Remembering The Late Dave Hum

Remembering The Late Dave Hum


Dave Hum was a great banjo player. He added a twist to this traditional instrument by going beyond the styles intended for the banjo. In his last project, he fused electronic sounds with ambient styles to create a marriage between the old a the new, the rural and the urban. It’s sad to announce that he passed away last year as he succumbed to a physical illness. It made me wonder for a while what happened to him. He disappeared from posting on facebook. Then one of his children made the announcement. It was heartbreaking because I used to chat with him. He was so happy with his recordings. He sent me two albums of his Traditional Irish and Scottish banjo music. He had so many things in mind. Then just like that…he disappeared.

I think I know what his family members went through and are and still going through. I lost my mom in the middle of last year. It doesn’t end. The hole of loss is still there. But I know that his music will be like sunshine in the midst of rain. He was an inspiring and beautiful soul. He will be missed. I know I will because I remember him today and I dedicate this post to him.

More from his official website:


Cillian Doheny: My Life as a Member of a Traditional Irish Band(Interview)

Also in this edition: The Picts and Flutatious

Cillian Doheny; All Ireland Champion.

Riding the thunder: Apart from jamming with U2’s Bono and The Edge, Cillian Doheny gives us an insider’s look at the life of a musician in a traditional Irish band.

Cillian Doheny is based in Limerick Ireland. He plays the Tenor Banjo, Nylon & Steel String Guitar and  Mandola for Moxie. The band will release their first music video in January of 2013. They will also release their debut album next year. We will see the future of this amazing trad Irish band taking off and wowing listeners in both sides of the Atlantic.

What is it like to be a young musician playing in a trad band? Especially for someone who has bagged an All Ireland Winner title on Tenor Banjo under 18 years at the All Ireland Fleadh Ceoil held in  August 2009? Ha! You shall find out. His recordings can be found in his Myspace music page.

Music is created through friendships with other musicians. This how the trad scene  continues to flourish. I notice more and more young ones getting into the music, performing and creating them. I see a bright future in the traditional Celtic music scene. It is a world that continues to blossom with such vigor that will make even those who don’t normally listen to such music stop in their steps and listen.

I appreciate this interview with Cillian. He is down to earth, enthusiastic and he also loves promoting other musicians. These qualities make him such a great asset to those whom he collaborates with. So other than the terrific banjo playing, with fingers that move like lightning, this young man is in the right and exciting path.

Your bio says you started playing music since you were 11. Now you have mastered theTenor Banjo, the Guitar (nylon and steel), Bouzouki, Bodhrán and Mandolin. What is your main instrument now and why?

My main instrument would have to be the tenor banjo. The reason for this is my love for the sound of the instrument. I’ve also found that it’s very adaptable in most genres of music as well as traditional Irish music, which is great news to my ears.

In one unique occasion you jammed with U2’s Bono and The Edge. How did this happen and how was the experience?

This experience was one of a kind and a great opportunity to catch up with the U2 members and see what they were like. Although they had a hectic day of travelling with their flight having to be rerouted to Shannon from Dublin due the bad weather at the time, they were very friendly, good fun and loved the music.

You have a new band called Moxie. Can you give us a brief timeline of the band’s activities up to the release of the debut album next year?

We formed the band at the annual Sligo Live festival in 2011 and since then we’ve been getting on great. At the moment we are looking at releasing our new EP, recorded and mastered in Big Banna Studios,Co. Antrim by Seán Óg Graham which will hopefully be available before Christmas. We have played at festivals such as Celtic Fringe Festival ( Jun 2012), North Atlantic Fiddle Convention ( Jun 2012), All Ireland Fleadh ( Aug 2012 ), Tuam Traditional Festival ( Sep 2012 ) and of course we just made our second appearance at Sligo Live this year which turned out to be a huge success for us a year on. We have plans to bring out our debut album in late 2013 but we’re not rushing with anything yet as there is plenty of time to perfect the sound and we are also waiting on a band member to finish out his exams.

What is so great being in a trad band composed of young people your age?

Tenor banjo master

I suppose the best thing about it without a doubt is the craic that we have. We grew up with each other playing music while having great fun all down through the years, to all of us that means a lot and without that it wouldn’t be what it is.

Do you have a kind of routine when you start recording with the band? And also, what do you do to make sure you give optimum performance both in recording and playing live?

Well I am going to use the overused and sometimes overlooked statement, “practice makes perfect”. Once the music is tight and everyone is comfortable with the arrangements, that’s when we can relax and work on the sound as a whole.

If given a power to change the music scene, what are the things you want to happen?

If I was given the power to change the music scene I would make undiscovered artist’s / band’s music widely available to the worldwide public. There are so many amazing musicians out there that don’t get the recognition that they deserve due to lack of funding or funding authorities making it difficult for up and coming artists to get recognized.

Please complete this sentence: When I am not playing music I………..

When not playing music I am usually writing music, listening to music, practicing or going to see gigs with friends. I also enjoy photography and I am a bit of a technology freak too.

What is something you can’t live without when you go on a tour?

Well I’ve had a long think about this and the answer would probably have to be my hair straightener… Kidding! My iPod would definitely be one of my prized possessions on tour, as I would most likely go insane without it.

Moxie on stage


The Picts


Grant McConnell- Accordions, Guitars, Bass, Vocals and anything else he can get his hands on..Douglas McQueen Hunter – Vocals, Guitars, Mandolins, 5 String Banjo and things that need plucked….Jeremy Stirling- Keyboards, Pianos and things that need plonked….

David Murray- Pipes, Whistles, Mouth-organ and things you blow.

Neil McDonald- Drums, Percussion and thing that need hit

Tracy Carmichael – Technical advisor, lighting and sound, driver and stage manager and anything that requires sorting.

Hometown Glasgow & East Lothian

Hypnotic,energetic and stunning! The Picts are a part of a New Wave of Celtic bands hailing from Scotland.   According to the band’s bio:

Formed in February 1997, The Picts have become one of the most popular live acts on the folk rock and concert scene. They have reached out with their unique brand of celtic rock and captivated hundreds of audiences both at home and abroad. There is a considerable influence of original material combined with the traditional. The songs and instrumentals are upbeat, powerful and irresistible for dancing, yet retain their original sentiment, feeling and intimacy.

A lengthy bio can be found here:


A new album out by Flutatious!

I am in the process of writing a review of this album by UK based Celtic fusion band Flutatious. Watch out for that one. You can purchase the album here:

A little bit of this and that…

In this edition: Damien McCarron of Mile High Celtic Radio, Karen Victoria Smith, Dan Coleman, Celtic Twist and Moxie!

Mile High Celtic Hour : You ultimate guide to Irish and Celtic music.

Got the feeling that you need to update you Celtic music collection? Work schedules and classes can sometimes take you away from what’s going on with the ‘scene’. Well worry no more.

Mile High Celtic Hour is guaranteed to put you ahead of things Celtic. This is a show based in North America, featuring a playlist  that is diverse. You get to hear bands from all over the world and get to sample their best songs plus video via livestream.

Damien McCarron grew up in Howth outside Dublin and was immersed with  Irish music and tradition. As a musician, he shared stage with amazing musicians  in the  field including members of Solas. This is a very exciting time for Irish music and the rest of  the Celtic world. Damien is definitely in the right track and the right time, with the right crowd

Damien talking between music. .

Here is the page where you can watch and listen to his show:


Celtic Twist Autumn Renovations in Scotland.

Celtic Twist

The website of the duo Celtic Twist is updated! I met Phil Holland and Dave Palmley over a year ago and I have enjoyed their albums. They are doing  interesting things with their diverse musical backgrounds by mixing them up with Celtic style.

They moved to Scotland  from Italy around two months ago and Phil is taking her time drinking the sight of the beautiful Scottish landscape. This is where she grew up and Scottish music makes a huge part of her musical influences.

Dave Palmley’s pop rock influence creates a radio friendly balance for Celtic Twist. He likes experimenting with various instrument including the synths. Have you heard of a harp tune using the effects pedal?

If you are looking for something interesting on the web, do drop by their website: and say hi.


This piece was originally inspired by the native north American people and their loss of land and cultural identity, but it is really in homage to all people of all races and creeds wherever they may be in the world, past, present and future, who suffer the indignities of invasion and oppression.
Phil: Celtic harps, Violins, Voices and Piano.
Dave: Guitars, Voices and percussion.
This will be on our forthcoming album, to be released later this year.
More news to follow.


Dedicated to a dream come true,moving back home to the west coast of Scotland.This meditative and hypnotic piece of music is entirely written, arranged and performed by Celtic Twist (Phil Holland and Dave Palmley).We wanted to share with all our followers this beautiful place and its magical atmosphere.


Dark Dealings Book Interview via Rock On Radio

Having a great time at the Draft House

Yes our musical culture has a literary friend in the form of Karen Victoria Smith. She wrote the book Dark Dealings which talks pretty much about Irish mythology, Wall Street  vampires, shape- shifters and what they like to listen to in their ipod. You might think I am kidding about that last bit but I am serious. There are a lot of r references to Irish music in the novel and I think she is doing an amazing job pushing the culture and mixing it with the hip, the supernatural and how the money world works. I had to reread the book after it is done because I can’t part easily with the characters. They stay with you like long lost friends.

My friend Christi and I had a blast listening to her interview via Rock on Radio hosted by Dan Coleman and the gang. It was a wacky show and Danny asked a lot of interesting questions about the book. There’s a chat room where listeners can interact with the hosts.  We also met Karen’s best pal Deedee who also happens to be part of an indie rock band Strumberry Pie. The internet made this world a better and smaller place. Christi’s in Michigan and I am in the Philippines. And we all had a blast!


Introducing Moxie


Genre:  Irish Contemporary Music / Jazz / New Age Bluegrass / Folk

Members : Cillian Doheny Tenor Banjo / Nylon & Steel String Guitar / Mandola

Jos Kelly Button Accordian / Keyboard

Darren Roche Button Accordian / Nylon String Guitar

Ted Kelly Tenor Banjo / Tenor Guitar / Mandolin

Paddy Hazelton Percussion

Hometown:   Limerick / Sligo

What Lies Behind the Wall has notes tapping with suspense at the beginning of the track. It is like watching a flower bloom in hyper speed. Like all remarkable Irish bands playing traditional music, Moxie offers fresh approach to a tradition that has been around and is determined to stay.

Their sound is vibrant and the arrangements are intricate. This is traditional music with a cool twist. Sophisticated style blends with rustic simplicity making them one of a kind Irish band. In Elixir’s Walts, they took advantage to pauses and trance like melodies to create a dramatic effect that blends organic percussion with luminous instrumental delivery. This is the music of a butterfly’s wings flapping in a near flight.

Bug and Bear’s further showcase the hypnotic capacity of the banjo and guitar especially when it is given to the right hands. There are three tracks available for sampling in the band’s site I am sure what’s on the site is just the tip of the iceberg.

Band bio: Formed in late 2011 as part of the annual folk festival, Sligo Live, Moxie are a Sligo and Limerick based band that formed through years of musical friendships from playing together at certain festivals around Ireland. The band incorporates Irish music with other genres such as folk, rock and new age bluegrass. A vibrant new band playing an exciting mix of traditional based compositions with richly developed layers of fantastic harmony. The band includes JPTrio members, Ted Kelly (banjo, tenor guitar, vocals), Jos Kelly (button accordion, keyboard, vocals), Paddy Hazleton (percussion, vocals) and Limerick based musicians, accordion and melodeon powerhouse Darren Roche and virtuoso banjo & guitar player Cillian Doheny.

More here:!/Moxiemuso

Album Reviews and Happy Weekend

In this edition: Dave Hum, Cormac O Caoimh, Frost at Midnight, Lignit, Kevin McKidd, Dave Martin and Gillian Boucher

Clockwise: Dave Hum, Cormac O Caoimh, Kevin McKidd, Gillian Boucher and Dave Martin

The midweek edition became a weekend post due to ISP issues. Now everything is back so we are back in business. How are you lovers of Celtic music and beyond? A couple of days ago, I had an interesting chat with Martin Tourish which turned into a nice interview. So you will see Gillian Boucher in this edition because I was reminded when he said he played with her along with other artists when they were in Asia specifically the Philippines.

Next you will see Kevn McKidd who recently starred in a critically acclaimed animation The Brave. It is great to see Hollywood stars being proud of their Celtic roots. We also have a featured MP3 from Roby Atkins who is part of Frost at Midnight and yes they play great Welsh tunes. You see the guy doing techno stuff in the pic with the penguin shirt? That is no other than Scottish producer and percussionist Dave Martin who will be our next featured artist. He is part of the Big Fat Electric Ceilidh. The two men above are in my featured reviews: Dave Hum and Cormac O Caoimh. I enjoyed their CDs and I am sure you will too! You will see a video by Czech Republic based Bluegrass band Lignit with Jeremy King on the bodhran. Please enjoy and drop me a message so I can improve this site further.

Album Review: Celtic and Bluegrass 5 String Banjo by Dave Hum

Depressed? Annoyed because you are having ISP issues and it has been more than a week and they were not able to fix the problem? Just crank in one of Dave Hum’s CDs and you will forget your frown. He has a happy way of playing that every track shines with optimistic vibes. I think he is the only one I know who plays the five string banjo as of the moment and he plays it like no other kind of master. Credit goes to the fact that he plays all the instruments including the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and percussion.

His years of busking and playing all over London with the band The Huckleberries have done him well and now he is gathering enthusiasts who love traditional Irish, Celtic and Bluegrass music. My experience listening to his nontraditional album Traveling Light made me aware that he is very much into the music of the times. Well in that one he experimented with a little bit of electronic music and reggae. Here, he is playing the standards which people who listen to this kind of music will surely love. We all know that traditional music is no longer traditional when it isn’t played in a certain way and Dave knows this path so well that he actually gave tribute to the tradition by coming up with a CD composed of 21 delightful tracks.

This is a perfect kind of music if you are having little bit of traditional music party over the weekend. Just put this in your player and you will be guaranteed with tracks that will last you a while. And after one listen, the album tempts you for another spin. That is how good it is-excellent playing but music that is not intrusive you can just talk while you let this play in the background. Tracks like Cripple Creek, Farewell to Erin, Mason’s Apron and the theme from ‘The Third Man’ (taken from the 1949 BBC movie) will put a smile on your face. There are other greats like his interpretation of Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Drowsy Maggie.

You also need to check out the artwork that Dave did himself. It show’s a traveller(as the cover is meant to depict the Irish travellers having to leave their country and head for America which is how a lot of the Irish and Scottish tunes merged with the blues, gospel, oldtime and bluegrass music-Dave) carrying a staff while running around with a kite. A dog runs before him carrying a stick. There’s a girl on near left playing a fiddle. There’s also a woman beyond riding a horse. On the right looks like a trailer house with a woman watering azaleas. Then there’s the 5 string banjo where the peacock is sleeping. The colors almost remind me of ‘flower power’. Well, this goes to show that the artist is an all around kind of guy. Makes you wonder more and wait for more recordings from Dave Hum.

First track off his 5-String Banjo CD1. Yes that is Dave without his disguise!

More about the artist here:


Album Review: a new season for love by Cormac O Caoimh

Like water color painting still running and moist, the music of Cormac O Caoimh seeps into your heart rendering you speechless with emotions. His classical guitar style combined with other influences is a joy to listen to. It makes you feel filled up, like you’ve just eaten a good meal. The spiritual nourishment that his music imbues is no accident.

Being from Ireland and having shared the stage with such artists as Declan O’Rourke, Damien Rice and Damien Dempsy to name a few; made his music eclectic but never losing that Irish spirit that is all over this CD. His lyrics are heartfelt and reflective as in the case of the opening track There’s Gold There Somewhere” –Who am I? Who are you? Who do we intend to be? It’s hard it’s hard when we can’t stand on our two feet…A combination of poignancy and passion is exemplified in the title track: With every morsel of muscle, Molecule of mind, I’d try to justify new oceans and new tides and new seasons, a new season for love…

On this side of the world it is the season of rain. And his music is the perfect soundtrack for that. There is a balance of musical precision and inventiveness that pull you up from the introspective lyrics that at times seem to overpower you with sadness. His voice is a fine instrument. I like the kind of ease he puts in singing like he is talking to you-almost intimately, close to your ears so there is no need to sing loudly …but rather in a breathy style. The transparency of the vocals and the gossamer arrangement make A New Season for Love a truly luminous listening experience.

It isn’t the kind of CD you will grow tired as in the case of those with too much fireworks in the production. This is something that grows on you. A kind of music you want to take with you anywhere when you need something warm and introspective.

One of my favorite tracks of the album A New Season for Love. This one is called Heart Attack.

More about the artist here:


Tambourin by  Frost at Midnight

Frost at Midnight is a project band led by Welsh musician Robert Atkins. It is nice to hear refreshing Welsh music based on tradition.

Robert Atkins, guitar, bass, keyboards; Catherine Atkins, vocals; Catherine Handley, flute with Johnny Quick, vocals; John Tribe, harmonica.

More here:


Featured Video: Lignit – Balada o Jenny (Official Music Video 2012)

Let us check out the Bluegrass scene in the Czech Republic with Jeremy King on Bodhran.
Režie: Pája Junek


Interesting Documentary: A Journey Home With Kevin McKidd

I am currently working on a feature with Scottish musician/producer Dave Martin. He is involved in a musical project with Hollywood actor Kevin McKidd and I thought this is a nice intro to a feature I am doing with Dave. I found this video really inspiring and I hope you feel the same way too. Enjoy!

Travel with Kevin McKidd to his hometown in the Scottish Highlands as he revisits his childhood, performs and records the Speyside Sessions Album with classic Scottish folk songs with his friends, and reconnects with his roots.


Gillian Boucher, fiddle, plays a lively set

My interview with Michael Tourish brought me back to the music of  Canadian fiddler Gillian Boucher. She is currently residing in Ankara Turkey. More of  her music here:

Greensky Bluegrass:Gin, Honey And A Taste Of Americana For You!

Greensky Bluegrass chasing the clouds away!

The awful weather makes people sick these days. The time to celebrate comes after the brooding period.You agree with me don’t you? To everyone out there who had gone through the rough times, I am sure you all come to a point when you just want to get up and dance. Ok I am closing my eyes and telepathically calling for more sweetness my way. Oooommmm! Oooom!  Meditate, concentrate, let the mind become a magnet for positivism.Yes folks more sweetness please and you shall get sweetness in return. I just hope my karma counter is doing good for running this site 🙂

I found this bluegrass band after searching for something uplifting. If you are depressed or sick, I recommend you listen to this style of music and your blues will go away. Well, I can’t say that it is the answer to end all wars in the world but it is a good pill. Even the name feels good ” Greensky Bluegrass“. They even have vinyl pressings for their new album! They are part puritans and part innovators. They love the tried and tested highway of American music but they veer off once in a while to add freshness to their repertoire.

My fingers  move through the keys emulating the banjo while typing this article. My neck moves to the rhythm. The sound just catches you with a smile. Yes it is all gin, honey and the green grass of home. This quintet is from Michigan, the home of my dear friend Christi.


If you’re familiar with bluegrass music, then you’re tuned in to some of what Greensky Bluegrass does. They’re also known to throw a great party, rock n roll, and (if the critics are to be believed) they have great songs. They are unquestionably a team of friends that traverse the country making music they enjoy. What makes Greensky different than Bluegrass? Poignant rural ballads about real people? Dobro tone that Jerry (Douglas or Garcia) would love? Distortion Pedals? Grit and attitude from a whiskey soaked card game? Indeed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This quintet from Michigan has been staying up late at all the coolest festivals and stopping to play your favorite clubs and theaters across America for 11 years now. Nearly 175 shows per year has prepared them for the rigorous task of continuity. Greensky Bluegrass isn’t slowing down. “They’re coming to your town to help you party down.” Yeah. Really. Like you never thought possible.

At the start of the millenium,some of these guys met, then they met more guys. They thought Greensky was a clever name for a bluegrass band. Fast forward to 2011 when they recorded their fourth studio record, called Handguns. Among them, words like, “proud,” “killer,” and “damn right!” have been spoken in regards to the music of Handguns.

While they all may be accurate, we hope you’ll find far more than you expected, hell – even more than we expected contained in this piece work that may well come to define one of 21st Century America’s hardest working musical ensembles.

Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).