have a great relationship with David and it is growing stronger and stronger..!!
7. What do you hope to achieve this Titanicdance?
I hope to achieve everything possible with Titanicdance. It’s always been my dream to have a touring show and I am so honored to be in the position I’m in at the moment and I will continue to strive to meet my goals because I believe this show can be a huge success. 
8. Your message to the readers?
 
Titanicdance has it all. Live Irish Music, Song and Dance and a story line that will have you on the edge of your seat and possibly in tears. Audiences across the globe deserve to see this production and I will do my best to make that happen. You will not be disappointed. 

Kind Regards,

Raymond Sweeney
Watch out for my review of the Titanicdance music soon! Big thanks to my friend Anita Daly of Daly Communications for arranging this interview.
Feel the warmth of AN IRISH CHRISTMAS BLESSING by Fr Ray Kelly

Feel the warmth of AN IRISH CHRISTMAS BLESSING by Fr Ray Kelly

Father Ray Kelly Chrstimas cd cover

If An Irish Christmas Blessing is a solar system, then Make Me a Channel of Your Peace has to be sun, drawing all planets to its gravity. It is a track that’s timely as the world needs something to hold on to especially in these troubled times. An Irish Christmas Blessing recalls the auspicious debut of Father Ray Kelly almost a year ago. This happened when he sang at the wedding of Chris and Leah O’Kane on April 5th 2014 which blew the internet after it was captured and posted on You Tube.

I am listening to the title track while writing this. It brings back a lot of good feelings. Like when I was in high school and I was a teenager again haunting for good holiday albums in record stores. The classic style represents the ‘feel’ of the whole album. There is nostalgia and a sense of adventure.

His style of singing is unique. Not Gregorian or operatic. He sounds close to Elvis Costello but with a rich upper register and nuance where it is needed. In O Holy Night, he gives his all hitting those rich notes at the end of the song. The album’s orchestration is superb. I love orchestras and An Irish Christmas Blessing is a treat for those who love grand arrangements but with a modern twist.

Father Kelly  will be donating a percentage of the profits of the sales of this album and his live concerts to the Kiltegan Fathers St Patrick’s Missionary Society. It’s where he started his journey as a Catholic priest.Below is a brief interview made possible by my good friend Anita Daly of Daly Communications:

 

Hi Father Kelly, you must be ecstatic that your Christmas album is finally out! Why did you choose An Irish Christmas Blessing as the album’s title?

Yes I am very excited about the Christmas album and indeed the final production of it. When I heard the song An Irish Christmas Blessing, I fell in love with the melody and the words immediately. And in deciding a title for the album I thought there it is, the title, the first song on the Album. I guess being an Irish Man and firmly planted in my roots it was the ideal title.

What are your favorite songs in this album?

I love all Christmas music so I really love all the songs. However, when I heard my completed version of Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace, I just thought it was so prayerful and haunting, so I guess it is one of my top 3. But I love O Holy Night as I feel hearing that song at Christmas is so special and necessary. As for the song The Little Drummer Boy, I do think the arrangement of that is super. All my grand nieces and nephews are constantly listening to that one and tell me it is their favourite.

You employed an orchestra to record the thirteen songs (by the way it’s my lucky number). How did you decide to record with an orchestra plus choir instead of just the usual piano, drums, bass and synths?

I was very fortunate that Nigel Wright in the UK agreed to produce my Christmas Album, as he is up there among the top record producers in the world, so I was totally guided by him as to what was needed to create a great album.

Some of the songs are vocally challenging! But you glide through them gracefully. Do you record in one take or did you experience having to decide between two versions of then same song?

Nigel made me work very hard, he knew I could create the sound he wanted. So it took a lot more than one take in most of the songs. But that is not unusual, and having heard the final production I can understand why it took some time.

You will be donating a percentage of the profits of the sales of this album and his live concerts to the Kiltegan Fathers St Patrick’s Missionary Society right?

Yes, Kiltegan Fathers, or St Patrick’s Missionary Society will benefit from the sale of my CD and concerts. When I decided to become a priest, I joined The Kiltegan Fr’s in Co Wicklow. So they educated me for 7 years and had a huge say in my formation as a Catholic Priest. I spent a couple of years on the Mission Field in S.Africa, however I decided I wanted to work at home eventually. I always said if I could every give something back to them for all they did for me even in a small way I would, little did I realise that an opportunity like this would come my way.

What’s your biggest wish this Christmas?

My biggest wish this Christmas is that my younger sister who is quite ill will make a complete recovery. Now that would be Christmas for me.

There you go 🙂 Bax

Slan, best wishes, Merry Christmas

Fr Ray

 

And I wish your younger sister a complete recovery as well Father Kelly.

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Larry Kirwan will be performing live at the Cutting Room NYC St Paddy’s Day Eve. It will be the first since the announcement of doing separate musical projects from Black 47. See the details below:

1. You will be doing  first solo St Paddy’s Day show in NYC! Are you excited?

Sure! Playing on St. Patrick’s Day in NYC is like jumping atop a wild stallion.  You try to guide

it but you usually end up just hanging on and going with the excitement and glow.  I did a solo

show at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore on Saturday and it went really well, so I’m wound up and ready for St. Patrick’s Night.  When I did solo shows during the Black 47 era I usually contrasted the performances – take the solo show down and make it more introspective.  But now I just take the Black 47 fire onstage with me and attack the electric/acoustic Takemine just as I did the Stratocaster for 25 years.

2. Can you share with us your set list? 

I won’t even decide on that until just before going onstage, and even then I’ll change that set list around while onstage.  I have a lot of Black 47 songs to choose from and will re-imagine them, oftentimes adding a bit more of the back story before the actual song; so it’s somewhat a different experience.  People will hear more of the lyrics and perhaps get deeper into the soul of the original song.  I’ll also be doing some songs from my musical Hard Times, and setting the scene back in July 1863.  I’ll probably do a couple of covers.  And there’s a Yeats poem that I set to music about 10 years ago that I’ve never really performed.  We’ll see… but whatever, it will all be fresh.

3. What can we expect from you this year, in terms of live shows and also solo projects?

I’m developing Hard Times for a bigger production up in Toronto so will be up there quite a bit.  I’m also doing a solo show of Foster in the Five Points out in Bergen Community College Theatre in Paramus, NJ on April 16th.  I was commissioned to do that by the Lincoln Library and will probably do more of those shows.  I have a new book coming out in April, A History of Irish Music – and will do some readings from that over the next six months.  I’m also working on a new musical about Iraq that will incorporate a number of the songs from Black 47’s IRAQ CD.  But I will do some strictly solo music shows – I’ve really gotten back into guitar playing again.  I miss the Fender Strat – it was like a part of my body for all the years of Black 47 – but I’m enjoying the acoustic again.  So, onwards and upwards, as the bishop said to the actress!

4. Message to your fans?

“Treat every day as if it’s your last – and one day you’ll be right.”  That’s actually from my friend, Malachy McCourt.  But it’s so true.  On a more personal basis, thank you so much for all your love and support down the years.  Even though Black 47 will no longer play, the spirit of the band will go on.  The songs are still there and I’ll be playing them.

It’s going to be an exciting event. Go to his website for more details: http://www.black47.com

Cara Dillon Talks about A Thousand Hearts  in the Midst of Her Tour

Cara Dillon Talks about A Thousand Hearts in the Midst of Her Tour

 

Winter Mountain and Cara Dillon concert

Winter Mountain and Cara Dillon concert

 

Cara Dillon took time to answer this interview with The Celtic Music Fan. She talks about the new album A Thousand Hearts plus how she takes good care of her amazing voice! Photos by Paula.

This is a dream come true. I’ve been listening to the albums of Cara Dillon for years. It never occurred to me that one day she would be answering questions for The Celtic Music Fan. It seems far fetched at that time. I am glad it finally  happened! Big thanks to my friend Paula who attended the concert (along with our common friend Gill). She was the one who connected me to Ali of Charcoal records. The pictures in this interview were taken during the concert.

 

1. Hi Cara, I am sure your global fans are excited about your latest offering “A Thousand Hearts”. Are you nervous, excited…happy?

 I’m really thrilled to be releasing another album and I feel it’s some of my strongest work. I’m excited about what people may think and I hope they enjoy it as much as my others. 

2. I checked the track listing and I noticed you recorded two Irish Gaelic tunes: ÉRIGH SUAS A STÓIRÍN and TÁIMSE IM’ CHODLADH. I am excited to hear your version of these Sean Nos songs. What encouraged to record them?

I’ve been singing Érigh Suas A Stóirín for over 20 years and even recorded it in my first band “Oige”. Sam had a different take on the song and has injected more energy into it. Táimse  im’ Chodladh is a song that I’ve been aware of for many years and never felt confident enough to sing. It’s a beautiful melody and very intimate so I felt we should only record it when I was in the right mindset. 

3. You are touring with Sam to promote the album. How’s it  going so far?

It’s going fantastic. The concerts are almost all sold out and the audiences are amazing. They’re so  attentive and they really seem to be hungry for the new material. I won’t lie, it’s a challenge to juggle family life with three children and going on the road to do shows and promotional appearances but I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

4. You are now folk’s first lady. Are you thrilled about that?

I’m not sure I would agree…there are so many amazingly talented female performers out there, it seems that we all get a moment in the spotlight and I’m blessed that I’m passing through one now. 

5. Tell us about your own label Charcoal Records.

Sam and I formed the label to release “Hill Of Thieves” in 2008. We had been signed to major labels since we were 19 years old and felt that we really needed to seize back control. We wanted to dictate our own agenda and schedules and it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. “Hill Of Thieves” has been my most successful by far and most recently led to us popping up on Sony’s radar who has just licensed “A Thousand Hearts” worldwide. It’s a dream situation as they essentially want to promote the record to as many people as possible without having any creative control over us.    We also used the label to sign a duo called Winter Mountain who we saw open for us in a tiny pub in Donegal a few years back. Sam produced their debut album and they’re currently on tour throughout the UK and Ireland. It’s been a very satisfying journey helping give them the experience we never had while being signed to major labels. We can steer and advise them about the pitfalls of the industry and try to make it a fulfilling as possible….check them out, they’re amazing. 

6. You mentioned that you don’t really search for materials in a conventional sense. How did you and your team approach the recording of A Thousand Hearts?

 The team is just Sam and I so the buck stops with us. Both our heads are full of traditional songs and tunes. Some are favourites because we’ve known them since we were children, others are new or recently discovered. We just start playing songs together, starting with our favourites and see which ones jump out and take on a life of their own. After a while a solid collection forms and it becomes apparent if there needs to be additions to add light or shade. We never contemplate a song the other doesn’t like. There are some that we love that didn’t make it to the album as they didn’t fit with the others quite so well. 

7. You have an amazing voice. How do you care for it? What are the things you avoid and things you incorporate to maintain such amazing talent?

Thank you. In all the years I’ve been singing you’re the first person to ask how I care for my voice. There is one golden rule…try not to talk or stay up late after a concert. I always do a few warm ups before I sing, usually over the course of an hour or so, this has the added benefit of helping me to relax as well. I almost always go out front to meet the audience and sign CD’s so there’s a bit of chatting, but if I get dragged to a pub or stay up late in the hotel bar then there’s usually only one outcome and that’s a weak voice the next few days. 

8. I am a big fan of Sam Lakeman’s arrangement and production. What are the things that fans can expect in the new album?

I will let him know you’re a fan. He is so talented and always bows to the song. If you listen to my earlier albums his production is adventurous and expansive but on “A Thousand Hearts” it’s extremely intimate in places and full of driving rhythm in others. He always manages to pitch the tone of every song in exactly the right place. The new album is entirely acoustic and in places it sounds like the whole band is sitting in the same room playing live. He’s captured some really fine performances and the result is a natural and relaxed sound. 

9. Where can they get A Thousand Hearts?

 You can get signed copies of the CD direct from my online store. Also, this is my first album to be released on vinyl…just go to http://www.caradillon.co.uk 

10. Thanks for your time!

You’re most welcome x 

 

 

 

Cara Dillon performed with Winter Mountain. Pictures below.

 

 

 

Check out: http://www.caradillon.co.uk/

 

Celtic Percussion with Matthew Bell(Interview)

Celtic Percussion with Matthew Bell(Interview)

Matthew Bell

Attention drummers. It’s time to play Celtic Percussion with Matthew Bell! 

As we move into our drum-centric posts in the coming weeks, this interview with Matthew Bell is a good opener. I subscribed to his Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/mattbellmusic) several months ago and enjoy every update. He brings something different to the world of Celtic percussion. His teaching method has that Zen approach and he talks in that easy, friendly way. So it is really an honor to feature him in this site and to get insights regarding music and theory in general.

1. You must be enjoying your project Celtic Percussion Collective as I am seeing new video tutorials coming out.

Yes, indeed I am enjoying what we have going at the CPC at the moment. We’ve had a really positive response to our educational and performance projects so far and we have a bunch of new things in the works for the coming year!

2. Where do you get your ideas for your video shoots?

Great question! My ideas come from my teaching and performing experiences as well as having a music school background. I approach the teaching of the bodhran in exactly the same way as I teach pipe band drumming, or any other percussion instrument for that matter. I have found over the years that technique and a musical approach are often glazed over or not really taught at all to beginning students. Learning of the bodhran is just as fun, and playing the instrument is just as addictive if you learn proper technique from the start.

3. Can you tell us more about your other projects?

Sure! I have more free videos in the works for my Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/mattbellmusic). I’m also working on a subscription-based bodhran educational website called the Contemporary Bodhran. The site will feature over 150 video tutorials, a chat room, bodhran-related merchandise for sale, and a host of other things. I’m also working on a signature bodhran tipper with the legendary tipper maker, Stevie Moises (www.tippermaker.eu). At the CPC, we’re expanding our clinic offerings to more universities, and we’re also working on a course for pipe band drumming.

4. Can you tell us about this new book you have and what can readers benefit from getting this book.

The Contemporary Bodhran book is a great supplement to my online bodhran videos, and is a good reference for new players of the instrument or people looking to expand their style and technique who have been playing for a while.

5. What’s your advice to those who are just starting to pick up their bodhran in terms of improvement?

Work on your fundamental technique as much as possible. Don’t be in a rush to get out playing sessions too quickly. If you really get the fundamentals down the first time, you’ll have a really solid base to then expand from. Practice a little bit every day- spaced repetition is key.

6. You play other kinds of drums. Why percussion?

Why not percussion!?!?! 🙂 Drums are cool, everyone knows that! Seriously though, I was drawn to percussion from a really young age. I love the sound of the instruments, I love what it feels like to play, and I love accompanying other musicians!

7. Where can people get in touch with you for tutorials?

The CPC website: www.celticpercussion.com

The Contemporary Bodhran YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/mattbellmusic

The CPC YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/celticpercussion

The CPC is also on Facebook and Twitter! www.facebook.com/celticpercussioncollective, @celtpercussion

8. Your message to music enthusiasts and lovers of Celtic percussion?

It’s never too late to get started playing Celtic music or Celtic percussion! My life is what it is because I was lucky enough to grow up in the Celtic music community, and I feel privileged to be able to pass on what I’ve learned to students from all over the world!

James Law’s Neknomination (Fiddle Version)

James Law’s Neknomination (Fiddle Version)

 

As the extraordinary fiddler of the Canadian Celtic trio NUA, his projects don’t go unnoticed. As in the case of this Neknomination, where he shows his amazing instrumental excellence through guitar and fiddle. I did a brief message exchange with him and came up with interesting facts, including a forthcoming new album from NUA!

1. Can you tell us more about this project?

This isn’t so much my project as it is an interpretation or a reinvention of the original Facebook game called neknominate. Neknominations was originally when people consumed an alcoholic beverage in one gulp and posted the video of them drinking on facebook. You then nominated two other people to do the same within the next 24 hours and post it. More detail at this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neknominate

2. What is this tune you are playing?

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James M Law

The tune I am playing is one that I wrote in the last week or so as I was working on new material for an upcoming NUA album. It doesn’t have a name yet but I’m sure one will soon enough. Graeme McGillivray (guitar player from NUA) also assisted on composing this composition.

3. This is a musical side of you I haven’t seen before and I am impressed . Is there a solo project you are working on as of the moment?

I am not working on a solo project at the moment. This video came about because Kerry and Julie Fitzgerald nominated me to play a fiddle tune. The reason I picked the tune was because it was something new that I had just written and was inspired to try and put some chords to it and work on some of my DADGAD guitar playing. Before this video, I have never done a solo video of this nature with me playing all the parts. I enjoyed the new experience and think there might be a few more videos to come in the future.

4. What are the things you want to accomplish this year?

I am looking forward to the summer this year as I have a lot of exciting gigs coming up. I will be teaching the Trad Band at the Sunshine Coast School of Celtic Music during the first week of July. NUA is playing at Mill Race Festival for our second year in a row this August. We are also playing at Goderich Celtic Roots Festival this August which is very exciting. NUA is expecting a new album to be released early 2015. The other big project I am a part of is The Marwills. The Marwills have a tour coming up in late July out to the East Coast in Halifax. The Marwills are planing gigs in Barrie ON, Toronto ON, Ottawa ON, Montreal QC, Fredericton NB, Halifax NS and Tay Creek NB where they will be playing at the Tay Creek Music Festival. Other than that I am concentrating on my music / instruments as well as my production skills as I record other artists.

5. Thanks for the time James!

Thanks Baxter, let let me know if you want more info. Here are some links to things I talked about in the questions. I will upload the video to youtube just now and send you the link when its done uploading.

http://www.millracefolksociety.com/Festival.html

http://www.celticfestival.ca

http://www.themarwills.ca

http://www.trionua.com

 

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

I wrote a post about The Bombadils working on a new album. What I haven’t told you os that I made an audio interview with Luke Fraser and it is finally here. This is the first audio interview with him and you can tell that we made a good team.

Luke is one of the four members that comprise The Bombadils. He plays the guitar, mandolin and other stringed instruments. He also played for Raftmen.

Original song written by the Bombadils. Copyright 2012. Filmed and recorded by Denis Martin at Stewart Hall – Point Claire, Montreal, Canada.

Order their CD online:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thebombadils

The Bombadils are:
Sarah Frank – fiddle, vocals
Luke Fraser – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Anh Phung – flute, Irish whistles, vocals
Evan Stewart – bass

Visit their website:
http://www.thebombadils.com/

Become a fan on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/thebombadils

Book them at:
thebombadils@gmail.com

 

Here’s an old video of Luke Fraser and Kit Soden made four years ago, shot in Sutton farm in rural Quebec…

 

 

Larry Kirwan talks about Last Call by Black 47.

Larry Kirwan talks about Last Call by Black 47.

Black 47

Larry Kirwan (lead vocals, guitar)
Geoffrey Blythe (saxophones)
Fred Parcells (trombone, pennywhistle)
Thomas Hamlin (drums, percussion)
Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes, flute, bodhrán)
Joseph Burcaw (bass)

9 questions for Larry Kirwan of Black 47.
I finally got the replies from Larry Kirwan for the interview through Anita Daly.  Just heads up,they will be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on St Patrick’s Day night on NBC TV 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Between gigs and going around, he finally got the time to answer these question. Check out what he says about the new album and also the future of everyone’s artistic career.
1. You explored many musical styles in the recording  of new album Last Call. Why did you choose the title Last Call?
 

Well, we’re disbanding on Nov. 15th after 25 years.  It seemed appropriate, as did the cover – a view of dawn breaking over Brooklyn – something we’ve seen many times.  Also, life goes on…

2. There are many socially conscious themes in your songs. One of them is Let the People In which is clearly about immigration. What inspired you to pin that track down?  

Because the foundation stone of this country is immigration.  Having a liberal immigration policy is so right for the country on so many levels.  It seemed like there should be a song that reflected this sentiment – seemed like a job for Black 47.
3. I know that you put your heart to every song you recorded for this album. Can you name your favorites and why?
 
I like every song that Black 47 has ever recorded – there’s never been filler.  Some I could have nailed a bit better but I care for them all.  I like Salsa O’Keefe because I’ve always wanted to do a Latin flavored song.  Night The Showbands Died is a favorite although it hurts in a way to hear it and perform it – I was a fan of Fran O’Toole’s who got killed in the massacre, he was always kind to me, so it brings back a particular place and time.  I like the funky groove of Let The People In…. I’ve always been fascinated by Brendan Behan.  I’m surprised that Shane didn’t get to it first but such are the breaks.

4. This is the last album of huge band together. Was this a very emotional experience for you and everyone involved in the recording process?
 
I don’t really think so, although I can only speak for myself.  When you’re recording or performing you’re putting everything into it, no matter if it’s your first or fifteenth.  But I do think there was a desire from the band to do a great final album and to have Black 47 be at its very best.  That seems to be the case – but time will tell.

5. Why did you finally plan to disband after many years being together?
 
I didn’t want an endless end.  Black 47 means a lot to a lot of people – it was very important that we finish up in a suitable manner – not to have it just drag on.  The band was sounding at its best when we made the decision six months ago and last night’s show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park was one of the best I remember – so I think we’re doing the right thing – go out at your best and doing new material that matches up to your crowd favorites.

6. What’s the plan for the album(in terms of promoting) this year?
 
I don’t know.  We just play as many gigs to as many people as we can.  That’s always the B47 way of doing things.  Everything else tends to take care of itself if you do it that way.

7. Will fans get to see you or any of the band in various incarnations?
 
Everyone will continue playing.  We’re working musicians.  We have to make a living!  I’m not sure what the other guys will do, but I’ll continue doing Rock & Read solo shows.  This is about finishing Black 47 on a high.  What happens later will happen…
8. Where can fans get The Last Call album?
 
The best place is to buy it from the Black 47 site www.black47.com  It will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, and the 
various other platforms.  But best to buy a CD at a gig – that way you’re supporting live music – do that to all your favorite bands.

9. Your message to old and new fans?
 
We did it our way, said the things we felt should be said, and always with inventive and original music.  Thanks for all the love and support down the years.  It’s been one hell of a ride!
Sources: