Raise ‘Em All by Irish Moutarde

Raise ‘Em All by Irish Moutarde

cover

Members:

Mathieu Audet (guitars, drums, keyboard, lead & back vocals)
Fred Vandal (bass, guitar, lead & back vocals)
Jérôme Bélanger (lead guitars)
Christian Haerinck (great highland bagpipes)
Dominic Haerinck (banjo, mandoline)
Andrée-Anne McHalley (lead & back vocals, keyboard, bass)
Sébastien Malenfant (drums, guitar, bass, lead & back vocals)

Hometown: Quebec City

Another remedy for a depressing day is Canada’s Irish Moutarde. Electric guitars and bagpipes really go hand in hand. Raise ‘Em All is the band’s exciting release to date. They pride themselves as influenced by Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Great Big Sea,  and Traditional-Irish folk music.  What’s with the band title? Here’s a little trivia: The idea came from Jérôme’s brother, who proposed it as a pun on the French expression “relish-moutarde.” When the name was proposed to other Eerie(their former band) members, the favorable decision was again unanimous.They liked the name for two reasons: it said something about the band’s musical style, and it was both humorous and light.

This is true with what I discovered after listening to the entire album. It’s a loud, melodic and exciting collection which promises to keep you awake with good tunes. This happens to be their debut album after forming together in 2009. Elements of ska, punk, alternative rock and folk are showcased in all tracks.  Yes I keep dancing while listening to this album because the driving rhythm is really irresistible. Andrée-Anne Hallé has a good strong voice that shows flexibility. What I also noticed is the band’s use of vocal harmonies. My favorite track happens to be I Heard Jesus Was. You have to find out why.

There are also reflective ballads in the midst of the energetic tunes. For instance, Glasses to the Sky shows that Irish Moutarde can also break your hearts with their nuance. I think Olaf is a great driving or running tune. It has that soaring high energy. I love the drums! LLL is an instrumental focusing on the bagpipes. It starts with a slow mournful pace only to explode in the middle and end with a satisfying sonic richness.

The Fields of Athenry is their beautiful tribute to an Irish classic. I like the simplicity of just emphasizing on the male and female voice, the guitar and then occasional drums. The Wearing of the Green makes me want to get up and kick the chairs. It is such a fine tune. A Lad and a Hag ends the album with a nice ska- influenced rhythm. I think with this approach to music, the band will really create successful live shows and win more fans in the process.  I think they already did. They are big in Canada. Raise ‘Em All is composed of tunes that are both good live and on record! Check them out and feel the energy.

http://www.irishmoutarde.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/irishmoutarde
http://irishmoutarde.bandcamp.com/

 

Tune in to www.radio-happy.com this Saturday 4pm German time (10 am in Ontario) because I will be playing their song The Black Mill. A podcast of my radio show will be available a day or two after the show.

Irish Moutarde - Raise 'Em All - Promo

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See Maeve Gilchrist Trio, Rachel Davis etc in the Crossroads International Celtic Festival  in Western Maine

See Maeve Gilchrist Trio, Rachel Davis etc in the Crossroads International Celtic Festival in Western Maine

When the state of Maine comes up, it reminds me of Stephen King because that’s where he lives. Check out the movies on the list set in Maine( though not of them are by King): Salem’s Lot(2004 TV mini series), Home Alone, Andre, Dolores Clairborne, A Summer Place, Charlotte’s Web, The Cider House Rule, Parent Trap etc.

It’s such a pleasant surprise when the committee of the Crossroads International Celtic Festival informed me about this upcoming event which will be held in the month of September this year. What’s amazing is the mouth-watering lineup of amazing musicians that will ravish your thirsty soul that’s hungry for Celtic tunes. Oh yes I know you probably know them. Some of the artists already appeared in this site as part of my album review. Sounds like a growing “Woodstock” of Celtic music minus the riot hahaha.

I think you should see it. God know’s I’d see it if I live in the United States! These artists are from Canada and the United States so expect to hear Acadian, Cape Breton and Irish traditional music. Below is the complete press release. My big thanks to Charlene Williams for sending me the article:

Crossroads International Celtic Festival
Announces Artist Lineup

~ Festival to bring top acts to Western Maine ~

SOUTH CARTHAGE, Maine – The inaugural Crossroads International Celtic Festival (Crossroads) has lined up an impressive group of artists for the multi-venue concert series to be held Sept. 11 – 15 in several communities throughout Western Maine. Musicians from all over the Celtic world including Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Scotland, Ireland, and the U.K., as well as from across the United States, will join the finest of Maine’s musicians, singers, dancers, and storytellers.

Celtic Musicians Shannon and Matt Heaton

“We have taken great care to create the perfect mix of both performer and venue so the experience will be authentic and exciting,” said Phill McIntyre, artistic director of Crossroads.

In all, 18 live performances will take place along the scenic routes through the towns and villages of Rangeley, Stratton, Carrabassett Valley, Kingfield, Phillips, Farmington, South Carthage, Rumford, Oxford, Lovell, South Paris, Fryeburg, and Bethel.

Acts include David Munnelly & Mick Conneely from Ireland; the Maeve Gilchrist Trio from Edinburgh, Scotland; Buddy MacDonald and Sprag Session from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; and the Don Roy Ensemble of Portland, Maine. A complete list of artists can be found at http://crossroadscelticfestival.com/artists.

Celtic Musicians Mick Conneely and David Munnelly

Tickets went on sale July 1. Visit the festival website for the most up-to-date information.

A consortium of partner organizations has created this dynamic, cross-county festival to celebrate Celtic music, promote economic development in western Maine and support local arts organizations. Crossroads International Celtic Festival is sponsored by United Insurance, Linda Clifford Scottish & Irish Merchant, and supported in part by grants from the Maine Office of Tourism, the Maine Community Foundation, the Maine Arts Commission, Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation, and the Sugarloaf Region Charitable Trust.

###

About the Crossroads International Celtic Festival:
The Crossroads International Celtic Festival is a non-profit organization currently under the fiscal sponsorship of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments. Our large-scale, multi-venue festival showcases Celtic musicians of the highest caliber, and offers audiences a rich cultural experience while generating new opportunities for regional economic growth through cultural tourism. For more information, tickets or reservations visit the festival website or emailinfo@crossroadscelticfestival.com.

From  Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada; Arseneault are going to be part of the festival.
GenreAcadian, Cajun, Celtic

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Huzzah!

How are you weekenders? It’s another busy week that’s almost done. I’ve been busy with projects but I still have time to blog because I know you will be reading this. Perhaps I should let out bits of my life since you’ve been with me since 2009. I am still trying to adjust to the situation. It’s almost three months since my beloved mom passed away and I tell you, something like that changes you inside. It is hard to explain but whatever goals you had, or aspirations; they all seemed to have been swept away by this ravaging tide. No one is ever the same once he or she experiences that. But that is life and one has to go on living even though living sometimes feels like a chore. The years simply stretch beyond into this dream that one day, you will see that person you love the most. That is, if you believe in the after life. I don’t know. I am still looking fir something to believe in. I will take whatever I can. Be it music, art or the company of good friends. I will take it to keep me alive.

Ok, enough of heavy stuff, I want to show my support to the new Cara song. I saw this posted by the great piper Ryan Murphy. It’s their charity single. All proceeds go to Musiker ohne Grenzen (Musicians sans frontiers, Musicians without borders), a charity organisation that uses music to help people. There five projects right now in Ecuador, Jamaica and India. Info about the organization here:
www.musikerohnegrenzen.de or
www.youtube.com/user/musikerohnegrenzen

I love this tune. It’s the singing and the instruments. Cara are one of the best bands in Celtic music. If you have not heard of them yet you better check them out and buy their albums. You wont regret it. It’s one of the bands you have to hear before you die.

By this track for  €1 EUR .

NUA, Working On Their Full-Length Album

NUA, Working On Their Full-Length Album

NUA

NUA warming up the cold

Celtic Music Update: NUA

Something is cooking in the studio of this wonderful Canadian trio NUA. Yes you must have read my interview and review and you can tell by my enthusiasm that they won me over. Crisp and lush production combine with the best cuts from the recording-yes they have what it takes to turn heads/ears. A full-length album? Sounds wonderful. I know what to expect and it’s always a collection of amazing tracks. Have you heard their EP? If not, try to listen to the bandcamp playlist above and you will know what I mean. Since when have I featured less interesting music? You bet. So what’s up with this article?

I got a word out from award-winning bodhrán player Jacob McCauley regarding this new album. So how hectic were the past two months for the trio?

Last month was very hectic to say the least. We basically had set aside a week (the last week of June) for recording and spent the weeks leading up to it rehearsing and putting together new material. It was a little more rushed then we would have liked, as James and Graeme had just recently graduated from college and university and we had played very little in the last few months. But nonetheless we started putting in the time and things began to come together. As we entered the studio to record things weren’t 100%, but it’s quite common to often make changes or add things when you are in the recording zone. That was the case with some of our new material. We got the bulk of material recorded and we will be finishing off the rest in a couple weeks. James and Graeme are both involved in a music camp run by James’s family in B.C, so they are now in B.C for the camp and to spend time with their families. When they return we will be putting the finishing touches on the tracks so they can be ready for mixing, mastering and production.

I know this is too soon to ask but I was curious about the promo plans for the new album when it gets released. According to Jacob:

At the moment most of our focus has been on preparing the material and recording, so the promo plans have not been set in stone at this point. But there will of course be some of the usual online promotion. We will be releasing a single from the album a few weeks before the album officially releases, as well as some live concert footage of new material. We will also be doing a small pre-release run of copies, but those will only be for sale at the local festivals/concerts that we are doing this summer. Lastly, there will be a CD release party locally here in Toronto, but the date is TBA.

So there is going to be a CD release party. That sounds amazing!  I asked him what to expect in the new NUA album in terms of sound and concept:

Well, if you listened to the EP we released last November, then you will certainly have an idea of how we sound, but you can expect this full-length album to go much deeper. The EP was essentially just our 4 favourite original tunes at the time, recorded and presented in a simple format. It’s really a challenge to explain the concept without giving too much away, but to put it in plainest terms; the album will not be your standard album that simply goes from tune to tune. The layout of the album, what happens between track to track and the overall flow is all a reflection of our creativity and how we feel the album should be presented. From start to finish we want the album to reflect our moods and our feelings through each tune and leave the listener feeling as if they experienced a journey; however that journey makes them feel. It is most definitely the type of album to listen to from start to finish. I’m afraid that’s all I can say for now!

I really love the EP. So this is going to be a progression from the initial 4 tracks. When a band is releasing an album I am always curious about the distribution upon release. You see, there are other Celtic bands out there who are trying to brainstorm their way into this generation of releasing albums and I am always happy to help get the word out through my interviews with musicians. So I asked Jacob about  how’s the distribution for the release going to be:

The distribution will be fairly standard. It will be available on all major music sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play etc as well as our own websites. Physical and digital copies will be available. The release date is TBA, but when the released date is announced we will be taking pre-orders.

And as for  what made the three  of them decide that it’s time to release a full-length album? His answer:

Well, we actually did have enough material at the time of the EP last year to work on a full-length. But we felt that it was a better idea to record and release more of a teaser at that point in time to help get our name out there and give people a preview of our music. I think it’s safe to say that it always was evident that we also wanted to work on new material to add to the repertoire already composed as well as continuing to grow as a group. Now that James and Graeme have finished their musical studies and have more time to devote to the group, it made perfect sense to begin work on a full-length album. Once the album is out it will give us an opportunity to devote to many more concerts, festivals and tours.

Sounds like an ingenious plan to me. Testing the waters before diving!

And  the band’s message to NUA listeners?

On behalf of myself, James and Graeme we would like to thank all of our devoted listeners for their support and we are really looking forward to rewarding you with our full-length album. You can keep track of our progress via our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TRIONUA as well as our Reverbation page which has access to all of our music, videos and all other info: http://www.reverbnation.com/trionua

That’s it folks. Take note of the name : NUA. They are from Canada and they play wonderful instrumental Celtic music!

Postcards from Dundalk: A Wee Craic with Nuala Kennedy

Postcards from Dundalk: A Wee Craic with Nuala Kennedy

by Louis De Carlo

Dundalk, Scotland,Canada and anywhere in the world, Nuala Kennedy plays music for every ear.

Help me welcome this fantastic musician this week. She is Nuala Kennedy. She became the focus of my interview request after seeing a post by The Riverside Celtic Society announcing her Canadian tour. It’s to promote her third release  “Noble Stranger.” After seeing her youtube videos and listening to her tunes, I told myself that I have to get her story. She would make a wonderful featured artist. I was right.

You had a show in  Canada this 24th of February! You must been very excited to greet your Canadian listeners. After all we know how Canada and Ireland are linked closely.
It was great to visit Canada again. It’s a fantastic country with a wonderful connection musically with Celtic music in Ireland and Scotland, especially on its Eastern seaboard, in places like Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland. I love the diversity of Canada, from Vancouver and the stunningly beautiful west coast, to Toronto and Quebec. I’m looking forward to touring and exploring more there, but I do have a special fondness for Cape Breton, its culture and people resonate with me and I love playing there.

You have a jazzy approach to Irish and Scottish music. Where did all the vibes come from?
I wouldn’t say my approach is jazzy, but I guess there’s a few different influences in there side by side with the traditional music. Edinburgh in the late nineties was an incredibly inspiring place to be a traditional player, with a lot of sessions and different musicians crossing paths and playing together. That was a hugely influential time for me. I always had an interest in other types of music too, in songs, contemporary music and in American folk music from the sixties and seventies.

 Dundalk is the same place where The Corrs originated. It must be a wild place for Celtic music.Can you give us a Nuala Kennedy: Noble Strangerbackground of your musical development? Do you think that the environment plays a big role in an artist’s artistic direction?
Definitely. I learned to play the whistle at around age seven, with a local teacher Mary Grennell. She taught me tunes out of the back of a shoemakers shop at the end of town. After I had a few learnt, I joined a local ceilidh band, ‘Ceoltoiri Oga Oghrialla’ which had some great older players as members. People like Tiarnan O Duinnchinn and Suzanne, Lisa and Patrick Conway, Brendan Needham. Fantastic players all, and I think I learned a lot from playing alongside them in the band, without even realising it really.

I was also encouraged to be independent and think for myself from an early age, by my parents but also by teachers and particularly my art teacher in secondary school who was a big influence on me. I loved the practical aspect of creating, the fact that you have a tangible finished ‘something’ at the end of a period of work. In Edinburgh, where I first went to study at the College of Art, it was difficult not to be influenced by all the amazing music that was in the city at that time. I returned often to Dundalk, where I grew up, and played with Gerry O Connor, with whom I now perform in the band Oirialla. I still go home very regularly, and it’s very satisfying to play traditional music from my own native area.

What do you look forward to this year in terms of live shows and recordings?

I’m currently working on a duo record with Mike Bryan, the guitarist from my band. It’s called “A Wee Selection: Some Scottish Tunes on Flute and Guitar” We recorded a bunch of our favourite traditional Scottish tunes. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished CD! In a couple of weeks, we are launching Oirialla’s new CD. (Oirialla is an Irish trad. band featuring Nuala, Gerry ‘fiddle’ O’Connor, Martin Quinn and Gilles LeBigot) We are having a home town gig at the Square in Dundalk, as part of the Homecoming Festival. And I’m particularly excited about making my first trip to Alaska in September to play with John Doyle and Eamon O’ Leary. In October I’m taking the Snowflake Trio to Celtic Colours International Festival on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. The Snowflake Trio is myself, with Frode Haltli and Vegar Vardal, two incredible Norwegian musicians.

Can you cite other artists whose works inspired you?

by Louis De Carlo

Oliver Schroer was a huge inspiration to me. I also love Will Oldham’s singing and writing. I met the Birds of Chicago at Folk Alliance in Toronto this year, and really enjoyed their music. I’m a fan of lots of strong female singers and traditional musicians such as the late Ishbel Macaskill, Fiona Hunter, Kathleen MacInnes, Cathy-Ann MacPhee, Christine Primrose, Margaret Stewart, Padraigin Ni Uallachain, Catriona Mackay, Lori Watson, Shona Mooney… Also accordionists Martin Quinn and Julian Sutton. Of course Cathal McConnell continues to inspire me, especially with his musical musings on well known traditional tunes. I love his sense of creativity and the detail in his music.

 Top 5 albums you are listening to right now?

Some of my favourite albums at the moment include Mary Custy and Eoin O’Neill, Oliver Schroer’s Hymns and Hers, Rickie Lee Jones’ Traffic in Paradise, Devon Sproule “I Love You’ Go Easy”, Oliver Swain’s CD ‘Big Machine’ and Nels Andrews’ Scrimshaw.

I am curious how you would describe this as a flutist: What’s amazing about the flute?

That it’s a physical extension of the human body, powered by breath? That every aspect of my particular flute was made from scratch by hand by one artist, including all the keys and silver work. (It’s a Chris Wilkes flute.)

What other instruments do you love to play?

Whistle, piano.

Where can listeners buy your album?

They can get my album through: http://www.nualakennedy.com/store.htm

Your message to the readers.

Support live, local and independent music and art!

|| Nuala Kennedy » online store ||

www.nualakennedy.com

Enter The Haggis On The Road Interview

Enter The Haggis On The Road Interview

ENTER THE HAGGIS - THE MODEST REVOLUTION

Brian Buchanan: Vocals, Fiddle, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar

Craig Downie: Vocals, Highland Bagpipes, Trumpet, Harmonica, Whistle,
Acoustic Guitar, Bells

Trevor Lewington: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Octave Mandolin, Keyboards

Mark Abraham: Bass Guitar, Vocals

Bruce McCarthy: Drums, Percussion

This interview happened in the middle of the Enter the Haggis tour. Anita Daly became our go between because she has direct contact with the band and it made the communication easier between us. I made a review of their new album in my past edition and the band was pleased hahaha. So it was Trevor Lewington who answered all these questions. Let us welcome them as our band of the week!  Also check out the cool videos at the end of this interview.

Hi guys, my name is Baxter. I write for The Celtic Music Fan online magazine. I listened to your album in its entirety and have been meaning to conduct an interview with you since 2009. I am glad for this opportunity…. With the release of The Modest revolution, what do you think has changed in the musical aspect of the band?

Our last album, Whitelake, was recorded at a cottage and the overall vibe was pretty folky. We went down to a studio in Kentucky to record TMR and cranked the amps back up again. Songwriting remains our first priority but the arrangement approach was to bring the songs to new highs and lows dynamically-speaking. Brian (fiddle/keyboards) played basically ALL the electric guitar parts, which changed the sound of the band rather dramatically. Craig (bagpipes/harmonica) picked up the trumpet on our last album and his playing is really solid on this record.

     What are the technical aspects you have learned in terms of recording and playing live?An Instagram ETH photo taken by patrickc68! #enterthehaggis #irishfest http://instagr.am/p/W4SGG5GYhA/ - tag your photos #enterthehaggis to share them on our Page!
The experience of recording a new album always challenges us in different ways. Thanks to the success of our kickstarter campaign, we had more time than usual in the studio such that we didn’t feel rushed and were able to experiment with unusual sounds, parts or arrangement ideas. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes not, which is the exciting thing about experimenting!

In terms of the technical aspects of live performance, I don’t think anyone learned more than Brian. He’s always been a gear head but now that he’s playing electric guitar live he’s done a lot of research to get the right tones for all the new songs. Craig has added electric bagpipes to the live mix, which frees us up to play songs in more keys (the traditional highland pipes have a very limited range.) The highland pipes are still his instrument of choice but it’s nice to have the option of electric pipes.

     How’s the tour going so far?
Great! We had a crazy March run where we played some amazing venues, including a sold-out show at Turning Stone casino. We’re now in the middle of a Canadian run and will be heading over to Ireland soon. The new music really seems to be connecting with people, which makes performing It all the more enjoyable for us.

     Why the title The Modest Revolution?
It’s a quote from the front page of the  newspaper that inspired the album: “Harper’s Modest Revolution.” The gist of the article is that our prime minister is trying to sway Canada’s collective psyche to the right, but we’ve taken it to mean that “even a small gesture can be the beginning of positive change.”

What can you say about each of your band member in terms of being together through the years, playing and recording together?
Well it’s certainly been quite the ride. I feel like we’ve always just kept our heads down, writing the best songs we can and traveling around playing shows. Only recently have we noticed that we have an actual history! College kids are coming up to us and saying they started listening to us when they were kids. It makes us feel old until we realize that most if us were pretty young when we started making music together.
Personally, the longer we do this for, the more I appreciate the other guys in the band. Not only are they amazing musicians, but that there’s a respect for each other as people. Musically I think the growth as individuals and as an organism has been substantial. I feel like with this album we’ve only now come to understand what this band is – but don’t ask me what that is as I probably won’t have an answer.

    What’s your marketing goal for the album now that it’s release?
Being an independent band, we don’t Have a “marketing department” as such. I think the idea is to connect with as many people as possible who might enjoy what we do. This isn’t dumbed down pop music so it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s the way we like it. We’ve got an amazing group of dedicated fans and we feel like as long as we can make music that resonates with them they’ll want to share it with their friends. We’ve hired two publicists, a radio tracker and pay for online advertising but there’s no better advertising than getting up in front of a crowd and playing our asses off.

ETH has a kind of Celtic rock that is easily accessible. It is also radio friendly and universal. How are tracks conceived. What’s the science behind the songwriting? An Instagram ETH photo taken by patrickc68! #enterthehaggis http://instagr.am/p/W4SjyAGYhX/ - tag your photos #enterthehaggis to share them on our Page!
Haha… Seriously? Celtic rock is about as radio-friendly as… well, bagpipes. Being radio-friendly definitely isn’t our intention, although there are so many great specialty online stations these days that any style of music can find a home. I could go on for hours about songwriting but suffice it to say that I try to remain a student of it. There’s so much incredible music out there so it’s important to keep listening to as much of it as possible. As a band I think we’ve learned how to take on the roll of a producer by focusing on the best parts of a potential song and losing the parts that distract from that.

  Do you think you have reached the part in your musical career where you can breathe? For those aspiring Celtic rockers, what’s your top 5 list of things that they should remember when they want to make music as a career?
Can we breath? Absolutely not! I feel like we’re being chased by the Minotaur and are barely staying one corner ahead. We’re having a spark of success but with that comes the pressure to stoke the fire.
1.) don’t do it unless you must
2.) get regular servicing done on the van
3.) eat fresh vegetables
4.) book your hotels through Priceline
5.) don’t room with a band member who snores

   Where can fans buy your albums?
Come to a show! Or get them through our website, iTunes, Amazon and just about anywhere else online.

    What’s your marketing advise to all bands trying to court online and offline listeners?
Don’t call it marketing! Just try to connect with your fans as often as you can and don’t put out music just to put it out – make sure it’s something you’ll proudly play for your grand kids.

I hope that works! Thanks Baxter.

Ok there you go. I hope it gets to them, Trevor

Videos:

AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE MARCH 30TH.

Thanks to Zach McNees for cutting this together, and Daniel Roher for some of the footage. 🙂

#THEMODESTREVOLUTION #ENTERTHEHAGGIS

Sounds:

Links:

http://www.enterthehaggis.com
http://www.twitter.com/enterthehaggis
http://www.myspace.com/enterthehaggis
http://www.youtube.com/user/enterthehaggis
http://itunes.com/enterthehaggis

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Huzzah!

Welcome to our artist of the week edition featuring the band Enter the Haggis. For the whole week I will be putting updates in my Huzzah! column so that you will be informed about what’s going on with the band.

Now on a sad note I was shocked upon hearing the Boston Marathon explosion this Monday and the whole blogosphere mourns for the victims and their families. Actually I posted an essay on another site and I am glad to be able to talk about situations that belong to a particular venue and not just mix things up.

An Air For Boston – April 15, 2013

Here is a video that piper Patrick D’Arcy performed on the wake of the tragedy and I think this is very appropriate because Boston is one of the most Irish places in America. The Celtic Music Fan, being spiritually attached to Ireland mourns and condemns any violence inflicted upon the Irish and the rest of humanity.

My heart goes out to those affected by today’s bombings. May God help you all. This air came to me, The Wild Geese- Patrick D’Arcy

This is not just an American tragedy but a global one because people of all races were victims. And we are all human beings. We are not fighting people from another planet but our own kind. Very sad.

Violinist Sarah Frank of The Bombadils (Interview)

Violinist Sarah Frank of The Bombadils (Interview)

Also in this edition, music by:Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac,Grace, Hewat & Polwart – ‘disappearance set, Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video,MacKelmore & Ryan Lewis- “Irish Celebration”,Celtic Woman – Orinoco Flow,Clannad – I Will Find You, Connie Dover – Peggy and Her Gallant Soldier, Ma Zadig A Ma Mamm( Brittany) traditional Breton folk song,  Mary Jane Lamond – Bòg A’Lochain, Cheers – Bard, She Moved Through The Fair by Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley and presenting 67 Music!

Canadian violinist Sarah Frank  of  The Bombadils discusses creativity, singing and recording more this 2013!.”

Two album releases, live performances  and collaborations:  Sarah Frank is becoming one of Canada’s bright young star in the  folk scene. The prestigious McGill University school of music brought her, Luke Fraser Anh Phung, Evan Stewart and former member Noam Bierstone to form The Bombadils. I have watched their growth as a band since the release of their first album. Now the Bombadils are reaching out to new territories. Some of them made collaborations with other musicians(along with a solo project between Sarah and Luke Fraser) while still being true to their roots and going strong with their distinctive style of music.

Sarah Frank  is the four-piece ensemble’s violinist and vocalist. She has this sweet silky voice that sounds effortless even in the midst of playing a fast tune with her instrument. The Bombadils have traveled and played in different places all over Canada. The video diaries they created about their tour in the east coast were memorable. They played music and clowned around while on a VIA train ride. They are great and witty entertainers. After accomplishing interviews with one half of the band already, I’d say you better keep them on the radar. Because something is always going on. To hear them live is really worth it. And having The Bombadils music is to have something to keep you company when you long for a sound that’s inspiring, comforting and beautiful. Sarah Frank is our artist of the week.

CMF:What inspired you to pick the violin up as your main instrument?

Sarah Frank:When I was four years old, my parents asked me if I wanted to play violin or cello. I didn’t know what a cello was, and the word violin sounded familiar, so I said violin.

There were five of you in the band, unfortunately Noam left for France! How will the band be able to fit the new arrangement of four people in future recordings?

We’re sad that Noam left! We decided that he can’t be replaced. So now we have the challenge of finding percussion within our own instruments. Evan and I are incorporating more “chopping” (dropping the bow against the strings as percussion), and Anh is beat-boxing from time to time. Traditional bluegrass has been our main inspiration for finding a way to create percussion without a drummer.

Who are your earliest musical influences?  If we raid your record collection, what can we find there?

To be honest, I was really bad at listening to music when I was younger! But I listened to the Suzuki method violin recordings, as well as the music my dad had playing in the kitchen (Leonard Cohen, KD Lang, Neil Young, Dire Straights, Bob Dylan, Glenn Gould… lots more) and CBC radio. In the last few days I’ve been listening to The Monroe Brothers, random Youtube videos of Stuart Duncan, Meaghan Smith, Rose Cousins, and my friend, Rachel Baiman in her duo, 10 String Symphony.

Tell us about the Bombadils blog (http://thebombadils.tumblr.com/)now that we are seeing more updates plus more videos from you!

We’ve been meaning to make a blog and upload more videos for a while now, but it was put on hold while we were finishing up our studies at McGill University. We’ve all graduated now, so we’re happy to have more time to put into making videos and blog posts.

I love Hint! I see that it is the first time Luke’s mandolin playing is showcased on a video but you mentioned that he has played it before on various tracks. I also realize that Evan has this elegant style in composing music. Anh makes lush sound with her flute. What do you think of the whole band in terms of progressing musically?

I love the music that Anh, Luke, and Evan make! I also love playing with them because they know how to laugh and not to take themselves too seriously. I think this all brings positive energy to rehearsal and to the stage, and helps us remember that, even if the music isn’t perfect, (which it never is!) it’s appreciating how music brings people together that’s most important.

I think we have readers who are also independent musicians and band members and with this thought, would you care to share how Fill Your Boots came to be?Can you tell us the amount of work, time and also the financing aspects that shaped the album up to its release?

“Fill Your Boots!” was a lot of fun and took a lot of time, and it was all worth it. We were really lucky to have our friend, Duncan Ferguson, as our recording engineer and co-producer. The album served as a school project for him so we had access to the studios there, although the accessibility was limited to overnight. We often started recording at 11 P.M. and stopped around 4 in the morning. It took some getting used to, and we definitely got silly at times, but it all worked out. As far as the financial aspect of things, we used a website called Indiegogo to raise funds ahead of time. People were really supportive and pre-ordered CDs, t-shirts, and other goodies. http://www.indiegogo.com/the-bombadils

You have this certain style of singing which reminds me of how a flute sounds like. How did you achieve your technique and how do you maintain your voice through gigs after gigs.

I’m not someone who naturally knows how to project or sing with good technique, but I’ve always loved singing and really wanted to make that a regular part of the music I make. So when I was in high school I starting saving up money for voice lessons, and that’s still what I do. My teacher right now, in Montreal, is Jonathan Patterson, and I think he is the best ever. He really made me realize that the voice is an instrument to be learned like any other, and that different timbre, tone, and volume can be created if you practice just like you would practice another musical instrument.

What’s waiting for The Bombadils this 2013?

In February we are touring Alberta, and we’re looking forward especially to opening for Lennie Gallant at the Calgary Folk Club. We’re planning on touring the east coast of Canada again, and in the fall, we’d really like to make a big loop that will bring us through the eastern States. We’d also like to record more this year!

It seems this Canadian artist has a bright future! Check more of her and The Bombadils here:

Additional video:

Recorded at MMR studio at McGill University in Montreal.
Please visit http://www.audiolens.ca/site/ for more information.
—–
Band Members: Sarah Frank, Evan Stewart, Noam Bierstone, Luke Fraser, and Anh Phung
—–
Producer: Duncan Ferguson
Sound Engineers: Duncan Ferguson, Benjamin Smith
Video Editing: Denis Martin
Camera: Denis Martin, Phil Gosselin, and Pouya Hamidi

  Gallery

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Another online Celtic music site worth checking: 67 Music!
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This site is run by my friend Steve Behrens and it is one of the top notch sites in terms of promoting Celtic music. The site is also very easy to navigate and offers a variety of things that will keep you browsing for hours.
 What is 67 Music about:67 Music is a music media and promotions company exclusive to Celtic Music.  Our primary goal is to bring global attention and recognition to Celtic music in all it’s forms, and to the artists who make it.  We seek also to bring together organizations and companies into a tight knit Celtic community, inform fans of new events and releases, and maintain the grand heritage.
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Celtic music shuffle.
I will make it a habit to post diverse music as much as possible. This is a diverse musical culture we have embracing everything in a global scope.

Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac – “Seinn”

There is something about Mary Jane Lamond’s singing that’s intriguing and addicting!

Latest release from Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, “Seinn”, available at http://maryjaneandwendy.com/.

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Grace, Hewat & Polwart – ‘disappearance set’

Three amazing artists share the stage to render one of the most beautiful songs to come out of the Orkney Folk Festival. Each has something special to offer vocally and instrumentally.

Annie Grace, Corrina Hewat and Karine Polwart at the 2008 Orkney Folk Festival. This is the medley of songs they named the ‘disappearance set’, teasingly nicknamed by Martin Simpson their ‘separation anxiety set’. I like how the power surges around 4:54.

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  Best Bluegrass Clog Dancing Video Ever Made

Aside from the fact that it is in black and white, it conveys an old world authenticity.  The music is amazing. It is by filmmaker David Hoffman. You can get this video from amazon and also from www.thehoffmancollection.com

About: Visit http://www.createspace.com/204609 to get this entire program.Each scene in this classic bluegrass documentary present incredible mountain music and dancing. Bluegrass Roots lets you experience the real people and music that dominated the southern mountains 50 years ago. It presents the most extraordinary singers, players and dancers the BlueGrass Mountains had to offer. Most of the songs are classics, including Mountain Dew. This scene was filmed at Bascom Lunsford’s home in his living room. When the film aired on TV, TV Guide gave it a full-page review because most Americans had never seen Bluegrass and Country music.
David Hoffman – filmmaker

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MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – “Irish Celebration” (Official Music Video)

This video has already received 4.4million views in youtube. It is rap and contains explicit expression.

PRODUCED BY – Ryan Lewis
VIOLIN – Andrew Joslyn
TRUMPET – Owuor Arunga
ADDITIONAL VOCALS – Tim Haggerty, Noah Goldberg

DIRECTOR: Stephan Gray
DP – Ryan Purcell
B CAMERA – Stephan Gray
C Camera – Ryan Lewis
AC – William Brody & Conor Hair
GAFFER – Tred Baylis
KEY GRIP – Blue Boy
HAIR/MAKEUP – Shawn Shelton
PRODUCER – Bret Seeger
EDIT – Stephan Gray

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Celtic Woman – Orinoco Flow

This is a great performance . I admire the production everyone has put up to keep this together. This is a song composed and performed originally by Enya and it reach the top of the UK and US charts in 1989.

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Clannad – I Will Find You (Official video)

Wow it took me decades to find an official video to the song taken from the first ever Clannad album I got.

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Connie Dover – Peggy and Her Gallant Soldier

If Ever I Return is an amazing album filled with artfully crafted songs and timeless melodies. Connie Dover is a gem to be listened to for generations. What attracted me to this song is the tempo and also the love story between Peggy and her lover soldier.

You can get her recordings here: http://www.conniedover.com/recordings.shtml

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MA ZADIG A MA MAMM ( BRITTANY) traditional Breton folk song

Wow I am glad I stumbled upon this amazing song from Brittany!

Brittany,vocals, frame drums, Breton, Celtic folk songs, traditional
Celtic folk music, Adam Reid, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, SANDRA REID – VOICE

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Mary Jane Lamond – Bòg A’Lochain

This is the 6th track  from her album Suas E!

Lyrics and translations here: http://www.maryjanelamond.com/lyrics/suas/6.htm

Listen to more of Suas E! Here: http://www.myspace.com/maryjanelamond/music/albums/suas-e-16152627

You can view her entire catalog via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Jane-Lamond/e/B000APADAM

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She Moved Through The Fair by Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley

Info: Celtic Twist’s unique take on this timeless classic. Arranged and performed by Phil Holland and Dave Palmley of Celtic Twist. From their album Twist in the Tale available by writing via the contact form on the website.http://hollandandpalmley.wix.com/celtictwist

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 Cheers – Bard (Official Music Video 2012)

They project high energy live shows and amazing musicianship.Members are from the Czech Republic which is now a place with growing Celtic scene headed by bands like Poitin and also the band from this video Cheers!

Celtic Folk-Punk
http://bandzone.cz/cheers
Režie: Pája Junek + motivy z filmu Stakonický dudák (Karel Steklý, 1955)
http://www.junekfilm.cz

Celtic Music Whimsy

Celtic Music Whimsy

In this edition:  Enda Seery, Fraser Fifield, Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley, The Picts, Irish Music Ottawa Blog, and 9 Celtic music videos from youtube!

Videos: Seth Lakeman-Race to be King, Loreena McKennitt-Dante’s Prayer, Fraser Fifield- ‘Drawing Maps’, Rachel Hair Trio-Tsunami Jack, Eluveitie-Inis Mona, Enya-Book of Days, The Chieftains/Sean Keane-Drowsy Maggie, Seamus Ennis-An Poc Ar Buile and Ashley Macisaac-News Show in Japan.

Night Swimmers III by Eva McCauley

Night Swimmers III by Eva McCauley

How I got saved by a 16-year old artist!

I have a confession. Around Monday of last week, I was getting anxious because I usually have the Artist of the Week ready for publishing every the next day. But everyone was busy due to the holiday rush and no one was able to commit. Yours truly was experiencing panic. When I set a schedule, I stick to it not because I have a boss. After all, I own this site, no one pays me to write and I don’t earn my living by blogging. It is my passion for Celtic music and musicians that drive the itch. I have no partner in this. The same goes for my other blog Sphere Music. I do everything from ground up including the design and the decision of what I am going to feature next.

If you want to be part of my upcoming artist of the week, it is so simple. I get my recommendation from (your)peers in the music scene. Also, when I set my sights on you, then you get to be featured here. I write for the readers but I also write for the musicians. It is a practical thing to do. It helps musicians get to know other talents and this could be beneficial if they are looking for someone to jam with when they are in another country. From England, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall, Isle of Man, North America and other parts of the world, I have started building a network of artists. I feel like a super spider! Bloggers have the passion to keep the music scene alive. We are the Rolling Stones, Hot Press and Billboard magazine of Celtic music-well maybe not your typical journalism major but I try to make it interesting as much as possible.

Now we were talking about the incident last week right? Well it was the 16 year old Quinn Bachand who saved me. He’s the one who’s able to commit and he did an interesting interview! You can read this week’s interview about him to know more.

So what do we have for the start of the year?

Síocháin na Tuaithe Preview (New Album from Enda Seery in 2013)

Enda Seery is very excited about the release of his second album scheduled this year. He sent me demo clips of the few album tracks and they sound really amazing even in their rough states. I am sure the finished album will be fantastic.

16 tracks of Traditional Irish Music and Song… Coming soon in 2013!

http://www.endaseery.com

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A Flurry of Recordings from Fraser Fifield

Guess who is hardworking this year and last year in the world of Traditional and Jazz music? Fraser Fifield is everywhere. Here is a nice article where he appeared: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/music/music-news/scottish-jazz-federation-launch-tours-1498666  He recently got his left arm broken. Get well soon Fraser!

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My House by Celtic Twist/Holland and Palmley

From Phil and Dave: “Everyone has a dream…however small, however simple…as long as its your dream and it makes you happy”.

This is a beautiful song!I like how Phil’s vocal style has evolved. It is softer and warmer now. I really love these guys. I mean they are not just part of my favorite circle of Celtic musicians but they also full of love and support. Wonderful friends and wonderful musicians. Such a rare combination.

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The Picts New Year Concert

Check out the photos from Douglas McQueen Hunter and the rest of  The Picts.

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Irish Music Ottawa Blog

I am proud to represent one of my peers from Canada. This is one of the most comprehensive sites I have ever seen. If you are in a band, an avid Irish music listener, if you are looking for gigs or want to know what’s going on, check this site. According to Craig who runs Irish Music Ottawa: This not-for-profit webpage provides links to primarily Ottawa Valley, and Irish Traditional Music (ITM), activities in, or within a few hours of the Ottawa / National Capital Region of Canada.  Music is a shared experience between musicians and the audience. That’s the spirit!

http://www.irishmusicottawa.ca/

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The rest of my facebook posts:

I love posting videos on facebook because I am driven by the mood of the moment and the kind of music that suits that mood. I was looking back and I already posted a lot this week so I am sharing this with you in case we are not facebook friends. Just to give you an idea what I thought were hot music!

Happy New Year!!!

Quinn Bachand: Teen Power in Trad Music (Interview)

Quinn Bachand: Teen Power in Trad Music (Interview)

Also in this edition: Mànran – Latha Math, Simple Celtic Phrases and Eluveitie – Live @ Graspop Metal Meeting.

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Young Canadian Celtic guitar superstar Quinn Bachand exclusive interview with The Celtic Music Fan.

At 13 Quinn Bachand already shared the stage with notable names in Celtic music. He has videos all over youtube performing with the likes of Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac. It is amazing to remember that it’s been only a few years since he and his sister Qristina got catapulted into Canada’s capital of Celtic music-the East Coast from their native British Columbia, and finally  the world. Yes like any teenager he goes to school and does his homework . It seems this year is very musical for the Bachands so I decided to get an update. The last interview I did with him was April 13 of 2011.

To be 16 and being serious in doing the kind of music he likes, what is it like?  There is also this question I wanted to ask but was not included in my first interview: Why trad music and not other types of music in an age where teenagers do dance or rock? Quinn gives surprising answers to this interview:

Your tour calendar says your next performance will be on January 26 , 2013 with “Quinn Bachand and Friends – An evening of Celtic, Roots and Jazz Music.” What are you busy doing these days?

Yes, Qristina is living in Amsterdam, so we haven’t been doing as many smaller/in-town gigs. More festivals and a concert here and there. We’re doing a tour of the Yukon in February, that will be a lot of fun. I’ve just started a group with my friend Richard Moody, from “the Bills”, and “Acoustically Inclined” so we’re just getting started. It will be Richard and I with rhythm guitar and bass playing the music of Django Reinhardt, “Gypsy Jazz.”

You have just finished doing  the Celtic Christmas Ceilidh show with your sister at the Knox. How was it?

The Christmas concert was a lot of fun! It was sold out, which is great since Qristina was coming all the way from Amsterdam. It was wonderful to see so many of our friends from Victoria that we hadn’t seen in a long time, and new ones too!

Please tell me more about this wonderful video:Lady Be Good – Performed by Richard Moody, you & Aaron Watson.

 

That is Richard and I, with our friend Aaron Watson. That was the first time we ever played together. It was a jazz vespers gig in Deep Cove, Saanich (Victoria). We’re playing the old Gershwin classic, Lady be Good!

It’s been more than a year since you and your sister released the album Family. How are things in the recording aspect of both your careers? Any plans for a new album?

I’ve been looking at making a solo album myself of a lot of different things, from straight ahead Celtic stuff with me on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and whatever else, to jazz. And everything in between like French Canadian waltz with Adrian Dolan on accordion, and old time Canadian swinging tunes with Daniel Lapp on the fiddle or trumpet. It’s all being thrown around and we haven’t made any decisions. I have recorded a couple of Celtic demos though.

Qristina and I are also planning on doing another record. She’s been growing a lot as a vocalist, so it would have a lot more songs on it than the last one. She’s learned a lot of awesome tunes while she’s been in Amsterdam so she’ll throw those all on the table!

Your Mom Marie is very supportive of your music. Does she go with both of you on tours?

Our mom does manage us, since I was so young (still kinda am) she or my dad, have been going with us on our tours. But I’m older than I was before and touring with ma big sis is alright with them! As long as we don’t kill each other it’s all good. Qristina’s boyfriend, Felix, will be our referee on this Yukon tour coming up.

If you were given a chance to create your own band on the side, what kind of music would it be and what instruments would be included?

I couldn’t really decide! There’s so many  instrumental arrangements of the style of music I play, alone. And so many styles I haven’t ever played that I like to listen to. A lot of those elements are slowly coming into Qristina and my set. I’ve just bought a midi bass pedal (a foot organ) that I can control to do bass notes, or swells (that you can hear on the last album). Things like that will allow me to play more banjo and fiddle in the set.

Now that you have toured the world and played with the best artists in the scene, what’s the reception like when you go back to your native British Columbia?

We’ve had the honour of playing with a lot of great musicians and some of our idols. I’m 16 so I’m still in school and my life is kind of separate from the music stuff. A lot of kids at my school don’t know about my music. It’s very separate. But the people in the music scene here are still the same towards me, we respect each other!

Being in an age where you can literally do anything musically and somehow get away with it, what makes you stick to traditional music instead of doing the things that other people do, meaning pursuing either mainstream rock or pop?

I really love trad music. It rocks pretty hard I think. I listen to some of that stuff though, and threw some cool effects from the electric guitar on the last album tastefully, and we’ll keep doing that and experiment.

More of Quinn and Qristina: www.qbachand.com

Videos:

A set of reels we captured in our hotel room during Kansas City Irish Fest 2011. The tunes are The Dash to Portobello (by Sean Ryan) and I believe the second tune is Jim Donoghue’s. The whistle is an MK low D made by Misha Somerville, Quinn’s guitar made by by his dad, Adrian Bachand.-Zach Leger.

Gallery

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Featured video:Mànran – Latha Math

Manran hit the UK top 40 which is a wonder considering that the song is entirely in Gaelic and yes it is such an honor to celebrate the distinctive style, freshness and the coolness of the Celtic circle!

Info: Mànran are the hottest new band on the Scottish music scene. Combining driving accordion, fiddle, Highland pipes, Uilleann pipes and flute with powerful songs in English and Gaelic, all underpinned by rocking drums and bass. Though the band is a fairly recent collaboration, each member has been dazzling crowds in Scotland and throughout the world with various line-ups for a number of years but now unite to create Mànran: the fresh, unstoppable sound of modern Gaelic Scotland. Since coming together in June 2010 the band have already played at festivals in Europe and Scotland. The band have enjoyed gigs at Celtica in Italy, The Hebridean Celtic Festival in Lewis and are looking forward to a busy 2011.

Mànran are hoping to become the first band in the 21st century to take a Gaelic song into the official UK top 40. The song, “Latha Math,” was written by lead singer Norrie MacIver and it will be released on the 17th of January. It will be available for download only on iTunes. The single was produced by two of the countries top producers, Calum Malcolm (Wet Wet Wet, Simple Minds and Runrig) and also legendary accordion player and musician Phil Cunningham.

After a very successful start to 2011 after appearing on the BBC Alba hogmanay show the band are now turning their attention by making history and taking “Latha Math” to the UK Top 40!!

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Simple Celtic Phrases:

Saying good night in all the Celtic languages:

Codladh sámh-Irish

Oidhche mhath-Scottish

Nos da-Welsh

Nos dha-Cornish

Ken ar wech all-Breton

Oie vie-Manx.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Celtic languages:

Bliain úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise duit!-Irish

Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ùr! -Scottish

Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda-Welsh

Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa-Manx

Nedeleg laouen ha bloavezh mat-Breton

Looan Blethen Noweth-Cornish.

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Eluveitie – Live @ Graspop Metal Meeting, 23.06.12

Thanks to YouTube’s improvement we can now view a full concert. This one is by Celtic metal band from Switzerland . They are called Eluveitie. From wiki: The lyrics are often in the extinct language Gaulish. The name of the band comes from graffiti on a vessel from Mantua (ca. 300 BC).[10] The inscription in Etruscan letters reads eluveitie, which has been interpreted as the Etruscan form of the Celtic (h)elvetios (“the Helvetian”), presumably referring to a man of Helvetian descent living in Mantua.

Visit the band website: http://eluveitie.ch

Video is Published on Jun 25, 2012

Captured by Stucker
http://www.eluveitie.ru

00:00 Prologue
01:05 Helvetios
05:20 Luxtos
09:40 Neverland
14:20 Meet the Enemy
18:20 A Rose for Epona
22:45 Inis Mona
28:40 Alesia
33:10 Uxellodunon
38:30 Kingdom come Undone
42:35 Havoc
47:33 Epilogue

Terry Kelly, Mickey Harte and Merlins Nose Records‏

Introducing an amazing Canadian artist, A German record label, Album Review, Loreena McKennitt and Picture of the day.

“It was kind of cool to work the sound board for him, because my dad said that when he was in university Terry used to play upstairs in the student union building. Another really cool thing  is that the choir I sang in, did one of his songs a few years ago but I didn’t know who he was so I didn’t realize it until he started playing the song. He sounded so good live.”-Layne Greene

Ever wonder how I got my fresh ideas for this site? Yes, I have good friends whom I spend hours and hours discussing musical stuff. So, apart from getting direct messages from bands themselves, I also get word of the mouth from this or that who knows this or that.

After one song I warmed up to Terry Kelly right away. Fans of Dave Gunning will love his music and yes he is also Canadian! You hear different  influences in his music ranging from Bluegrass, Irish to Pop rock. In My Father’s House (the video you see above) has an amazing fiddle part and the video is also well done. His voice combines strength and tenderness. The music lifts the soul, casting your burdens aside. So, to all of you who are having a hard time, those who are trying to heal from a broken heart or a terrible situation, the music of Terry Kelly is a perfect remedy. Not too heavy on the sugar, good calorie count and full of goodness.

http://www.terry-kelly.com/

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Record label to check out: Merlin’s Nose Records‏

Merlin's Nose records giving you ambient, pagan folk and other interesting releases

Merlin’s Nose records giving you ambient, pagan folk and other interesting releases

Those who love ambient sound with something medieval and folk then Merlin’s Nose Records have great stuff for you. The company is based in Germany and it sells records in various format. These tracks you hear are just samplers of the great things to come. Visit their site to browse through the catalog. http://www.merlins-nose.com/index_1.htm

Music sampler:

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Album Review: Mickey Harte: Forward to Reality

The music of Mickey Harte is easy to the ears and it goes down smoothly. There are enough hooks to appeal to both pop and rock listeners. His voice has the characteristics as Rod Stewart and Sting or a combination of both. The album booklet has a nice biography that will explain how this recording came into reality. It also shows black and white photos of the studio with the artist and crew during recording sessions. The album has 13 catchy pop rock songs , artfully crafted but they also made sure to retain that raw energy courtesy of sound Engineer Dave Hill.

The songs are typical adult alternative music that talks about relationships, the tragedy, redemption of love and things in between. There are folksy sensibilities in songs like Bordertown, Living in our town, Unstoppable train  and my personal favorite Broken Love. Mickey Harte has a voice possessing a wide range of expression and layers. In I like the way you think, his voice go really deep and sensual in a Chris Isaak croon.

So what about the instruments? Expect to hear Hanson guitars, alto trombone and the usual mix of keys, bass and drums. The recording and mastering took place inside 1 Bit Studio in Chicago IL. Interesting results happen when artists from the Emerald Isle let American sound engineers do the final touches. All in all Forward to Reality is one strong album that is poised to satisfy a wide range of listeners from the musical spectrum.

https://www.facebook.com/mjharte

http://mickeyhartemusic.com

Album Sampler

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Featured Video: Loreena McKennitt – Penelope’s Song (HQ)

“Penelope’s Song”, from the DVD Nights From The Alhambra (2007) and the album, An Ancient Muse (2006).

I love the way her voice wraps itself around you. It is a voice that moves the soul. I know there is no one else who sounds like her in the world.

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Picture of the day:
Celtic Helmet, 4th Century BC, Found at Agris Charante, France. Taken from The Celtic & Prehistoric Museum

 Celtic Helmet, 4th Century BC, Found at Agris Charante, France.


Celtic Helmet, 4th Century BC, Found at Agris Charante, France.

New mp3 samples for your listening pleasure..

Featuring:Layne Greene, Coda, Mickey Harte, Andrew Slim Black, Dan Aston and James M Law!

Good day folks. I spent the whole day listening and uploading songs. This happened because I received recordings from the following artists and it is nice to credit their work as well as getting you to know them one by one. Music helps us remember and it eases our pains and anger. I love the fact that music is my substitute for tons and tons of chocolate I could have swallowed trying to ease the blues of the past few weeks. I am glad to tell you that I am ok now. It  could have been difficult without music. I am featuring one by one. I have CDs on my shelf right now but I can’t cram them all here. Instead, I will take it one at a time. I am giving you a sampler at the end of this article. That way you will decide what artist you are going to pick up when you start shopping for records.

Pre release : Layne Greene EP

A new EP by Canadian folk musician Layne Greene (who is based in Nova Scotia) is in the works for final release. There are four tracks in the EP : Break, Iron Town, Winter Song and Working Man. Some of these tracks have been uploaded via his youtube, soundcloud and myspace pages. The only difference is that he actually made modifications and worked with jazz guitarist Alex MacNeil. Alex has a friend by the name of Shawn Bisson. Shawn did all the mixing/engineering for the session. He’s an actual sound engineer, and he just happened to be around and tagged along for the session. The artwork will be done by graphic artist Julie Meyer. For the  sample of Iron Town please refer to the bottom of this article where I posted all the sound samples for your listening pleasure.

Lyrics of Iron Town:

Words and music by Layne Greene

We built this town
on island waters
we wear ourselves down
with ropes and shovels

while days go by
and we sleep away
our time

we’ll wake to find
a restless state of mind
and all our thoughts
are leaving this place behind

while days go by
and sleep away
our lies

and we build the round
this iron town
and we’ll sit around
in our iron town
in our town

Lyrics printed with permission to the composer.

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Featured Videos: Coda-The Briar & The Rose/Elsafty, Armstrong & Browne in Concert

I like Tom Waits and when my friend Jimmy sent me a link to this video I was pleasantly surprised.  I was hooked. I keep on looking and listening. These guys gave me goosebumps! The second video is interesting in a sense that it is the most ‘traditional’ of all my post.

Róisín Elsafty — vocal
Siobhán Armstrong — early Irish harp
Ronan Browne — Union pipes, bansuri, tin whistle

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Our pic of the Day: Moya Brennan and Family

Moya Brennan: Going to Glastonbury with the family. We’ll all be performing the Croissant Neuf Stage Saturday afternoon. Maybe see you there? 3 June 2011
Tim , Moya, Paul and Aisling Jarvis. The reason why I found this photo fascinating is because it tells us that Irish music will always be a family affair. It is nice to see Moya and family looking relaxed and ready for musical action.

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Listening To: Mickey Harte-Forward to reality

I got a big surprise when I received a complimentary CD in the mail.

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Featured MP3s

Iron Town is taken from an upcoming EP. Title is in the works.

Bordertown is taken from an album Forward to Reality to be officially launched on September 16.

Peggy Gordon is taken from the new album of Andrew “Slim” Black called Gallows Tree Tales.

Way Home by Dan Aston. He is a singer/songwriter based in Cornwall. He is working on a debut CD which will be out in 2013.

The Thistle and The Daffodil by James M Law.