From Friends/Celtic Link Members

Sue Aston now out in Bandcamp

 Hello Celtic Music Fans. Another week of musical discovery is here. Sue Aston is now available in Bandcamp. Those who don’t have her albums yet can listen to sample tracks. Let the healing melody wrap all over you. The title reminds one of Cornwall’s beautiful beaches.Soon it is summer. What a great time to go surfing over there.I was listening to this track again and again today. I am being reminded that there is truth that certain type of music has a calming effect on troubled hearts.

Interesting Article about Breton Musician Dom Duff:


Read the full artile here:

Hamish Burgess with his latest piece 'Brigid' ( during his talk on Celtic Mythology, based on his Celtic art, on the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean Jan 2012.

Hamish Burgess with his latest piece 'Brigid' ( during his talk on Celtic Mythology, based on his Celtic art, on the Irish Music Cruise to the Caribbean Jan 2012.
photo © Hamish Burgess 2012

The Celtic Art of Hamish Burgess

The latest addition to Celtic Music fan’s people that make the Celtic world go round. Hamish Burgess is a graphic artist based in the island of Maui Hawaii. His works are amazing and I can look at them for hours and feel totally relaxed and happy. Here’s a little blurb about his profile:

Hamish Douglas Burgess is an artist living on the island of Maui, in the Hawaiian Islands. He continues the ancient practice with his own Celtic art, traditional and modern. Coming from Celtic stock (Scottish), and living for many years in a Celtic area of Britain (Cornwall), he has a love of Celtic art and music instilled in him, producing Celtic artwork in different media, photography from the Celtic Lands, and playing the bagpipes – he also holds the Hawaii State tattoo artist license. He regularly spends time in the ancient Celtic areas of Britain, Ireland and Europe, studying ancient works of Celtic art, and visiting other artists. Recent works have included album covers, book illustrations, commissioned pieces, original celtic tattoos, temporary celtic tattoos and even an entire car!

To learn more, visit his works:

Facebook bookmarked it!  He is a weekly presenter

Gem from 2011: Michael Cooney Pat Egan Uilleann Pipes and Guitar 2011(Thanks to Beebee Simmons)

Two instruments that work together. The mellifluous sound of the uilleann pipes can work well with the acoustic guitar. It is great to see the two instruments make a perfect tandem. Blurb:

Two of our favorite musicians in the world. Pat Egan and Michael Cooney. Philly House Concert…. Foxhunters is the reel… Thanks so much to Bette and Bob for hosting this concert!!!! 

A Dose of Irish Traditional Music: The Shannon Family(Thanks to Beebee Simmons).

Traditional Irish music is fun to be heard as to be seen. You can just see and hear the passion there…and makes you pasisonate to do something in my case write!

The She Amigos

They’ve got the funk, the grit and the free spirited music.Linda Welby, Dee Brown and Regina McDermott, collectively known as “The She Amigos”. They are three awesome women from Ireland. Learn more about them here:

Justus and Law – LIVE at the Gumboot Cafe – Dec 22, 2011

They are based in based in British Columbia. There is something about Canadian Celtic musicians…they add a fresh touch to traditional sounds. I love the fine way these guys play the instruments. So much passion and beauty. Please check the project

The 12th Annual Sunshine Coast Summer School of Celtic Music July 9-13, 2012 very interesting. You might want to sign up!


I am not done yet. There is still a part 2 to this one.


June 11 Celtic Music News

Good day Celtic fellas. I have loads of news again. These days I’m in the mood to just write news without the usual commentary or features. They can wait. What is important is to update you with what’s new and what’s hot in Celtic music. It is my responsibility to inform you because I know this is what you want to hear. Let’s get the ball rolling:

Canadian quintet The Paperboys has a new album out this July. Callithump will fulfill the promise to deliver great music! We are expecting a blend of folk rock, irresistible fiddle playing, zapping instrumentals and the young Tom Waits kind of vocals. If you enjoy The Great Big Sea then you will love The Paperboys…………………  The Brennan Sisters (No this is not Clannad or Enya known as the Brennan family) from Connemara has been sweeping audience across the Atlantic with their beautiful renditions of traditional materials. According to a review “The girls four part natural harmonies add diversity to every show that they perform and their vocal ability continues to surprise audiences everywhere’ “The girls have developed their very own unique style of performance, incorporating beautiful and intricate harmonies with a very distinctive but unmistakable Irish resonance” . The girls performed the well known song “Hand me down my bible” on Sharon Shannons new dvd/cd live from Dolans! Earlier this year the girls performed on The voice Within cd/dvd. Filmed at the INEC, Killarney in front of a live audience, it is the most expensive production ever filmed in Ireland for broadcast on American television ………………………The former band of Dougie MacLean the  Tannahill Weavers are compose of Roy Gullane – Lead Vocals, Guitar Phil Smillie – Vocals, Flute, Bodhran Leslie Wilson – Vocals, Bouzouki John Martin – Fiddles, Vocals Colin Melville – Bagpipes, Vocals. They have been creating distinctive and amazing music in the heart of Scotland. More updates from and …………………..Who is Sean Og Graham? Well, he makes up one of the five people of the amazing Irish act Beoga. Sean is from

Portglenone, Northern Ireland and he plays the Accordion and Guitar. Check out and ……………………..Former amateur boxer turned singer/songwriter Damien Dempsey, and who has brought us the moving ‘Colony” has his first acting debut in an Irish film called “Between the Canals: North Inner City”, directed by Mark O’Connor. The film has been accepted into the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival . There is also a charity single made with Shane MacGowan and friends. Since is debut in 1995, Dempsey has been hailed as he Bb Marley of Ireland with fervent response of audiences and devotion to his music. According to Billboard Magazine: “To Hell or Barbados is folk and roots rock with substance, with the sound of Ireland mixed in for good measure. A most intriguing cocktail.”Billboard. Check out his upcoming shows

Upcoming Shows ( view all )
Jul 2 2010 3:30P
Paddocks Wood, Kent Kent, UNITED KINGDOM Find Tickets
Jul 3 2010 8:00P
Reebok Festival Bolton, UK
Jul 30 2010 8:00P
Belfast Festival Belfast, UK
Jul 31 2010 8:00P
Helium Festival Longford, Longford, IRELAND
Sep 18 2010 2:30P
Navan Live Navan, Navan
…………………..Naked with Friends is Maura O’Connell’s Grammy nominated album. Expect exquisite vocal materials that has been arranged to highlight her beautiful contralto. In this album, she invited singers Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Kate Rusby, Paul Brady, Mary Black, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), Sarah Dugas (The Duhks), Mairéad Ní Mhaorigh, Moya Brennan, Liam Bradley, Declan O’Rourke, and O’Connell’s sister, Áine Derrane. Blurbs from the official website: engineer and co-producer Gary Paczosa with riveting clarity and focus, Naked With Friends is a disarmingly intimate experience. In the absence of instrumentation, the usual trappings and signposts that often define a song’s style and mood dissolve. It is O’Connell’s burnished alto — a full yet vulnerable and aching sound — that is charged with conveying everything the song has to say. “My intention,” she explains, “was just to sing the song clearly. I just wanted to be there to serve the song, rather than to show off a particular vocal style.” Originally from Ireland, Maura now makes her home in Nashville Tennessee and
…………………………Since the release of ‘The Well-Tempered Bow’ in May 2002, The Kane Sisters have been making waves all over Ireland and Europe. Originally from Dawros on the outskirts of Letterfrack, a village in Connemara along the West coast of Ireland, the got their musical talents from both sides of the family. Most of their musical contributions can be heard in recordings of Maighread and Tríona ní Dhomnaill (Idir Dhá Solas) , Steve Earl’s Transcendental Blues and The Girls won’t leave the Boys Alone by Cherish the Ladies and ………… Galwayman Declan O’Rourke hits the German towns this July for the  presentation of his new album to be released soon. Declan capitalizes on his velvet-tinged baritone and killer falsetto to deliver his interesting songs. In the Big Bad Beautiful World (2007), according to his official site : It consists of 12 songs, recorded and performed live at Grouse Lodge studios in West Meath with Declan and his band. Driven, as expected, by Declan’s acoustic guitar, along with the piano this time, and decorated with some beautiful Brian Byrne and Declan O’Rourke string arrangements performed by the RTE National Concert Orchestra, this record is musically very rich and has much depth of field for the discerning listener as well as the casual. ‘Big Bad Beautiful World’ was released in Ireland alone in September ’07 and hit the ground running with a top 5 position in the charts. It has been growing in popularity since with the help of two singles, the catchy title track ‘Big Bad Beautiful World’ and the touching ‘Whatever Else Happens,’ both of which continue to receive regular airplay on Irish radio. The record is well on the way to achieving platinum status, a feat that its predecessor ‘Kyabram’ took a year and a half to reach. and ……………………….An appointment with Mr Yeats is a new Waterboys show in which the poetry of WB Yeats is transformed into a song. It already garnered rave reviews since its debut this March. The Grand Canal Theater in Dublin will the venue for November 7 show. Click here for the tickets. For the complete Waterboys discography, please refer to this link ……………… According to Wall Street Journal : “…the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century”. Although the band Beoga is rooted in Irish traditional music, flavors of New Orleans Cajun music and other world influences can be heard in their sessions. Inventive and always crowd pleaser, Beoga is one of the bands not to be missed this year. Beoga are: Liam Bradley Seán Óg Graham Damian McKee Eamon Murray and Niamh Dunne .

Clockwise from the top: Tannahill Weavers , Sean Og Graham, Damien Dempsey and Beoga

Tour Dates and Releases!

New Song Johnny and June by Mary Fahl

Great News! Mary Fahl’s new song is now available for listening in her official website. Johnny and June is a narrative song about a young man’s plight-our modern day Romeo. Always expect romance, suspense, and even visions of a grand scale when Mary dabbles into lyric writing.  The style is something you’d expect from Joni Mitchell , Leonard Cohen or even Dougie MacLean. But then there’s that unmistakable big voice filled with power and nuance at the same time.

More at www.mary


Gypsy Nomads are going to take their music on the road with 30 shows across the United States.

Here’s more from the press release:

“Primitive drums, excitement, blood roiling passion, sorcery, artistry,

sonic grace, unstoppable Gypsy power.” – Event Promoter, Wicked Faire

“The gypsy-cabaret duo sounds like it could be the poster act for Magic:

The Gathering, but the team of Samantha Stephenson and Scott Helland is

more of a neo-medieval band that takes inspiration from French singer

Francoise Hardy and alt-rock icon Siouxsie Sioux.” – Richard Gintowt, The




New York, NY – In true nomadic fashion, the New York-based duo The Gypsy Nomads are on the move, announcing a cross-country tour that will stretch throughout the summer and right into the fall. Affectionately known as ‘Frenchy and the Punk’, the Celtic cabaret effectively channels the spirit of the gypsy sound with a neo-medieval flavor, rooted in the traditions of punk and folk music. After kicking off earlier this month, the tour will wind its way through America, making stops in major cities including Nashville, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Chicago before ending at SteamCon in Seattle on November 19.

The Gypsy Nomads, composed of French-born Brit Samantha Stephenson and ex-Deep Wound punkster, Scott Helland, have been touring relentlessly since 2005. From raucous, danceable old-world melodies with cheeky stories sung in English and French, to pounding, tribal-march-style drum instrumentals, this creative duo’s quirky and captivating show has garnered attention for its high energy and honest musicality. Their songs have been licensed for Indie films and television, and have already been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and WE TV’s Gothic Wedding. Their fourth full-length album is out July 13, 2010.


May 1-2 Spoutwood Mayday Faerie Fest, Glen Rock, PA

May 1 (night) Glen Rock Mill Inn, Glen Rock, PA

May 7-8 Beltania Fest, Florence, CO

May 12 Meadowlark Coffeehouse, Lincoln, NE

May 14 Next Millennium In-store Concert, Omaha, NE

May 15 Aquarius Books Shop, Kansas City, MO

May 19 Java Cabana, Memphis, TN

May 20 French Quarter Cafe, Nashville, TN

May 21 Loudhouse Coffee, Greenbrier, TN

May 22 Sungeros Coffeehouse, Louisville, KY

May 26 Green Lantern Pub, Lexington, KY

May 27 The Revolution, Toledo, OH

May 28-30 World Steampunk Expo, Dearborn, MI

June 3 Lions Lair, Denver, CO

June 4 Tenacious Bros Pub, Grand Junction, CO

June 5 Dwntwn Hookah Bar, Salt Lake City, UT

June 6 Zia Records Inshore Performance, Las Vegas, NV

June 7 Yayo Taco, Las Vegas, NV

June 10 Trunk Space, Phoenix, AZ

June 11 The Ruby Room, San Diego, CA

June 18 Linnaea’s Cafe, San Luis Obispo, CA

June 23 Headlands Coffeehouse, Fort Bragg, CA

June 25 Baxtalo Drom @ Amnesia, San Francisco, CA

June 27 Organic Brewers Fest, Portland, OR

July 9 Diablo’s Downtown Lounge, Eugene, OR

July 15 Hummingbird Cafe, Butte, MT

July 16 Palace Lounge, Missoula, MT

July 17 Crescent Moon In-store Concert, Tacoma, WA

June 18th Linnaea’s Cafe, San Luis Obispo, CA

July 22 The Can Can, Seattle, WA

July 30-31 Faerieworlds Fest, Eugene, OR

Aug  7-8  World of Fae Fest, Chicago (South Elgin), IL

Sept 17 Mystickal Voyage Event Space, Baltimore, MD

Sept 18 Mountain Mabon Festival, Clarksville, VA

Sept 24 Earth Warriors Festival, Clarksville, OH

Oct 9 Witches Ball. Mount Holly, NJ

Oct 23 Celebrate Samhain, Peterborough, NH

Nov 12&13 FaerieCon, Baltimore, MD

Nov 19 SteamCon, Seattle, WA






Cara Dillon Tour Around the UK

Cara Dillon is also gearing out for a tour around the UK up until August. So if you guys are interested to get tickets, better book now by visiting her official website and getting the instructions there. I think it would be lovely to listen to such pristine voice on a live setting. And when it is a Cara Dillon show, expect to be not only dazzled by her voice but also by the musicians that back her up.


* 16  The Brewery Arts Centre

Kendal 01539 725133

* 17  Gala

Durham 0191 332 4041

* 18  Big Session Festival

Leicester 0116 233 3111

* 19  Lowdham Book Festival

Lowdham 0115 9663596

* 24  Crosby Civic Hall

Liverpool 01704 540011

* 27  Norden Farm Arts Centre (Duo Show)

Maidenhead 01628 788997


* 01  The Assembly

Leamington Spa 01926 523001

* 03  St Mary’s Church

Sandwich 01227 831493

* 09  Eastleigh Music Festival

Eastleigh 023 8065 2333


* 28  Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Shrewsbury 01746 768 813


Ashley MacIsaac July Tours

After a successful tour  at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. And Ecole Secondaire du Sacre Couer – Sudburry ON Ashley McIsaac will be seen in  the following venues:

July 9th, 2010 – Mariposa Festival – Orillia, ON Canada

July 10th 2010 – Same as above

His performances are never to be missed.


Natalie MacMaster Live DVD Out!

Fans of Natalie MacMaster will be delighted to know that they can now take her performance home in the comfort of thir home theater.  The DVD Natalie MacMaster Live in Cape Breton is now out. It features stalwarts known in the genre of Folk,Blue Grass and Classical such as  Hayley Westenra, Bela Fleck, Donnell Leahy, Buddy MacMaster and the Cape Breton Fiddles Association .

You can buy the DVD here:

New Painting from Donie Ryan

Remember him from our last interview? Donie has a new painting out and  I am honored that it is hanging now on the wall of this site.He’s fresh from a trip at Bere Island ,West Cork where his mom lives.

Donie is naturally inspired by what he sees around him and also everyone he meets. Cranescape is the title of this latest piece. It’s oil on canvas,took him about six months,on and off .The dimension is .5x.5 meters.If you want to take a look at his other artworks then you can reach him here:

Notable Celtic releases III

While the world hangs on a balance, let’s take a break , have tea and listen to these greats.

az_B101749_Macalla_ClannadClannadMacalla. The album means ‘echo’ in Irish. 10 beautiful tracks that will truly bring the magic around . Moya Brennan’s haunting vocals is wrapped finely in silken instrumental arrangements. Tracks like Caislean Oir, Buachaill On Eirne, Northern Skyline and In a Lifetime which is a duet with U2’s Bono will really haunt you.

loreelementLoreena McKennittElemental. A debut album  of lush, introspective and simple arrangements from this Canadian singer-composer. It’s just her voice backed by the harp and few instruments. You can’t help but be moved by her rendition of She Moved through the Fair and Blacksmith. Stolen Child will bring out the airy fairy in you.

2d00b528640dcab912fe3363dd314d06DagdaUnderword. Trans, ambient and New Age. You have these styles fused into this truly captivating album by the Irish duo. The tracks progress seamlessly with washes of uillean pipes, Gregorian choral singing, female vocals and keyboards. If you have the itch to go on clubbing in an elves suit, then this is the album you must bring with you.

Denez_Prigent_-_Me_'Zalc'h_Ennon_Ur_Fulenn_Aour_-Denez PrigentMe Zalc h Ennon Ur Fulenn Aour. This is pure Breton music as the title suggests. If you want your tune mournful, haunting but at times punctuated with festive vibes then this one is for you.  You will expect the showcase of hurdy-gurdy, Breton pipes-the beniou and bombarde, techno beats and yes the Bagad .

416NPCK559L__SL500_AA240_Patrick Street : Live. Vigorous playing, tight arrangements and traditional materials. Patrick Street brings Dublin and the rest of Ireland into your living room. The tunes are catchy and upbeat and I could really sing to them. Yes the voice  of Andy Irvine  is something not to be missed.

0009ca5c_mediumNightnoiseAt the End of the Evening. The soul of the late Michael Ni Dhomhnaill will live on in this timeless collection of haunting melodies, lush harmonies and beautiful instrumental arrangements. Snow on a High Ground is a classic!

Notable Celtic Releases List

Sure I have been away from the computer most of the time but not on my music player;) These are the list of artists I would suggest you listen to if you are looking for authentic Celtic stuff:

1. Connie Dover-The Border of Heaven conniedover2

The “voice so pure, so captivating, that it tells you: this is how to sing a song” artist released this wonderful album in 2001. My choice picks are: I Am Going to the West, Brother Green , My Dearest Dear and The Water is Wide. Visit her official homepage.

2. Cecile Corbel-Song Book vol. 2cecile-corbel-song-book2-nov2008

If you haven’t picked up Cecile Corbel’s latest recording yet, then I recommend you give her a listen. This Breton artist has already established herself as one of the formidable forces in the Celtic arena. Visit the official website.

3. Jenny Mulvey-Suirimulveycd01

Beautiful singing, eclectic approach to traditional material-these are what you can expect from this Irish singer. You can listen here.

4. Dom Duff-E Unanpochette_Dom_Duff

This 2008 release by this Breton recording artist is a good introduction to his earlier releases. If you like your Celtic music invading the festive barracks of the Gypsy Kings and moving a few degrees into the realm of Sting then Dom Duff is for you. More sound samples here.

5. Sue Aston-Sacred Landscapessueaston

This pro violinist from Cornwall has all the chops to charm her way into the hearts of her listeners. If you like your music with a mellow waltz of Secret Garden and the mysticism of Cornwall then ms Aston will light your way. Samples can be heard here.

More to come…..

Donie Ryan:The Dublin Artist Is Fying with Colors.

The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.

-Vincent Van Gogh


Donie Ryan comes across as someone whom you could talk about music and painting for hours. He also has a great sense of humor and likes the company of people with positive vibes. I am not sure if he is going to agree with all these things I write about him. Anyway, Donie has been painting for years as you will learn in this interview. He has created a lot of artworks and some he showed to me through MSN messenger.

We seemed to hit it off quite well the first time over chat. I think all music enthusiasts have this code of understanding. It is hard to explain. All I can say is, no matter what genre it maybe, one who is passionate about music is someone worth knowing and talking to. Donie knows his stuff. Like me, he loves collecting vinyl records and things no one would even bother in this world of ipods.Copy of IMG_08634

Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan and Donie Ryan

– What made you become so passionate about painting?

I think my passion for painting must be in my blood. One of my first memories is in Pre School trying to keep my markers from going outside the line of a teacup I was courling in. I think have another person to thank, I was about 6 or 7 on holidays in Cork and I was drawing with my two American friends. I was drawing clouds and their uncle saw what I was doing and must have seen my underlying talent. He went to the local town and spent over 100 Pounds on materials for me. That was a lot of money back then, from then on I was drawing and painting all the 08 001d

-You have a distinctive style especially with your use of colors as well as patterns. Tell us about your influences.

I use a lot of colour , I used to think I was using too much but this seems to be my style as I keep painting very colourful, experimenting with lcd and magic mushrooms as a teen has definitely left me with a certain way of looking at things its like I want the viewer to experience it.

-I know that you have been fascinated by Austrian artists. Any thoughts about it?(You can include a link)n629666885_1446052_2335

A friend of mine told me to look up Godfried Helnwein , an Austrian who grew up in post war Austria . He obviously had a bleak childhood. He found some American comics like Donald Duck and so on and this opened his mind to the outside world. I was blown away by his work. It is dark and a bit grim. Here are some links

other Artists who I like are Chuck close
Peter Doig
Robert Ballagh
Mc Esher
and John Shinnors

-Tell us about the place where you live. How does it impact the kind of art you are creating?

I live in a leafy suburb of Dublin. I don’t think where I live influence me in anyway
– Do you have brothers and sisters?

I have 2 older brothers. I’m the only one who is seriously interested in art.n629666885_1818708_6027

– I know you live near Enya’s castle. How’s it over there?(LOL I can’t resist including this)

Yes I live quite close to Enya. She lives in a beautiful place up on Dalkey hill. A short but steep walk up the hill and you get an amazing view of Dublin

-Like me you are also into vinyl records. Anything you can add about it? What’s music for you?

I have a lot of vinyl mostly hip hop, music is as important to me as painting is.

-Since we are deep into the discussion of music, what can you say about the current state of Irish music-or music in general and how it in turn influences your creativity?
It’s a good time for Irish music, many new young bands are coming up, and others more established, Lisa Hannigan, Republic of Loose, Dirty Epics ,Declan O’ Rourken629666885_2060843_5220921

-There is this one painting that you worked on and off for two years. Tell us about that one.

I do work very slow I spent 2 years on one piece, its the biggest piece I have done. I tend to work on 2 or 3 works at a time so I wasn’t working on it all the time. I usually make my own canvas. I want to have complete control. I think your surface is very important, whether I want it as smooth as I can get primiming, sanding again and again. Or with the big landscape I did I use heshin to get a thick weeve, or old style look, the one with its two views of a lake near my friends house Lough Dan,

-What’s your idea of a perfect weekend when you are not working?

A perfect weekend lots of music painting, go drinking with friends.