Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Why a casual Celtic music fan would love North Star by singer/songwriter Kyle Carey-It has a universal appeal. 

Every album is a musical journey. The experience is always complete when one listens to all the tracks in the album (in the order they were recorded) instead shuffling.I think Kyle Carey has worked hard in recording every track in North Star. This is a follow -up to her highly acclaimed Monongah. Every nuance is given emphasis.

North star is a journey across continents. It has taken her to Scotland, in order to record the twelve tracks, each with its own story to tell. In the title track (Northern Star), she sings of how each point of light draws a constellation. Like the album itself, it is about seeing the bigger picture from the complexity of notes and melodies. We are part of each other. We are connected by this endless chain of histories. The album is a testament to the modern and ancient Celts. North Star Cover

Apart from the melodic merits, North Star has superb packaging and meticulous recording process.The music doesn’t intrude. Yes it draws you in because of the beautiful songs (this includes the instruments, the chords and yes the amazing voice of Kyle Carey). This is highly recommended for lovers of chill out pop and indie folk. Her sound has evolved. She blends Gaelic and English songs in this album seamlessly. Everything feels supple, organic and also healing.

The word north conjures many thoughts. One of them is the cold and quiet that an artist needs in the gestation period of his or her creativity. North Star is Polaris which has been embodied in a lot of myths. The fact that this album is produced by Seamus Egan proves that she is backed by stalwart talents.

North Star is one of the great releases of this decade. Everything works. Her vocals are more stretched and exploited as there are tracks where she lets those pipes loose. I love Sios Dhan An Abhainn. I got goose bumps listening to that song. It is my personal favorite. Across the Great Divide is also poignant and memorable.

And lastly…I love the album artwork. I think the images and overall design give justice to the feel of the album. Her persistence and professionalism has paid off. This started off as a crowdfunding project. This album proves that those who are passionate about this kind of music are out there! Now looking forward to the next album.

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I among those fascinated by the music of Breton singer/songwriter Cecile Corbel. It has something more to do with the melodies in her songs than her vocals or arrangements. Although it is worth noting that her arrangements are superb as well! She’s one of those artists celebrating the beauty of Breton music(the other one is Nolwenn Leroy). I think these two artists are the best  in terms of putting out Celtic music with pop appeal. She continues to dazzle our imagination with her Arthurian concept.

This is a captivating song called Entendez-vous from  La Fiancée. Would you agree it’s beautiful in all aspects?

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Celtic Colours Int’l Cape Breton, Canada

Celtic Colours continues to be an influential festival in North America. Great shows, fantastic artists and a wide array of genres (or colours). Here’s a Soundcloud sampler of music you get to hear when you attend the festival.

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I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next, I will be writing about American group Soulsha: Afro-Celtic Funk, so watch out for this one.

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” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

Band members:

" Esyllt " CD Record 10 songs

” Esyllt ” CD Record 10 songs

Gwalchmei, Guitare

Dam kat, Vocals

Patrick Boileau, Drums

Stéphane Rama, Bass

Loic Blejean, Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistles

Jean Marc Illien, Piano & Keyboards

Now for something so totally different is an atmospheric band from Brittany called Children in Paradise. Singer Dam Kat already drew me into their musical style after hearing the first track Little Butterfly. The new album is called “Esyllt.” How do I describe their sound? I will quote their bio which, I think, really sums up what the band is all about and the influences behind the music:

Children in Paradise invites you to travel to the Sidh, the other celtic world, somewhere beyond the horizon of the sea, in these beautiful islands, deep of peace, harmony and purity. The music of Children in Paradise is a mix of many influences, sounds inspirated by Pink Floyd or Anathema, a research of ” atmospheric environments ” and ” power ” of the sacred music, like Dead Can Dance… sometimes between darkness and melancholy … the band’s musical originality is also the inspiration : the Celtic Legends (Irish and Welsh Legends). With a rare finesse in the arrangements, the voice of Dam Kat, so fresh and full of emotions occasionally remind Kate Bush or Tori Amos …

Birds, waterfall and other natural sounds are seamlessly woven into this beautiful album. Hearing all the tracks  is a transporting experience. I noticed the diverse artistic influences. I love the album cover which features a Celtic warrior looking at a ship. A Viking ship perhaps? Or maybe loved ones sent away to escape the ravages of the Viking invasion.

I’d suggest you listen to this when you are taking a break from work. The album relaxes the mind.It also posses a distinct musical energy that gives you vitality. Gwalchme keeps the tracks interesting with his own style of guitar playing.

My Son turns my attention to the instruments that embellish this track. Low whistle and uilleann pipes take the stage along with the lush vocals. Everything works together, from the drums, bass and keyboards.

I think the apt comparison to Kate Bush is derived from the eclectic arrangements, the use of World influences and also the vocal style. But I have to note that Children of Paradise has an original sound. It is a confident Breton sound. I also think that this  album’s efforts are close those  made by Nolwenn Leroy, in a sense that in the midst of its eclecticism, the musical vision is there. Ysyllt is not really an album made for dancing. It is more of a chill out experience. Except for The Battle where the song builds into a heavy metal frenzy . Its use of heavy atmosphere makes it accessible even to fans of Gothic rock.

In Silent Agony, Dam Kat explores the vocal style which is close to Tori Amos. Plus, the harp is amazing to hear in this track. So far, everything in Ysyllt sounds good. And the pure bonus is that they are streaming the album via soundcloud for free! However, if you believe in the mission and vision of Children in Paradise then you better visit their shop and buy merchandise there : http://www.childreninparadise.com/#/shop-of-children-in-paradise/4418856

Help independent artists and help maintain our musical culture.

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers  plus Podcast #25

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers plus Podcast #25

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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 http://themaggiewhackers.bandcamp.com/album/naoned-whisky to buy the album.

For bookings and any question:

The Maggie Whackers
06 33 72 49 44
themaggiewhackers@gmail.com

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The Baxteria Podcast #25 is Up!

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

Feauturing:

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

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Have you heard of Morenn?

Have you heard of Morenn?

I discovered the music of Morenn after clicking the link posted by Francois Marchal of Caliorne on facebook. I think Morenn is a fascinating project and needs a good support from lovers of Breton Celtic music. There are three videos posted in their kisskissbankbank crowd Morennfunding project in which one of them I decided to post here. Their approach to music is eclectic, blending traditional Breton sounds and other World influences. The music is lively, optimistic and evokes the landscapes of Brittany.

Members of Morenn are Xavier Boderiou , Sylvain Barou and Pellen Jacques. The three  are the finest in the world of Breton music. I am quoting this interesting blurb from the site so you will have an idea what the project is all about:

The “Morenn” project is the result of the meeting between Xavier Boderiou, Sylvain Barou and Jacques Pellen around the classical music of Scottish bagpipes.The piobaireachd is usually performed solo. The songs here are unstructured, merging three instruments consistently. This unique creation combines bagpipes, guitar, flute, but also a hint of experimental music around a centenary book for an explosive result in imprecise, nebulous … Morenn.

Here is the link to the project site:http://www.kisskissbankbank.com/fr/projects/morenn

Babel Pow Wow by Dom Duff

Babel Pow Wow by Dom Duff

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Album: “Babel Pow Wow

Artist: Dom Duff

Location: Brittany

Original Release Date: April 18, 2013

Tracks:

1. Buan yann buan

2. Bitter Lands of Llydaw

3. Noa

4. Chikoloden groove

5. Floc’h ar jabadao

6. A-du gant an avel

7. Babel pow wow

8. Houarn & lêr

9. Buzhug’o’matik

10. Koroll gouez

11. Treizh

12. En tu all d’an treizh

13. Foeter breizh

“Babel Pow Wow” is the fifth album by Breton singer/songwriter Dom Duff. He got this started through the Kiss Kiss Bank Bank program.  So what’s thid album all about? According to Dom Duff :

This album pays tribute to the world’s cultures, languages​​, to all those people who use their words and their rhythms to sing, dance, laugh,  … The idea came to me after many meetings with different fans, speaking about multilingual cultures : our imagery, rhythm of our words, of our music.  As usual, I sing my native Breton language, adding my guitar licks surrounds by fiddle, bass and percussion to these stomping songs and tunes.It’s about local & global troubles, causes, …

So what’s my assessment of Babel Pow Wow?   To those who haven’t heard it yet, Babel Pow Wow is a collection of folk/ rock inspired tunes laced with Breton music. It is composed of a richly layered album with a wide array of instrumental explorations. I think this is Dom Duff’s most successful work to date, with  ambitious effort and sleek production to match.

This album aims to take  nods on all Celtic music branches. It also highlights other musical genres, from all sides of the globe. It is an album that is a must for lovers of Breton culture and the rest of the Celtic nations. And even if you don’t speak Breton, the rhythm of the language will take you to places you’ve never dreamed of.

Buan yann buan starts the album with its inspiring guitar and percussion. The tune takes flight as fiddles, harmonica and other instruments wrap this track with passionate abandon. The mandolin takes the center stage in Bitter Lands of Llydaw, along with the strong and haunting vocals of Dom. Noa pulls us into the mysterious Breton landscape with that strange mechanical sound for ambience. Chikoloden  has the groove that is definitively Celtic with its beautiful instrumental arrangement and also a jig in the second half of the track that nods on the Irish side of the influence.

Floc’h ar jabadao is typical Dom Duff with the driving percussion and strumming. A-du gant an avel is a beautiful ballad a sweet melody and beautiful guitar solos. Those who love psychedelic rock will love the title track Babel Pow Wow. Jigs, hypnotic percussion and driving rhythm are all explored to the max in one track. Houarn & r channels a bit of George Harrison with that beautiful and catchy chanting for chorus. This style is also found in the next track  Buzhug’o’matik.

Koroll gouez starts with an adult alternative intro and then followed by the marathon run intensity of the verse and chorus matched by the energetic  fiddle and percussion. The mysterious sounds make a comeback in Treizh. The style is Middle Eastern. En tu all d’an treizh gets us back to our feet with the signature Breton rock that’s always typical of Dom Duff. Foeter breizh closes this amazing album with the sound of Breton footsteps by Breton runners. The video of this song was published more than a year ago and it’s been widely shared across Brittany.

I will never get tired listening to Babel Pow Wow. It’s got all the grooves, the sound spices you need when you want a kind of music that not only inspired but also soothes the hunger for something rooted to tradition and the love for diversity. Better get your copy now!

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Huzzah!

Alan Cooke, The Wild Irish Poet

It’s Monday! Birds are singing, the sun is up and ground is wet from last night’s rain. How are you doing?

Last time I mentioned that I read in advance The Spirit of Ireland – An Odyssey HOME – Alan Cooke’s  follow-up memoir to Naked in New York. Did I mentioned that the book moved me that I wept? perhaps not so I am telling you now. It is a beautiful work , richly layered in atmosphere and images. You need to get it when it is finally out. So here’s a passage:

From The Spirit of Ireland – An Odyssey HOME : I looked at an old cottage that was for sale because the picture struck me as haunting and evocative. It was dark and grey outside with the threat of rain. This house had no road, no gentle garden path with plants along the edges. It was muddy and full of rocks. I got to the door. A small river ran around the entire house. Inside it was chilling and desolate. A whole planet of despair resounded here in lost memories and lives that had been lived out. Old stained suit jackets hung in the window. Everything was dead. The house had shed its last breath. The windows were blurred with dirt and finger marks. The floor was broken and warped and an old kettle sat in the middle of the room awaiting an owner to bring it into life again. This house had kept generations enveloped in a kind of soft life. Yet hardship always lurked nearby in the form of poverty. I imagined coins counted to the penny and a soft shuffle out the door to get a loaf of bread and some meat for the week. Or some news brought to the door that would shatter the heart. Or the sound of a baby covered in her Mother’s blood born on the wet floor as the roof let in the rain at angles. A weeping newborn amidst the rain storms that took hold of the land and shook and drowned her till she was sodden and miserable.

I saw old cigarette boxes lying by the fireplace. I imagined rugged hands lighting wrinkled cigarettes shoved into the sides of black stained drinking mouths and scouring the land, planting and digging and heaving and sweating the years away. Or maybe a song that was hummed and filled their sleep in the night. Or a foot that tapped with rhythm on the black dirt floors. Or the eyes that were lit by the fire. Soft country eyes that had only seen the glory of nature all their lives. Yet I could feel the intense energy and loss of this ghostly cottage. A house withered and dying without human warmth felt terribly lonely to me. And above me a billion miles into the sky far above the ghosts in this house we were looked down upon by forces undefinable. This tiny house in this tiny land and this eternal terror of being. The light filled the soul, measured against the immense beyond. I felt the depth of it and the memory so thick down to my fingers which I traced along a window sill.

In an old drawer I spotted a faded photo of a Father and his child. The photo was half burned, the daughter looking away from the camera. The Father had a beautiful smile. His cap was in his hands. He looked humble and had soft eyes. Where were they now? Long gone. So far gone I could not sense any of their life in this sad place. Who would buy this place? I wanted the weeds and the fern and the branches of trees to grow tall and strong and wrap themselves around this cottage. Move inside the walls and windows. Creep along the floor and take this house back into the earth. It did not belong in the present. I put the photo back in its place. I felt like I had walked upon a grave. I was trespassing amongst the dead.

Here amongst the ragged remains of an Irish home at once comforting and now cold and dead I sensed what the end might feel like. My own end. It sent a fever into the throat to think on this, the idea of ceasing to exist and of disappearing. Outside I could see a bird wet, on a thin branch still singing in this most terrible of winter days. His eyes darted with each note and his breathy reedy notes were a symphonic calming release against the singular bleakness of my emotions.

His was the constant song of aliveness. The paradox when God seemed to have bolted his door. It almost seemed to me that this messenger was all that kept the world from upending and falling apart. It is the voices of hope in the world that keep us from despair. The bird stayed for an eternity. Singing, for no purpose, but his own, and I selfishly took it for mine as well. To give my own presence meaning.

I left the house and walked back down the rocky path to my car. I looked in the mirror inside and I could see my own darkened eyes, this strange search for home within me always. The restless spirit misaligned with a race that itself was lost. Spinning on in this grey eternity called life.

The Harp Village, Catriona McKay and Bagad Kemper

Plus today in pictures: Cheers+Greenland Whalefishers and The Electric Light Programme.

With readership and endorsements growing, it is easy for me to have CONTINUITY. It is great to mix and match music. And you know what’s fun?Having to write sooo little yet expose so MUCH music. What are we having for weeks to come? We will have Corrina Hewat, novelist Karen Victoria Smith, Calum Stewart and Will Tun and the Wasters. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We will have MORE!

Corrina Hewat is promoting Harp Village. The last event happened in 2010. September is going to be exciting!

The harp village 2012

Friday September 28th – Sunday September 30th

in venues all round Cromarty

I went and checked Cromarty Arts Trust and it is really an amazing venue:

It says Cromarty Arts Trust was established in 1987

Aims and objectives

  • To support the conservation of buildings of historical or architectural importance
  • To promote the advancement of education
  • To encourage the conservation of natural features, landscape, ecology and character of the area
  • To stimulate public interest in the history, character, beauty and wildlife of the area
  • To nurture artistic activity, locally nationally and internationally.

In pursuance of these aims we have raised over £1 million for the following purposes:

Restoration and conversion of three architecturally important buildings in Cromarty

The Brewery, restored in 1989 and now operated as the Cromarty Training Centre; The Stables, a Listed Grade A building restored in 1995; and Ardyne, a fine example of a merchant’s house restored in 1994.

More of that info here: http://www.cromartyartstrust.org.uk/the-trust.asp

Corrina Hewat burning the harp strings photo taken by Dougie Cunningham

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More of Catriona McKay


http://www.catrionamckay.co.uk/
http://www.myspace.com/catrionamckayharp

Don’t forget the amazing set by Catriona McKay. See Olov Johansson & Catriona McKay at Chief O’Neill’s on Fri the 7th!

You will see more of this delicate playing when you go watch the performance.

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Music from Brittany: Bagad Kemper

Guéna Lamour: Road-trip West Coast /Australia

Guéna Lamour was part of the Celtic/pop group Meliouank playing the keyboards though  his main instrument is the bombarde. Right now he is devoting his energy to a group called Bagad Kemper and at the same time practicing for the duet competition of traditional music with a singer. Every year there is a big  competition the first week of September, of the best duets of traditional music in Brittany. Bagad Kemper does something really exciting to Breton music and I am sure after seeing these videos you’d agree.

This is more like a rehearsal.

You can see his performance focused around 5:13 of this video

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Today in Pictures: Cheers+Greenland Whalefishers 24.08.2012

Pictures courtesy of HDF hlava derava foto

More here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.277861422319237.52706.166597480112299&type=1

This is the aftermath of the most anticipated event in Celtic punk history within the Czech Republic.  Greenland Whalefishers from Norway shared the stage with Cheers, both bands playing highly charged melodic punk tunes forged through the spirit of Paddy Rock. Check out this link and also add the band to your favorites to get the latest gig updates.

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http://kclr96fm.com/the-eclectic-light/the-eclectic-light-programme-studio-2-sessions-michael-brunnock-2582012/

P.S.

KCLR 96 FM is a radio station in Carlow Kilkenny Ireland. This station covers new and old music. This link below is a recorded show from Martin Bridgeman. He has a guest in the studio Michael Brunnock and you would hear music and conversation. Martin does interesting things in his show. Have a listen.

From Martin Bridgeman:

“We’re all good. Some good news on the show front. I’ll have an interview and tunes from on Sunday from Mick McAuley and Winnie Horan from Solas and another Kilkenny Musician Colm O’Caoimh. And if all goes well, I’ll have an interview with Jacqui McShee from Pentangle shortly”…

http://www.myspace.com/theeclecticlightprogramme

Interview with Gilles H (Daonet) for the album “Donemat”

Plus: Lúnasa video and new releases fromAndrew “Slim” Black,  Michelle Mulcahy and Eliseo Mauas Pinto.

Gwendal Meillarec, Herve Briand and Gilles Bogzh-daonet.

I am glad to discover the band Daonet from Nantes. They are a fine addition to our ever growing collection of Breton artists. They play catchy rock oriented music using Breton language. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language. The music is fun, catchy with just enough loudness to awaken your caffeine deprived family members. The lead vocals of Gwendal Meillarec (he also plays the flute) is strong but not imposing which is a good thing. He sometimes mimics the sound of the bagpipes with his guitar tuned in a unique fashion using great effects.

My guest Gilles H  mostly plays bass guitar. He explains : “I personally mostly play bass guitar except on O’surfin on which we play with 2 guitars (Gwendal on chorus me in rhythmic guitar and after we exchange the roles). On stage I also play synth sounds controlled by my bass (organ, guitars sounds etc.) or my guitar on “O’surfin” (upright bass sound) but on the CD, I’ve used this sounds on “Marv Ponkalleg” intro and one effect on “Nerzh-kalon”. The drums of Herve Briand make the crunch! If you read further,  Gilles gives us an in-depth look at the Celtic music scene in the whole of France not just in Brittany. Here, Gilles uses the terms Breton and Celtic to differentiate the specific from the general.

You made a different treatment of Tri Martolod..it has a  more energetic and punk feel. What are your expectations in terms of people’s reactions to this song and those who are loyal with Alan Stivell’s version?

Yes we play Tri Martolod on stage in our way since 2003, 2004 I think. The reactions to our interpretation of this traditional song are always good, never any complaints 😉 people sing and clap their hands every time 😉

Daonet means Damned in English. Why did you choose that name for the band?

We are from the town of Nantes = Naoned in Breton language and there is an expression from Brittany “Mont da Naoned da c’hortoz bezan daonet” = going to Nantes waiting being damned, an expression referring to people from west part of Brittany who had to go to Nantes to get a job in the 19th century. The 12th track of Donemat album, “Mont da Naoned” is a folk-rock style song based on this expression with a parallel on  nowadays people who have to migrate to find a job … Paris or elsewhere on the planet …

 How about giving us a brief background of each band member?

Gwendal founded the band in 2000. He is an electric and acoustic guitarist. He also sings, and plays tin whistle. He writes lyrics mainly in Breton or in French.

I (Gilles) have joined the band in 2002. I play bass guitar, upright bass, synth guitar, and I also sing.

I’ve played in the late 80’s and early 90’s in a Celtic rock band from Vannes called Tan Flam. I’ve also played, wrote and sung in rock, rock’n roll, blues-rock bands  ….for example Bogzh ! with Hervé on drums …

Hervé has joined Daonet in 2006,  he plays drums, derbouka, djembe, cajon etc. He played in different music styles band before Daonet : rock, punk-rock, blues-rock …

 What can we expect from the band this year?

We have recorded “Donemat” with guests’ participation on violin (Frédéric Bouley) and bombarde (Olivier Arz). We have played some concerts with Olivier. We also played in acoustic configuration (acoustic guitars, upright bass, cajon and voices). These different configurations may be developed in the future for live and recording events …

Booking / tour +33 628 362 994

 Where can listeners purchase their copies of Daonet CDs and mp3s?

The latest album “Donemat” is distributed by Coop Breizh, so dealers may have access to this record. It is also available on Daonet’s website http://www.daonet.eu/ as the previous CD “Rok a raok”, the different albums are also available in numeric version on http://daonet.bandcamp.com/ .

Donemat is also available in MP3 on itunes, Amazon platforms … It is also possible to discover the album through Deezer, spotify …

What are the festivals around France that you guys have been to?And what  memorable things  happened during these shows? 

We played for the “Festival des filets bleus” in Concarneau (Brittany) 1 year ago opening for Gilles Servat with 10 000 people attending, we were announced as the “coup de coeur” of the festival… It was great. We’ve also played for “Celtival on the rock” in Guemene-Penfao with Dom Duff and Muray Head, for Festival des nuits salines in Batz-sur-mer …

It is not a festival, but a fest like the St Patrick fest for Ireland, in Brittany around the St Yves day / Gouël Erwann may 19th there is Brittany Fest organized since several years and promoted by Brittany region, we play during this period in different contexts. We played for example, few years ago in Rennes with traditional music bands, “Les Ramoneurs de menhirs” with their special recipe mixing traditionnal music and punk music and also a punk-metal-fusion band singing in Breton … This year we played for one of this concerts for the Brittany Fest in Nantes for or the first Breton language fest in Loire Atlantique. We are also asked for playing every year for the St Patrick day with Irish music bands (traditional or rock bands). We also play sometimes our music in concerts with no Celtic, or folk theme, with rock, blues-rock, punk bands etc. for concerts organized by bikers that sometimes are a little afraid of songs in Breton but when we ask if they understand the lyrics of English singing bands this stops their fear and they often recognize that  even some French  singing bands are not so easy to understand ;-).

Tell us about making the album Donemat. How do you gather materials etc. Can you tell us the procedure down to the final mixing?

Most of the songs were played on stage several years before they were recorded but in the beginning of the new record project, we’ve selected the songs (with 2 traditional songs “marv pontkalleg” and the Brittany anthem “Bro gozh ma zadoù”) and we stopped playing others songs, new songs replacing the previous ones. We worked the titles adopted in studio versions exclusively with the strict tempo of a metronome on every rehearsal during at least one year. We recorded with Arthur Lauth, who manages when this is possible our sound on stage, in a one day captation + mix, a pre-production recording of the 12 titles. With this pre-production CD, we met several sound engineers to find the studio allowing us to get the recording we were expecting with an agenda matching ours ;-).

At this point of the project, we had the agreement of Coop Breizh for the distribution of our album in France. We also had a contact with a painter / illustrator Brucéro to order him a drawing for the CD.

We chose to work with a brand new studio : Woodbox Studio near Nantes – managed by Jeff Ferrand that worked before in others studios.

We began the recording in the end of may 2011 with drums and bass tracks (electric basses and fretless bass) in 2 week-ends.

Followed later by Gwendal during a week electric and acoustic guitars parts, a keyboard track on the slow song, tin whistle, and we recorded voices.

Two guests recorded after then theirs parts in other sessions :

– Olivier Arz (we played together in Tan Flam group long time ago) played bombarde on three tracks, we worked together for several rehearsals with Olivier with the complete band, or with guitar, bass and tin whistle/ bombarde.

– Frédéric Bouley who plays violin in numerous bands (Breton, Irish music) recorded on the song “Mont da Naoned”, we worked with him and Gwendal in rehearsal (acoustic guitar, upright bass, violin), and with a first mix of the tracks already recorded of this title.

We finished the choirs, Hervé recorded Derbouka and Djembe, I recorded upright bass licks with the bow on “Mont da Naoned”, synth guitar on “Marv Pontkalleg” intro and my rhythm and chorus guitar parts on O’Surfin …

Jeff did the mix with some adjustments after listen sessions with the band. We defined the final order for the titles and then the mastering process was done in a specialized company.

My brother Lionel took pictures of the band for the CD and newspapers, he also did the graphics of the Digipack including the booklet with lyrics etc. with the character Brucéro drew for us.

The CD was then manufactured in the first week of January 2012 and sent to stores in February by Coop Breizh, we also sent CD to fans who pre-ordered and organized a concert in Nantes to invite fans for this disc availability.

Do you think Celtic Breton is stronger now than before?

I suppose that you ask the question of Breton music . Is it stronger ? It is always present. In Brittany there are many bands playing traditional music : bagadoù created on the model of pipe bands. There are fest-noz bands (fest noz can be translated in night fest) and they play music to make people dance traditional Breton dances. They are very active. There are also Celtic rock bands and some Breton rock bands. They play songs written in Breton, in Gallo with or without traditional, Breton or Celtic music influences. The success of Celtic music and of Breton music for masses is cyclic in France. Alan Stivell, Tri Yann, Soldat Louis, Manau (Celtic rap), Armens, Dan Ar Braz, Matmatah (their first album), Merzhin etc. had a very good success in some periods, Nolwenn Leroy with her cover album of best of traditional songs in Breton had been a big success recently.

The scene for Celtic music and Breton music is always present here, especially in Brittany, where the festivals are very popular and numerous (Festival interceltique de Lorient, Nuits salines in Batz sur Mer, Filets bleus in Concarneau, Festival de Cornouaille etc. In the Festival des Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix-Plouguer  it is much more rock and pop oriented,  but a stage is reserved for Breton music). But bands playing Breton music are not only present in Brittany. In every region of France there are Breton associations including a bagad, a “cercle celtique” (breton dance group) promoting Breton music and Breton learning in the region where they live. There are also Celtic rock, folk-rock bands in the different regions playing Breton, Celtic inspired music…

A band like Daonet mostly plays rock sung in Breton language to promote its use, its learn that was in the past reduced in use by the action of France (interdiction in French schools).

Daonet band is based in Nantes, a town that officially is not a part of administrative region Bretagne, the department of Loire Atlantique was in fact removed from the historic Brittany to create an artificial region called “Pays de la Loire”. Numerous songs of Daonet are based on Brittany and Nantes history, and the use of Breton language for a band from Nantes in this context is of course a  symbol. Others bands from Nantes that don’t still exist played Breton rock sung in Breton, EV and Tri Bleiz Die for example, (EV guitarist-singer Gweltaz ADEUX plays now pop-rock songs in Breton), the band Tri Yann that exists since the 70’s, plays Breton and Celtic music with some songs in Breton language is also based in Nantes.

https://www.facebook.com/daonetrock

http://www.daonet.eu/

http://www.myspace.com/daonet

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Featured Video: Lúnasa”The Merry Sisters of Fate”

Called “the hottest Irish acoustic band on the planet” by the Irish Times, Lúnasa performs live from the intimate confines of The Burren Irish Pub in Somerville, Massachusetts. Named for an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa is made up of some of the top musical talents in Ireland. The current lineup includes:

Seán Smyth — Fiddle, Whistles
Kevin Crawford — Flutes, Whistles
Trevor Hutchinson — Double Bass
Cillian Vallely – Uillean pipes, Whistles
Ed Boyd – Guitar

The Burren Backroom Series is hosted by Brian O’Donovan of A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH Radio.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel WGBH Music: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=WGBHMusic

Audio Engineer: Antonio Oliart
Camera/Editing: Greg Shea
Camera: Annie Shreffler
Producer/Host: Brian O’Donovan

My big thanks to Greg Shea for this one.

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New Releases:

Slim’s forthcoming LP, ‘Gallows Tree Tales’, is a barn-storming folk-rock romp through tales of love, loss, booze, laughter and madness. With big productions, there’s everything from americana rock, celtic folk, country balladeering, and even a gospel choir thrown in for good measure. Once the record’s released, you’ll be able to buy it here, and there’ll be a full band tour, gigs-aplenty, and of course, a fair few ‘Gallows Tree Tales’ to tell. Get it here: http://www.slim-music.com/tcms/home

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Michelle Mulcahy, Suaimhneas (Cló Iar-Chonnacht)

Read the wonderful review here: http://www.robadamsjournalist.com/index.asp

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The Celtic Harp  By Eliseo Mauas Pinto

“The Celtic Harp” is a very interesting quick guide not only approaching to questions regarding the origins of its name, its history and revival, but also to the surviving types, suggested Celtic Harpists, and a list of related external links. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/210054

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Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra in Paimpont, Bretagne.

 

Pictures taken by Isabelle Buffard

The First Lady of Celtic Music Moya Brennan appeared in Paimpont Bretagne along with Cormac de Barra and their band. It has not been indicated the performance has something to do with the Interceltique celebration but just look at her. She’s gorgeous!

The rest of the photo set can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=at.261196613989311.53188.100002969239159.100001597095954&type=1

There is also an amazing video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=261216617320644

 

The Enchanting Luascadh

Music of the elves…

We think of festive and loud sounds when we talk about the music of Brittany. This association is brought about by the popularity of the bombarde and the biniou. After looking further, I found this unique artist by the name of Alicia Ducout. She goes by the moniker Luascadh. Originally from Rennes, Bretagne, she tours around France with the medieval Celtic ensemble Gaimalis.

She mostly makes music using the harp. The vocals will delight you. It feels like the forest of the elves has suddenly opened up to draw one in. The music of Luascadh can be described as medieval Celtic. There is something hypnotic about the harp being played in such fashion. The sound it makes reminds me of the branches of trees that grow and surround you. She conjures images of fireflies dancing upon the leaves. When the sun sets and crickets start chirping their evening tune, it is time to play Luascadh.


http://www.myspace.com/luascadh

associated with

http://www.gaimalis.net

http://www.myspace.com/gayemalis

After studying drama at Lyon, and after 10 years of piano practice, I have evolved in several medieval ensembles, the journey opened the doors of Celtic civilization and ancient traditional music . .. These doors are engulfed  with wind and the breeze  and of the tale of the Celtic harp!-Luascadh

Gwennyn: Silky Breton Music

For Gwennyn, the adventure began in 2000 when she took her first steps in music with Alan Stivell on his album “Back to Breizh“, then got invited to festivals of Old plows Carhaix and Fallen of the night in Rennes .-Artist bio.

Somewhere in Brittany, a very stylish Celtic singer Gwennyn continues to hone her artistry. There is this balance between ambient and folk rock style. The   maritime and urban appeal of her music makes her accessible to both the older and younger demographics. Her voice is like the whisper of seashells over sand dunes. The sloshing of her olive flavored melodies washes over like the frothy tides against tired feet. Something I need after a long day.

After five songs and several videos she won me over. It’s like nothing  could ever go wrong  when I listen to her songs. They are filled with sweetness and radiance. To top it off, her charismatic personality makes her a sorceress that drives her audience to aural frenzy.

The new album is called Kan An Tevenn

In a pop rock style Celtic Gwennyn takes us on an imaginary journey to the peoples of the dunes … Buoyed by the artistic direction of Patrice Marzin, this album offers a sublime setting for voice and clear air Gwennyn, where new music, beautiful melodies and contributions of famous French-speaking authors like Gerard Manset, are heavily loaded.It rocks!
With:
Patrice Marzin: guitars (HF Thiéfaine, Calvin Russell, Gerard Manset)
Kevin Camus: uilleann pipes (piper of N. Le Roy)
Jean-Luc Aime: Programming (Elisa Vellia, Stabat Stable)
Patrick Boileau battery (G. Servat)

Sources:

http://www.gwennyn.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GwennynKanAnTevenn

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/senivideo/videos

Myspace music: http://www.myspace.com/gwennyn