Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Holiday Releases from Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy,The Gothard Sisters and SeaStar!

Plus Kyle Carey’s Kickstarter update, The Celtic Social Club and Friday Frolics.

Well well well, lads and lassies my mailbox is buzzing! Music keeps coming in from all sides and this is the busiest holiday so far. There is just so much music to taste (with my ears of course). So first up…

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

It’s been a while since I heard major releases from these two Canadian artists. I never thought it would be a holiday album with their combined musical talents. I am yet to listen to A Celtic Family Christmas so I can post a reactionary entry.

Here’s an in-depth info from their website for those who are curious. Again my big thanks to Anita Daly for always pointing me to the great artists! The album is available from

 iTunes, Amazon and the  Linus label store. The latter also sells other Canadian Celtic music artists of you are curious. Really worth checking out!

“For the album A Celtic Family Christmas, we’ve taken some classic Christmas songs and flavored them with our own brand of Celtic tradition,” says Natalie MacMaster. “We have celebrated Christmas in a big way our entire lives and finally have recorded the music. What ease and joy with which it came pouring out!”  She continues. “Many Christmas songs have gorgeous melodies that stand strong as instrumental pieces and I want it to stay with our fans throughout the holidays and beyond.”

The album creates a counterbalance between both the traditional and modern. Donnell says, “I feel there is a lot of depth behind the melodies and meanings. What I love about this record are the layers of ancient instruments, weaving through and around one another to create a Celtic Christmas tapestry.”

Please visit http://www.acelticfamilychristmas.com or for additional information on Natalie MacMaster visit www.NatalieMacMaster.com and for information on Donnell Leahy visit www.DonnellLeahy.com

Sound great right? I’ve always considered these two as the ‘stalwarts’ of Celtic music. They are the force of nature in the industry, bringing old and new fans together with every release. I am so excited to listen to the album to let you know what I think.

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New Christmas Album: Falling Snow by The Gothard Sisters

Have you seen any of their YouTube videos? If you haven’t yet, you should. They are amazing stage performers and they combine their mastery of the visual as well as musical side of their careers. They have a new album out, just perfect for the holidays.

Falling Snow will be released in the middle of December (16th to be exact) and I am sure this will enchant listeners.

“It was high time for a new Christmas album featuring the songs we’ve been playing at the Christmas shows over the last few years – there were many great songs and arrangements just begging to be recorded,” says Greta Gothard.

“The music of Christmas is so beautiful, it has been a delight to work on these arrangements of eight classics – Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Still Still Still, Winter Wonderland, Skater’s Waltz, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, French Carol (Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant) and Joy to the World, as well as including two new tunes that the band wrote – Christmas Flower and The Happy Elf.”

The press release adds that  although the sisters are known for their Celtic music styles, their western American heritage can be heard in their music. This has always been part of their specialty as a trio and the fusion works positively. Expect magical sounds wrapped in sweet melodies floating, bright as tinsel in the cold magical air! Christmas is coming!

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SeaStar is a blend of both the old and the new, the tranquil and passionate, the dramatic and playful.-Official band website.

Here’s another American band bringing to us cool music. They are called SeaStar. I love that name! They describe themselves as an original Celtic Folk band from Seattle.Seattle is also the original home of Grange music in the 90s, if you remember. The same place in the western United States with many Loreena McKennitt devotees.

There are four members  who are also friends ” who love to play music and share stories with others.” Another interesting background is that they already toured around Ireland, Scotland and other places in Europe.They even shared the stage with notable performers  like Dougie MacLean.

The new album is called Never Go Back. The band described the music as “Dusty dreams, salty seas, and a few silver linings tangle with powerful vocals, contagious melodies, and singable choruses.” They also promised to ” bring together a unique fusion of Celtic, Americana, Folk, and Bluegrass.”

Sounds like an interesting combination! I will post my reaction after I’ve listened to the whole album so watch out for that.

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Kyle Carey has reached her Kickstarter goal with 102% this week. This is really good news because it means her fans are passionate about what she does. I am so excited that the new album will happen and we are all part of it! Congratulations Kyle!

I received this link from the Facebook Celtic Music Fan page and it is an interesting concert held in Brittany. They are called The Celtic Social Club. And judging from the Reggae infused music, they are very inclusive  and they keep the listeners groovin.’ Just look at those people! Visit their website to know more.

 

Have you also heard of the Friday Frolics? They are a Celtic/Folk band from Barcelona Spain. I remember featuring a band from Spain before called Aulaga Folk so I feel a bit nostalgic.
Their  second album is called  Factor 3,has just been released. I haven’t heard the new album yet but I will post the entry here when I am done listening. Their Facebook page is right down below. Check out the amazing video. The music will blow you away. Sooo good!

facebook.com/FridayFrolics

 

Dropkick Murphys And Mentionables

I like the way this blog has turned into an interactive page. We have musicians postings along with listeners. There is an influx of so much ideas and inspirations that I am grateful to be part of it all. Remember, you are the stars of this page. I am merely the moderator.

I feel so drained after talking to 32 people today,  But music has a way to take it all away. It is true that great songs are like ships that sail is into far distant places that only the mind can conceive. Celtic music is always and evocative  Celtic music has vehicle.  Unlike most of the music that usually receive the Grammys, this type of music has a Robin Hood appeal to it. But while Robin Hood is  a British Hero( and I am pro Irish or anything in the seven Celtic nations which excludes Great Britain) this page champions diversity.

So what’s the commotions?

New Album Basting The Speakers: Celtic Punk

It looks like a lot of people are talking about Dropkick Murphys latest album Going out of Style. I checked out whats the deal. It’s been four years since they released their album The Meanest of Times. Now they are back to rock the house. They even enlisted Bruce Springsteen to sing one of their songs Peg o’ My Heart.There are ballads amidst the ska induced tunes.  After all this is a band that encourages you to get up and slam rather than sit and relax…which works for me sometimes when I need an exercise. There is this nice bagpipe into in Deeds Not Words.

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Cape Breton’s Best Music Mix, The Coast 89.7

Celtic and otherwise , this is a station that suits my mood today: breezy. I just feel like taking a long ride closing my eyes while the sun is filtered by the trees and everything feels new. Listening to this station takes you to the heart of Cape Breton. There are also new breaks and other informative stuff you will love to check out. You can listen to live streaming through the website: http://www.coastalradio.ca/

Bands for Celtic Weddings

For people who wants to express love through rings, this is the best guide for you. Beautiful designs if you ask me.  http://shoes-sizes.net/eternity_wedding_bands/celtic-wedding-bands-celtic-wedding-bands-probably-the-best-irish-wedding-rings-you-can-find/

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Celtic Good Reads:

If you dig the culture not just for the music but for academic purposes, then check this link for Celtic Literature’s Good Reads.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/726306-teresa-read-all-over-reviews?shelf=celtic-studies

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The 6th Annual CELTIC MUSIC NIGHT

Friends in Massachusetts, this is the time to get together and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in your way. Beautiful night of piping, dancing and other instrumental playing. Plus performances by John Sullivan, champion highland dancer Morgan Pell, world medal holders Irish step dancers Tracey Manning-Dingee and Greg Murphy, and the national youth snare drum champion, Quinn McCormack, as well as harpist Anne Paus, a former member of the Cape Cod symphony. More here: http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php/2011/02/28/6th-annual-celtic-music-night-to-be-held?blog=225

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List of recommended Celtic Punk/Irish Rock Bands:

The Pogues
Flogging Molly
Flatfoot 56
The Tossers
Blood or Whiskey

Fiddler’s Green

The Tossers

Gaelic Storm

Add your own list 🙂

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Irish Country And Blues


Country music lovers will give this a listen. Patrick Wall’s I’ll Sail My Ship Alone. I am putting my Hank Williams record back to the shelf an give this a try. Buy it here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/patrickwall

Afro Celt Sound System are Back!

My goodness! I just realized I haven’t finished my article for today. So instead of giving you full I am just giving you one news. But not to disappoint you, I will post some videos here which you might find interesting. Anyway see you tomorrow or the next day…

This video features Peter Gabriel on vocals.

This one is with Iarla O’Lanaird

If your musical orientation is somewhere between Peter Gabriel and Dead Can Dance, then I’m sure you never passed an opportunity to get the first album of The Afro Celt Sound System titled Volume 1: Sound Magic when it first came out in 1996. In the Science lab of sound, imagine this:  Iarla O’Lanaird’s sean nos singing meets African and Irish instruments seal that off with irresistible rhythm built from modern technology and bam! You get one of the most powerful concoctions that can render people speechless and hypnotized. To quote from their website: Released in 1996, Sound Magic combined acoustic performances on bodhran, talking drum, Celtic harp, African kora, uilleann pipes and Irish whistles with 21st-century programming and grooves, and married ancient singing traditions from Ireland and Kenya to keyboard drones and techno beats. Rather than sounding kitschy or disparate, the end result was surprisingly cohesive… and beautiful. Getting that hulk of an album, I’m sure you became a fervent collector up to this time when they have established themselves in the music world(after a 5-year hiatus, they are back this year with an album and tour news).  They caught my attention when they performed live in Gael Force way back ’97 an from then on, I never let the band off my radar. More at   www.myspace.com/afrocelts and  afroceltsoundsystem.net/
Upcoming Shows ( view all )
Jul 15 2010 12:00P
Hebridean Celtic Festival, Scotland. GB
Jul 17 2010 12:00P
Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic. CZ
Jul 25 2010 12:00P
Womad UK, Charlton Park, UK. US
Aug 29 2010 12:00P
Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Shrewsbury, UK GB
Sep 4 2010 12:00P
Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Ireland IE
Nov 2 2010 7:30P
Barbican London, London, UNITED KINGDOM Find Tickets

Celtic Colours International Festival hoists sails for 14th season!

Hi folks, please check this out:

Celtic Colours International Festival hoists sails for 14th season!

33 communities host shows in 2010

One of the things that sets Celtic Colours International Festival apart from the vast majority of festivals is that it isn’t limited to just one location. Communities around Cape Breton Island host concerts and workshops at a time when the fall leaves are at their most brilliant and traveling around the island offers one breathtaking view after another. These communities have nurtured the culture for over 200 years, providing context for the roots of the music and celebrating each community’s contribution to the island’s living Celtic culture.

Venues for Celtic Colours concerts in 2010, taking place October 8-16th, include an 18th Century reconstructed French chapel, state of the art performance facilities, and community halls, churches and schools in 33 communities around the Island. While the venues vary in primary function and size—from the 127 seat North River Community Hall to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre and Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion with a capacity of over 1000 each—they share in common the prominent place each holds in the community it serves. The Celtic culture of music, dance and story-telling lives on in these communities and provides the foundation for the celebration of living culture that is the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Click here to view the entire 2010 community schedule

Win tickets to our exclusive June 17th line up launch concert!

We are exited to reveal our 2010 artist line-up during a concert at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney on June 17 as part of the celebration of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The concert, A Taste of Celtic Colours, will start at 8pm and will include J.P. Cormier, The Colin Grant Band, Buddy MacDonald, Rachel Davis and Lewis MacKinnon.

“Having this concert to coincide with the visit of the Cape Breton Clipper and other participants involved in the Round the World Yacht Race is a natural fit,” says Dan Coffin, Marketing Director of Celtic Colours International Festival. “We’re excited about this year’s Festival lineup, and this is a great opportunity to share that excitement with the local community, and to show visitors to the island what Celtic Colours, and Cape Breton hospitality, is all about. The Cape Breton Clipper is being marketed as ‘Nova Scotia’s Masterpiece’ and we like to think of Celtic Colours as one of Cape Breton’s Masterpieces.”

The seventh Clipper Round the World Yacht Race began on September 13, 2009 when a fleet of ten identical 68-foot stripped down yachts left Humber on the northeast coast of England to race 35,000 miles and visit fourteen ports of call on five continents before reaching the finish line in July 2010. The “Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia’s Masterpiece” yacht is the only Canadian entry in the race and the only entry from the Atlantic seaboard. The boat itself has been branded with a magnificent eagle that will market our island to the global audience of 215 million people that the clipper event attracts.

How can you win?

Tickets are available to be won by fans of Celtic Colours International Festival. Simply share a short story or favorite Celtic Colours memory and your name will entered to into a draw for a pair of tickets to the June 17th concert. The random draw will take place on June 11th. Tickets can also be won through contests on our Facebook or Twitter pages or through one of our media partners, CBC Radio, The Coast 89.7 FM, and the Cape Breton Post.

Click here for complete information on winning tickets to our launch concert

Tickets for 2010 Festival go on sale July 5th

Tickets will go on sale Monday, July 5 at 9:00am ADT

Tickets will be available through our website www.celtic-colours.com, via our toll free number or at our Box Office located in the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, 74 Esplanade, Sydney. A number of venues and hosting organizations will also have tickets available for their shows within their communities.

Traditionally our first day of sales can be rather busy and we ask for your patience and understanding if you are planning to reserve tickets on July 5th.

Our Box Office and phone lines will be open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm & tickets can be purchased online 24/7.

High Definition videos from our ECMA 2010 Festival Club Stage now online!

Celtic Colours hosted a wildly successful Festival Club Stage during the recent East Coast Music Association weekend held here in Cape Breton. Over 30 of our Island’s best musicians performed some of the finest traditional music our region has to offer for almost one thousand audience members.

If you weren’t able to make it to the show, or want to relive the excitement, be sure to visit our YouTube Channel to check out nine, brand new, high definition videos created by our friends at Shot On Site Media. The videos feature top notch performances by Dawn and Margie Beaton, Gillian Boucher, Jennifer Roland, The Colin Grant Band and more.

Patrick Gillis, Dawn Beaton and Margie Beaton perform during ECMA 2010

Connect with Us Online

Be sure to keep up with all of the exciting Celtic Colours news and interact with other fans and friends of the festival by following us on Twitter or Facebook and our Community Forum. Many of our community members are regular attendees of the festival and are always willing to share their experiences and answer any questions you may have about the event.

Watch for more information on Celtic Colours International Festival 2010, taking place October 8-16.

Celtic band Poisoned Dwarf kick off Colonial Williamsburg’s Winter Concert Weekend‏

  Hi Celtic music fans. I am writing this blog amidst the blistering heat . We are having some major power outages in the area and I had to go out of the house to catch some air.

  After a week of hard work, I have finally found time for myself and of course this blog which I constantly update because of you. Isn’t it nice to broadcast one’s thoughts to the world? Isn’t it cool to realize that despite one’s mundane and unknown existence, one has the power to move emotions across cyberspace. To break down barrier’s in what music is all about. So don’t be sad if you are a geek, a lonely nerd or a lost Druid. You are never alone.

From our readers:

Hello,

I hope you are having a great day. I was hoping to connect with you regarding Colonial Williamsburg’s Winter Concert Weekend. Local favorite Poisoned Dwarf, a traditional Celtic band led by Colonial Williamsburg’s Music Program Manager Lance Pedigo, kicks off the weekend Friday night, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. with “Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf”. Poisoned Dwarf will perform its Celtic sounds in the Williamsburg Lodge Restaurant during “Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf,” a special four-course dinner from executive chef Rhys Lewis served with a selection of ales from the British Isles Friday night, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m

Poisoned Dwarf’s traditional Celtic sounds focus primarily on Irish traditional music with acoustic instruments only. The Williamsburg-based band is made up of Colonial Williamsburg employees, including Stewart Pittman and Lance Pedigo from Fifes and Drums; Tom DeRose from military programs; balladeer Wayne Hill and Eric Hunter, from coach and livestock. The sounds of the Irish flute, whistle, guitar, Scottish small-pipes, banjo, accordion, fiddle and various percussion instruments, including bones and bodhrán, bring such lively sounds to all Poisoned Dwarf performances, it’s nearly impossible to keep from dancing. Their love for playing their music is contagious from the very first note.

“Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf” is $39.50, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call               1-800-447-8679         1-800-447-8679. This is one of several special events during the Winter Concert Weekend featuring Grammy winner Kathy Mattea live in the Virginia Room of the Williamsburg Lodge Saturday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. For information about all the dining and music events during the Winter Concert Weekend, visit http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com. For information about Poisoned Dwarf, visit http://www.poisoneddwarf.com.   

I noticed you frequently update your blog with the latest in news, events and more. I thought perhaps this event could fit for your site. Let me know if you would like any further information on the Winter Concert Weekend.

Thank you again, I look forward to hearing back from you.

All the best,

Katie 

 

I sent Katie a reply about my interest in this news. She wrote back:

Wonderful news! Below I have provided additional information and a photo of group below, and a link to the bands website. Does this help? Let me know, I am happy to send additional info. Look forward to checking it out on your site this weekend.

All the best,

Katie

 

“Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf”

Combines Ales from the Isles with Dinner and Music

 

Photobucket

From left to right, Stewart Pittman, Tom DeRose, Lance Pedigo, Wayne Hill and Eric Hunter. Photo Courtesy of Poisoned Dwarf.

  

Williamsburg, Va. ― Enjoy the Celtic sounds of regional favorite Poisoned Dwarf in the Williamsburg Lodge Restaurant during “Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf,” a special four-course dinner from executive chef Rhys Lewis served with a selection of ales from the British Isles Friday night, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. 

Poisoned Dwarf’s traditional Celtic sounds focus primarily on Irish traditional music with acoustic instruments only. The Williamsburg-based band is made up of Colonial Williamsburg employees, including Stewart Pittman and Lance Pedigo from Fifes and Drums; Tom DeRose from military programs; balladeer Wayne Hill and Eric Hunter, from coach and livestock.

The sounds of the Irish flute, whistle, guitar, Scottish small-pipes, banjo, accordion, fiddle and various percussion instruments, including bones and bodhrán, bring such lively sounds to all Poisoned Dwarf performances, it’s nearly impossible to keep from dancing. Their love for playing their music is contagious from the very first note.

“Pints, Pairings and Poisoned Dwarf” is $39.50, including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 1-800-447-8679. This is one of several special events during the Winter Concert Weekend featuring Kathy Mattea live in the Virginia Room of the Williamsburg Lodge Saturday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. For information about all the dining and music events during the Winter Concert Weekend, visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com. For information about Poisoned Dwarf, visit www.poisoneddwarf.com.   

 

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a not-for-profit educational institution and cultural destination dedicated to the preservation, restoration, interpretation and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as the nation’s largest living history museum.  Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels, including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six restaurants, a full-service 20,000-square-foot spa, the Golden Horseshoe golf courses and 66,000 square feet of conference space centered at the restored Williamsburg Lodge.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk and three hours south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.colonialwilliamsburg.com. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs. 

 Katie

If you want to know how the band sounds like, you can hear samples on this link.

Dalla: Cornwall’s Answer to Celtic Music

DallaWindow


Dalla is Cornwall’s answer to Celtic music. If we have Clannad from Ireland and Capercaillie from Scotland, then Cornwall has Dalla. The music is a combination of lively almost latin beats traditional airs. The music is Celtic but also distinctively Cornish.There is an ethereal quality in  Hilary Coleman’s voice . Now explaining would not do any good without an audio sample. So you better visit their official MySpace page to hear some of the songs. And don’t forget to bookmark their official website which gives another detailed infor about the band.

Get ready for the Cottars!

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“Sparkling with beautiful musicianship, pure singing, airy melodies, and the contagious energy of Celtic instrumentation, they infuse Celtic-folk-pop with a splash of youthful vibrancy.”
— The Dallas Morning News/2006

Years ago, during the Celtic Colors International Festival, they dazzled the audience and other performers. They were very young at that time. Child stars from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  But they took the music seriously. After all, Celtic music has always been a family affair. The Cottars have been everywhere around the world, touring and performing with other notables such as The Chieftains. Critics love them.

The music has a pop appeal but has a deceptive simplicity. Like, wait until you hear each one play an instrument. This is a kind of music you would like to play in your car ,while you drive through the sunset or after the rain. Lovers of Blue Grass music or Alison Kraus will love them. Those who are into straight ahead Celtic jigs will adore their skills. Fiona McGillivray also has a beautiful voice.

Their next tour is on June 27 at Coquitam BC. 3 headline sets (outdoors) at The Scottish Highland Games, 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam. Sponsored by the Scottish Cultural Centre.

Check their official website and also visit their MySpace page though I don’t see any recent updates so far. Oh well, you can still listen to the music though

A New book about Clannad

 

Clannad the early years

Clannad the early years

Have you seen this already? The New Clannad Book 

the discription reads:

A new book detailing the life and career of Clannad in pictures and words. 

 

It is often wisely quoted that, to truly understand the meaning of the present, one needs to reflect upon the past. This adage proves most appropriate when exploring the traditional heritage and subsequent career of the international award-winning musical group Clannad. On this journey we see the family ascend from their Tory Island roots through the rolling Donegal countryside to the majesty of the world stage. While they soar towards success, we will follow the versatile clan as they appear on television screens, major motion pictures and ultimately the Grammy podium. As the fairy tale story of Clannad unfolds through photographs and history it becomes evident why they are proudly proclaimed Ireland‘s most successful international ambassadors of the Gaelic language. 

more info is available here:Clannad Website