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:

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

Visit their website:

Become a fan on Facebook:

Book them at:


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



St Patrick’s Day Essay and Podcast#28

St Patrick’s Day Essay and Podcast#28

There comes a time when existential blues happen to any blog. I think it is the discontented feeling of doing the same thing again and again that gives rise to this feeling. And it is good to be someone who gives you the latest in our music community. But I found out that this blog has grown into  a more structure routine-without my overt opinions. And I feel that like any relationship, things have to change. Perhaps stir on a different direction. Maybe spice things up a bit. I also realized that my mind has become cluttered as I am thinking of so many things these days. Perhaps it’s the new work that I found. It’s blowing me into a different direction. So yes things have become less personal and more sterile. It is time to shake the apple tree until the fruits fall.

We all grow. Perhaps we grow together or apart. It’s the same with friends. There are those we meet for the first who give their best foot forward. Always smiling and friendly. Then one day things become confusing. Unlike friendship, music gives us a choice. Either we listen to the same artist or probably explore other styles. But life is always like that. It is full of uncertainty. We offend someone though we don’t mean to. Or it could be all in our heads. Who knows? Sometimes we do embarrassing things and we make a fool of ourselves. In the end our greatest adversary is our own minds. I know it is hard to let go of someone’s approval; especially if that person means a lot to you. But like anything else in this world, nothing stays forever. Whether we like it or not. So things have to change.

I’ve finished uploading the radio show from last Saturday. I am happy being an online DJ. It’s something different from the usual blogging that I do. And I don’t want to impose myself on anyone. That is why I am doing less promotion on my personal page because if people really like what you do, there is no need to tell them ‘hey listen to me, what I do is cool.” And it should not be an obligatory thing because friendship should be about freedom. I’ve learned that the more we force or expect people for their time, attention and effort, the more we are imposing ourselves to them and friendship becomes strain. And the other party will start feeling trapped.

So I think whatever it is you are doing, whatever it is you are passionate about; just do it. And people will just come along. I have more than seven hundred friends in my facebook personal page. I only correspond to around five percent. But I can’t delete those who added me from my previous job. I can’t delete those who added me for the sake of Celtic music. I don’t think it is necessary. But sometimes the feeds can be too much.

I think when you are an artist, the greatest asset that you have is not really your style or talent. Everyone has style and talent. It is either you are very good or good enough. It is what you say or the ‘unique’ things you bring to the table that makes you remarkable. I am just a blogger. I am not a ‘writer.’ But I think I have something to say(like all the bloggers out there). I have opinions. I have visions and things that not everyone thinks about. And this side doesn’t really get itself known because I have followed a strict rule of doing ‘just that.’ But this is not work. This is not something I owe anyone. This is my house. And I think it is time to say whatever I want to say. And even though we can’t please everyone, as long as we are happy with what we do then we are alright.

Oh and happy St. Patrick’s celebration to all of you.


Sounds you should hear.

It’s been ages since I visited my soundcloud stream page. I found several artists you will enjoy. One is Scottish singer/harpist AnnaMcLuckie. Her vocal style is contemporary. She puts a cool spin to pop tunes.

I like demo tunes from established musicians. We all know that these demos or ‘live’ recordings will find their way into an album but it is always good to see the progress of the music. This time it’s Sir Phillip McHugh (slip jig) performed by Enda Seery: Vincenzo Di Mauro C Flute and James Hughes: Fiddle tuned to C.

And the last but not the least is something from Scottish piper/flutist Fraser Fifield.

Cumha by Brendan Ring and Podcast #27

Cumha by Brendan Ring and Podcast #27

A sample of his new harp cd ‘Cumha’.
Pibroch Prelude/Sheila’s Cumha

This week’s big shout out goes to harp maker Timothy Des Roches who recommended this video to me. Through his keen sense of music I was able to listen to more of Brendan Ring . I think it is a kind of music I can listen to all day and just forget that world out there is chaotic. There is that delicate style that he has mastered playing this amazing Celtic harp. The instrument is small but boasts a resonating factor to the soul.

Brendan Ring

Brendan Ring

Cumha is his new album. It is a Scottish Gaelic term which is synonymous to the following: lamentelegydirge. The first part is really slow and sad but it builds up into something hopeful. It’s saying something like, physical death is not the end of everything. There is another world that continues to live on after this world is gone. The Celts have this deep belief in the immortality of the soul. All things are interrelated. I think this makes sense in a level of quantum physics. We continue to live as our energy is transformed into something else. And there is also that theory of parallel universe and the many versions of us based on the decisions we make in life.

It is wonderful how music reminds us both of our humanity and also that we are made of the same stuff as the stars above. Brendan Ring has creative a ripple in the Celtic music world with his beautiful music and what it stands for.


I really enjoyed last Saturday’s radio show as I introduced tunes you probably never heard anything yet.

Creeds Cross -The Irish Band
Brutus’ Daughters-No Battle
Steven Hawson-Interview
Connie Dover-Shenandoah
J.P. Kallo-Us Against the World
Once a Tree-Light me Up
Once a Tree-Coastal Rain
Twist to Break Seal-I Ran
Layne Greene(Gregory Alan Isakov Cover)-Second Chances-
Samuel Smith-Bantry Bay

Skype Interview with Steven Hawson

Skype Interview with Steven Hawson

Here is one fun interview I did with musician Steven Hawson over the weekend. This has a better quality than the first take we did. I like the way he clearly explains his ideas about music and how to stay motivated in the midst of the changes that’s been happening in the music industry. It’s really crazy how things have changed in the past ten years. Anyone can make a lucrative way of living as an artist if he/she knows where to market the art.

He also tells me about writing and performing music because that’s how things are. Being a musician is all about that and the rest follow. It is a condition where there is no cure but to just do it. I invite you to listen, learn something from his experience and if possible give your own ideas under the thread. This will benefit musicians and fans of the musical culture.


Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers  plus Podcast #25

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers plus Podcast #25


After almost two years, French band The Maggie Whackers are back with a new EP called Naoned Whisky. And yes they are from Nantes France. A great place of music! Drunken Sailor is timely because it’s a decade of the mainstream’s fascination with Pirate movies and tunes. There are strong Breton elements in their songs especially in Sans Regrets Sans Remords which is my favorite track due to its beautiful use of the bombarde. Fucking Goblins show their punk side. I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday is shocking with its tenderness and melancholic melody. Burn in Hell showcases the joint forces of traditional Breton instrument and Clash-inspired guitar playing.

Naoned Whisky is the testament to the band’s continuing energy. Their songwriting has evolved since the release of their self-titled EP. They have  great sense of musical and visual style. I am sure their live shows are really entertaining. Listen below and go to to buy the album.

For bookings and any question:

The Maggie Whackers
06 33 72 49 44


The Baxteria Podcast #25 is Up!

The Baxteria Podcast #25(Celtic and Indie variety) by Baxter Labatos on Mixcloud


Sharon Corr-We Could Be Lovers
Brishen-Live at the Victoria International JazzFest 2013_ “Coquette”
Bachue-Rumble Thy Bellyful
Jacob McCauley-December 2010 Concert Part 6_ Bodhrán Solo
Moya Brennan-Sailing (radio edit)
Jack Raven’s whores-Bad Trip
The High Kings-Gucci
Arctic Monkeys-Arabella
Beth Orton-Something More Beautiful
J.P. Kallio-Too Late to Say
Fiona Joy Hawkins-The Journey (600 Years in a Moment)
Rebecca Brandt-The Moment
Fleet Foxes-English House


Brishen and Podcast #24

Brishen and Podcast #24

Photo by Ryan MacDonald

Quinn Bachand, lead guitar

Richard Moody, violin

Reuben Wier, rythm guitar & vocal

Joey Smith, upright bass.

It has long been regarded that Canada is a melting pot of the best traditional music in Europe. What I admire about the Victoria, BC quartet Brishen is how they combine Jazz with world and folk elements. When you are looking for a fusion between sumptuous Acadian folk, jazz and Celtic then you have to listen to them. I think of dancing Gypsies when I listen to any of their tracks. I am sure that to watch them live would be quite an experience. Take for instance the seventeen-year-old Quinn Bachand bringing his own fresh influences with the stalwarts of music like Richard Moody (violin)  Reuben Wier( rythm guitar & vocal)  and Joey Smith( upright bass). That’s really got to be something. I love the vocals of Ruben Weir. I think he will give Michael Buble a run for his money.

They identify with their influences Django Reindhard and Stephane Grappelli which I am yet to hear but I am sure some of you out there already know their music. I don’t know if it’s the hot chocolate in my system or something else but Coquette left me feeling high and jolly. There is something about early jazz music that touches the heart. To combine that with other musical styles prove to be a powerful mix. Quite addicting. Brishen is indeed the storm bringer of fantastic music.

Photo by Ryan MacDonald

Photo by Ryan MacDonald


The Baxteria Podcast #24

If you missed the tunes I played this Saturday, the tunes are up that link! Enjoy!

CLEGHORN-9 Minutes of Woo – House of Blues
Riverdance-Opening Scene
Dave Sheridan, Michael McCague & Donal McCague-The Independence Hornpipe
Enda Seery-Tatter Jack Walsh
Loreena MCKennitt-Ancient pines
Brian Kennedy-Carrickfergus
Capercaillie-The Tree
J.P. Kallio-River Takes You Over
The Alex MacNeil Quartet-Lullaby for Alice
Don BeeKeeper-Saviour
Alex Pardini-Sad Little King
Love Spirals Downwards-City Moon

Jack Raven’s Whores Plus Podcast #23

Jack Raven’s Whores Plus Podcast #23


Anyone who loves good old whiskey will find something familiar with the band’s logo. Think of  Jack Daniel’s and Jack Sparrow-then you get the idea behind the logo of the band Jack Raven’s Whores. Ok I admit I am not confident to say the last word out loud but these guys have the right to be confident with their music.




Combining Irish folk, Balkan, sailor music (and a hint Breton music)l; they weave songs that celebrate the wild adventures straight out of a pirate movie. In terms of craft, they are serious. Bad Trip is  their latest single. It has a long instrumental intro. But then it dips into a beautiful folk song.  The band are:Greg Raven(Lead vocals and guitar), Cormac Jones(Vocals and Mandolin), Mathieu Vigouroux(Clarinet and tin whistle), and Ju Rosh Lcmte(Fiddle).


Podcast # 23

My latest radio show is now available on podcast. Visit the link and enjoy great music!

The High Kings-All Around the World
The High Kings-Come with Me Now
The High Kings-Gucci
The High Kings-Friends for Life
The High Kings-Galway Girl
The High Kings-Health to the Company
The High Kings-Peggy Gordon
Steven Hawson-Maids: In the Meadow; At the Churn; At the Spinning Wheel
Ashley MacIsaac-Devil In The Kitchen
Lisa Gerrard-Sanvean: I Am Your Shadow
Sleepthief-Skimming Stones
J.P. Kallio-Northern Boy
Siouxsie Sioux-Heaven and Alchemy
Samuel Smith-The Way of the World

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

My late mom used to sing me a song called Where Have All the Flowers Gone. It’s such a sweet poignant song that reminds me of dusk and summer, of petals getting blown to nowhere. It was not decades later when I learned it’s written by the late Pete Seeger who passed away today. I heard a lot of his songs (without knowing him) because I was raised by people who grew up after the Second World War. So my upbringing was a combination of the old ways and the love for exploring new things. Judy Collins was also a popular artist in my childhood. So I get to hear Turn Turn Turn a many times in the house. My cousins were huge fans of folk music.

I started venturing into Celtic music in my late teens. He was associated with banjo and 12-string guitar. He has a continuing powerful influence   to other singer/songwriters with  names like Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Donovan, , Nanci Griffith, Indigo Girls, Tom Paxton, Bonnie Raitt, Martin Simpson, and Bruce Springsteen are associated with him.

I think his impact to me is more as a songwriter than a performer. His songs get better with time. The distinctive folk elements in his songs tell you: this is how to write a song. Pete Seeger will be sorely missed. It’s characteristic of people who carve their names in everyone’s heart. Life is a collage of all things that you’ve heard, seen and felt. His songs were the songs of the best years of my life. How could I let those go?

When I feel this heaviness in my heart I go into this little corner and listen to the songs of my childhood. And like magic the pain disappears. Where Have All the Flowers Gone indeed? Life is a mystery that is temporary. But memories are forever.




The Baxteria Podcast #22

Podcast 22 comes with a live concert featuring The Gloaming.
Track listing:
The Gloaming-Set at the National Concert Hall of Ireland(Live concert)
Robbie MacInnis-Massacre of Glencoe (ft. Robbie MacInnis)
Eivør-Hounds Of Love
BrowneProject-Silver Sun
J.P. Kallio-Time
Once A Tree-Light Me Up
Paula-I Could Be
Dadawa-Sister Drum

Matthew Bell and Celtic Percussion Plus Podcast #21

Matthew Bell and Celtic Percussion Plus Podcast #21

There is a thread running through this post that started when I wrote about the bodhran. To be honest, the instrument has taken a huge degree of interest on my part because I am trying to be good at it. Everyday is great when I get to practice. It also opened a big world of percussion to me and various rhythms that dominate all types of music all over the world.

This thread also pointed me to a remarkable artist and teacher in the world of percussion. I am talking about Matthew Bell who runs a successful project called Celtic Percussion.  He merges Irish and Scottish drumming styles with the infusion of other world influences. He is very zen in his vlogs as he tries to calmly explain the basics of drumming. He combines the Kerry and top end of bodhran playing.

The youtube videos are just samples of the potential that he can offer. His recent book is The Contemporary Bodhrán:
A Modern Percussionist’s Perspective on an Ancient Instrument


Here’s the general info about Celtic Percussion found in his official youtube site:

The Celtic Percussion Collective is comprised of several of the Washington, D.C. area’s biggest names in the Pipe Band and Celtic Music Communities. Matthew Bell formed the CPC in December of 2012 to expose audiences to the truly unique percussion concepts inherent in Celtic Percussion. The CPC is available for a variety of educational and performance-based functions. Please have a look around our website. We look forward to working with you.


The Baxteria Podcast #21


Alan Stivell-Eliz Iza
Sinéad O’Connor-Oró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile
Baal Tinne-Toss The Feathers
Brendan Mulholland-The King of The Pipers
Clannad-In a Lifetime
Luka Bloom-How Am I To Be
Ashley MacIsaac-To America We Go
Sleepthief-Reason Why
J.P. Kallio-Greener Grass
Teenage Fanclub-Take The Long Way Around
Von Shakes-Last Day on Earth
Jazzotron Vs Jamie Berry-Kiss Me
Róisín O-Here We Go
Who Does Music-Looking Around
Samuel Smith-The Agony

Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville is the home of great music. When the Chieftains went to the United States in 2002, they released a live album Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002) featuring Nashville artists. It’s also a reminder how American music (Country and Bluegrass) are all related to Ireland. This time, it’s the other way around. Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced that he will be taking a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014. I heard a couple of his songs and they are really beautiful and uplifting.

With nearly 20 million records sold worldwide I think it is timely that he should meet his fans abroad. He is joined by Craig Curtis,with Paul Hollowell (Dolly Partons Piano Player). The tour is produced by Irish musician/traditional dancer Brian Cunningham of Atlantic Steps. Here’s the full press release:

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville, TN  (December 11th, 2013) – Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced today that he will be embarking on a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014.

Barnes, who has written and published Thirty-Three Number Ones and country hits in America, and has had nearly 20 million records sold worldwide, is elated to bring his music to fans overseas. His tour is set to launch on February 28th, 2014, with a performance at Monroe’s Live in Galway, Ireland. Other scheduled dates include The Cork Opera House, The Helix in Dublin, Josie’s Country Tavern in Letterkenny, The Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe  and The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran to name a few.
Performing hits such as, “Before You Kill Us All” by Randy Travis, “A Night To Remember” by Joe Diffie and CMA nominated Song Of The Year, “Love Me” by Colin Raye, Barnes will easily engage listeners as he shares the stories behind writing these songs. Barnes’ show will also include songs from his late father, Max D. Barnes, who was a Two Time CMA Song Of The Year winner and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame. The late Barnes wrote dozens of hits for some of Country’s biggest names such as George Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette to name a few, and has sold over 50 Million records world-wide.

As a staff writer in Nashville for over 30 years, Barnes has written for companies such as Warner BrothersSony, Curb, Polygram and MCA. Barnes is the only songwriter in history to be nominated for CMA Song Of The Year against his father in the same year.

Accompanying Barnes on stage and tour will be accomplished singer/songwriter, Craig Curtis, who’s YouTube Hit, “Keepin’ It Rural”, has made an impact on country fans nation-wide.


For more on Max T. Barnes, visit
For more on Craig Curtis, visit
For digital Press Kit including Bios, visit:

Contact & Media Inquiries:
Brian Cunningham
Hypermedia Nashville

Contact number 920 288 1151


Podcast #20 is up but you wont be hearing me talk. My radio show went live but the computer did not record my stream. I had to put everything back piece by piece the way I played them.

Clannad-Gaoth Barra na dTonn
Eileen Ivers-Crowley’s/Jackson’s (Reels)
Robert Doyle-Flags of Belfast
James Galway-Brian Boru’s March
Carlos Núñez-St Patrick’s Polka
Nightnoise-The Rose of Tralee
James Galway-Pennywhistle Jig [From The Molly Maguires]
J.P. Kallio-It Ain’t Easy
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians-Circle
Fleet Foxes-Drops In the River
Don BeeKeeper-Night is Falling Fast
Glen Hansard-Bird Of Sorrow
Mary Fahl, former lead singer of October Project-Exiles(from The Wolves of Midwinter)
Gavern-The Otherworld Fragments
Samuel Smith-Try