Eve at Celtic Connections 2014 Live

Eve at Celtic Connections 2014 Live


Eve Williams album art

I like first hand information on events as huge as The Celtic Connections. I have been watching uploads and news related to it. I also know who in my friend’s list are performing. It is great to see musicians come together in Glasgow every year to perform music together and even sit down and discuss about possible projects. It is a colorful environment as what my friend singer/songwriter Eve Williams noticed. It is teeming with great talents and you have to be your best when you perform there. No wonder it’s an event that continues to grow bigger each year.

There are notable names like Capercaillie, Lunasa and Moya Brennan who took part in the event.Celtic music artist Kyke Carey is there to record her new album. There are also artists who have just released their debut albums and they try to showcase their music. Eve recorded the event and posted a blog  entry on her website. In this recording, she’s with guitarist Steven McKnight. Steven is definitely good! I like how Eve explains the history of every song. She doesn’t sound nervous and I sometimes joke to  her that she would make a good music teacher. I am glad she carries every tune with minimal effort(considering the amount of people who are there)!

Kickstarter campaign for “North Star”by Kyle Carey is up!

Kickstarter campaign for “North Star”by Kyle Carey is up!

Yep folks. The one and only Kyle Carey from New-England is releasing a follow-up to her beautiful debut ‘Monongah’  North Star will be produced by  Seamus Egan, founder of the acclaimed Irish American band Solas, So I know what you are thinking out there. It’s going to fantastic! She has the gift of writing songs and the delicate voice to give justice to both traditional and original tunes.  I fully support this artist because she adds a beautiful part in this huge tapestry of our musical culture.

The recording will begin in January 2014 in Glasgow Scotland. It will be during the Celtic Connections.

Visit the kickstarter site here. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kylecarey/north-star-kyle-careys-sophomore-album?ref=email

I will be playing a tune by Kyle Carey on my radio show  www.radio-happy.com this Saturday 3 to 6 pm German time.

3-4pm: Auto DJ (I will be playing the whole Clannad album Lore)

4-5pm: The Celtic hour which I will be playing Celtic music including Kyle’s.

5-6pm: Indie variety for those who are into other music genres.

Way up north in Manitoba, Canada--on my Home Routes 2012 tour. This photo was taken by Craig Werth, one of my favorite touring partners and songwriters.-Kyle Carey

Way up north in Manitoba, Canada–on my Home Routes 2012 tour. This photo was taken by Craig Werth, one of my favorite touring partners and songwriters.-Kyle Carey


Visit: http://www.kyleannecarey.com/

Kickstarter Campaign for North Star by Kyle Carey (2nd album)

Kickstarter Campaign for North Star by Kyle Carey (2nd album)

 Kyle Carey North Star

It is amazing how we’ve come a long way. Before, we merely rely on the recommendations from friends, word of the mouth from experts and also through the whims of record execs. Finally, that dream album will happen.  Now the power to put whatever music we want to the top has arrived. One of the common tools used by musicians to fund their new projects is kickstarter. I am sure you are familiar with this one.

Let me tell you. Singer/songwriter and vocal extraordinaire Kyle Carey is preparing to record her new album. North Star will be recorded in Scotland aound January, during Celtic Connections.  Seamus Egan will produce the album. Now expect nothing less from this project because I know it will be an amazing album!

Kyle Carey is based in New England. You know, that beautiful place in the East Coast where everything becomes colorful this time of the year. If you remember she released that amazing album called ‘Monongah‘ and it is one of those albums that occupies the top of my playlist.

Listen to tracks off her debut album Monongah:

Fraser Fifield: Relationship of sounds and styles(Interview)

Also in this edition: Colin Nea, Therese Honey and Enda Seery

Fraser Fifield: Pic by Barryjohn Bj Stewart

Plays: saxophone/whistle/kaval/bagpipes/percussion/composition

From: Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

About: musician, composer and producer.

With the excitement of an upcoming album, Fraser Fifield talks to The Celtic Music Fan about music and what makes collaborative musical work interesting.

This week’s special attention is given to Scottish musician, composer and producer Fraser Fifield.  I was captivated the first time I listened to one of his tracks. There’s sensitivity, intricacy and a sense of underlying elegance in his musical voice. I think I read and heard his music a couple of years ago, way before I even started writing about Celtic musicians. It is only now that I got an opportunity to communicate with him directly for this edition.

He plays the traditional instruments in a way a Jazz musician would, and then reverse the process with the Traditional instruments. It is like what happens when you put different people in different attires and situations and see how they react or how they look in that environment. This is what he did with music and instruments. I think his striking importance is being able to walk between different worlds and still maintaining the authenticity of his artistry in playing. This edition is about relationships: between different types of music, musicians and instruments.

I think you will enjoy how this interview turned out. I had fun making this one.

What’s keeping you busy these days Fraser?

What’s going with me? Well, the main thing just now is having eventually started recording an album with Graeme Stephen, guitarist and long term colleague – just duo, focusing on live performances basically – meaning played live together, not actual concert recordings..lots of electronics too but hardware boxes used in live performance on the whole as opposed to studio laboratory type of process – which is cool, but not what we’re doing here.

So we started that last week…and will be ongoing as time permits over the next wee while. Just had a flurry of CDs through the door as other projects I’ve recorded on came to fruition – Maeve Mackinnon, Sophie Ramsay and Wingin It…maybe you’ll hear some of these soon

Looking forward to playing London jazz festival with the Take 5 Europe ensemble plus a couple of gigs in Poland one with Maciej Obara 4tet and Take 5 again. Playing duo with Graeme in St Andrews Scotland in a couple of weeks…

Doing a recording session for Angus Lyon this week and hooking up for a small gig with an old friend – wonderful clarinet /sax player Dick Lee..

With John Surman and Tom Arthurs last week on Take 5 Europe. By Emile Holba

 What can listeners expect from this new album in terms of style and sound?

I’m hoping folk will hear two musicians enjoying playing together who’ve built up strong dialogue between them (we’ve been playing together some 16 yrs I think). A general rule seems to be emerging – remember we’ve just started – to avoid layering performances/multitracking ourselves i.e. you’re essentially going hear two musicians playing live together, there’s no click track etc… that’s not too say sonically the record will be simple – early results suggest anything but…this is often just low whistle and guitar but like you’ve never heard.

A bold statement perhaps..but I’m being fairy serious… The live recordings on the soundcloud page hint at the sound of course, but I am enjoying working a little more on our recordings after the initial performance, resampling ourselves in a way, extracting small bits of audio and changing it’s function…I’ll say that much. Will it sound folk or jazz – I’m bound to be asked that… and the answer is I have absolutely no idea..a bit of both, or plenty of both actually. The compositions are mine but compared to my previous records I’d say improvised passages will turn out be more featured.

I think making music is also a relationship between you, your fellow musicians and your fans. What have you learned so far in maintaining this relationship since you started? What are the things you avoid now and what are the things you consider essential?

….Essential in regard to making music with other musicians, for me, is a sense of openness, trust and maybe some kind of mutual understanding of what it is we’re doing, not necessarily verbalized but that the feeling of all being well is present…all makes for a good starting point, at least musically; you could be having the worst week imaginable, but sometimes these things can twist around into good musical moments. Sometimes, hopefully not often, one can’t get into the right vibe to make music creatively for whatever reason, cat gone missing, who knows, but assuming all is fine there should be something you can switch on to be excited about what you’re doing, if you’re not already. Basically it helps to be in good mood is what I’m saying I suppose.

Musical situations I try to avoid are those where none of the elements to my previous answer are present. Also I’ve not been drawn into a ‘band’ situation for a wee while now, which is maybe down to my personality, I don’t know..I kind of miss it in a way, the band thing, but at the same time value the diversity of music I’m currently able to fit on my modestly sized internal drive.

Be nice to audience members if they’re being nice to you…i.e. paying to hear you play….would be a good general rule…

Try and have a relationship with the people that enjoy your music, if you want to that is…unless you have some Garbarek like qualities, and I try to mean that in a nice way, it’s a probably good idea business wise to interact a bit.. which I guess is what I’m doing right now..but I’m sort of enjoying the therapy of answering your questions. How’s this piece shaping up now by the way ?

Oh this is shaping my work nicely!

If you evaluate all the tracks you composed throughout your career, which one has an impact to you in terms of the manner it was composed and the inspiration behind it?

I’ve chosen the track called Psalm from my first solo album Honest Water as it’s perhaps the tune or idea which has had the longest and most interesting journey with me to date. The first idea was to try and imitate the sound of psalm singing from the Scottish Gaelic tradition – a most beautiful and peculiar art form in itself. My approach is a very simple one and one that has worked for me in many situations over the years, the more instruments playing together the better the effect, so great if working with groups of students of varying levels of ability for example.

Most recently I used this idea in the opening section of my piece ‘Playground Tales’ written for the group Mr McFalls Chamber with guests Corrina Hewat, James Ross, Aidan O’Rourke and myself – hopefully a recording next year. So the track Psalm from Honest Water began life as one of five parts of a suite for saxophone quintet titled Traditions – one of the first years of the ‘New Voices’ series of commissions made annually by Celtic Connections, and it’s still running – quite a body of work in there now. My turn was 2001, a long time back now!

I’ve never played the tune much on my own gigs for some reason, actually probably no reason, but have used it often in a variety of other settings, I recall…a group of 7 different European bagpipes at Rudolstadt Festival Germany, recently with Dutch trio the Nordanians, with the Take 5 Europe group this year, it’s served me pretty well, and I think it’s a nice melody.

With Corrina Hewat

If you have the time, the energy and the means to be an album producer, whom would you work with and what types of musicians would you help in producing records?

Well I’m doing that very thing right now in a kind of self-medicating manner along with Graeme Stephen in the making of a duo album together which is actually a bit overdue I feel, but at last is progressing nicely. I’ve always enjoyed being very hands on with every aspect of my own record making, from the engineering through arrangements, performance to mixing. I like having the freedom to work at my own pace with things and review/adjust at will…does end up taking forever sometimes though…and that’s not so cool always.

With other artists I’ve occasionally become involved in the role of producer or perhaps co-producer in some instances – for example where a group has developed a sound collaboratively and go on to then record. I’ve never been great at adopting a workmanlike attitude when it comes to making records. I think its quite a big deal. An example I can think of is with my friend Mick West, a traditional singer from Glasgow whom I first met whilst a student there. I’d played with him in various line-ups of the Mick West Band ever since, so when the chance to make his last album ‘Sark O Snaw’ came round I really wanted to do it, not least because having played with Mick for many’s the year he’d never properly captured the best of his music on record – I wanted to change that, and I think we did, to cut a long story short. It was a labour of love like most records I’ve worked on, probably ending up with a negative hourly rate or something close it, who cares, it’s a lovely document to have.

In terms of who to work with…if they can play well with heart and soul and give and take, and we can get along well, that’s the only ingredients required. I’m pretty happy doing a lot of the work I do for those very reasons.

Take 5 is an ongoing project you are involved with. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how’s it going so far?

It’s been a very nice experience. Firstly Take 5 then this year Take 5 Europe which is new extension of it. It’s about artist development essentially, through talks/discussions/networking (that mostly over one week) and making music with the other Take 5 participants you’re given tools or ideas at least aimed at perhaps focusing one’s career, taking a look over what you’re doing and what you might be doing…it’s positive certainly if anything at all.

This year the ensemble of musicians on Take 5 Europe proved to be a surprisingly cohesive group – not a typical line-up – 2 basses, vibes, drums, guitar, trumpet, 2 saxes + me. They’re a very nice bunch of people and amazing players, in late 20s or 30s – 2 each from Netherlands, France, Poland, Norway and the UK. We’ve been playing at the festivals run by partners of the scheme in Molde, Rotterdam, Coutance, with just 2 performances left to do in November in Poland and London. Playing and hanging out with John Surman on both these Take 5 weeks was certainly noteworthy, great musician and lovely chap.

I know you have played the bagpipes for a long time. But if you were a listener, what makes a bagpipe and amazing instrument?

There’s something primal going on with it that’s for sure. I can’t get into any physics that’s for sure too…I can but agree there is something about the sound that speaks to an enormous variety of people from every part of the world. Being very loud (if we’re talking the GBH here) is surely a bonus.



There you have it folks. Be sure to keep track of  his schedules and keep him on your radars. The new projects sound amazing!

Fraser Fifield


Pic of the day: Colin Nea-Between the Jigs and Reels

COLIN NEA will be launching his CD ‘Between the Jigs and the Reels’ at 9pm, Thursday the 8th November in the Temple Gate Hotel


Enda Seery: Website updated and revamped!

The musician/composer of The Winding Clock has introduced a new feel and look to his official website. Visit : http://www.endaseery.com/


Featured Video: Therese Honey: Paddy Cronin’s Jig – Jenny Pippin from ‘Summer’s End’

Yes yes! We have a new addition to our list of harpists to watch out for. Therese Honey creates a relaxing wall of strings with with the talent of Jenny Pippin. Have a listen 😀

Track 2 from the 2012 http://www.Waterbug.com release, Summer’s End. Photos of the Dingle Peninsula were taken in April 2011 by Therese Honey and Larry Mallette. Therese learned Paddy Cronin’s Jig from Gráinne Hambly. Jenny Pippin is from O’Neill’s “Music of Ireland,” 1903.

Rachel Hair: All Things Celtic Harp(Interview)

Plus: Somerset Folk Harp Festival, Athas’tour pic and schedules, Celtic vampire novel by Karen Victoria Smith and Delta Rae …so emotional and beautiful!

Scottish harpist Rachel Hair notes down her tips on how to get into this fascinating musical instrument: The Celtic harp!

It was through my discovery of harp music that got me  started in perusing the web for more resources. I think it was my interview with Scott Hoye and his invite to join the Celtic Harp facebook page  made this interview with Rachel Hair possible. The Rachel Hair trio brings something fresh to harp music. There’s unmistakable groove, atmosphere and optimism the first time you listen to any of their tracks. Interviewing Rachel deepened my respect and admiration for her music and her band. She is one of the great contributors to the forum lately while being out joining the Manx music festival. She kept everyone updated with pictures and links. I even got my Maeve Gilchrist through her recommendation. Everyone in the Celtic Harp community is very supportive of each other. Eric, Scott, Rachel, Corrina, Amy and the rest keep the community alive with their ideas and presence.

Rachel is very enthusiastic to share her thoughts with everyone. Especially those who are planning to study the instrument but might have doubts that hold them back.  I like her in-depth way of answering questions. I am sure you will enjoy this and add it to your bookmarks for reference.

How do you describe the Scottish folk scene these days ? What’s the trend in terms of playing, the instruments and also the general band image that the listeners are warming up to?
The Scottish folk scene has gone from strength to strength and over the past 10 years has had a real upsurge of talent and creativity. I think its one of the most creative folk scenes in the world. You have musicians who know their tradition well and can perform it fantastically but are also creating and adding to the tradition. More than ever musicians and bands are writing new music and presenting it in an ever creative and evolving fashion… its not just about playing tune after tune anymore. Bands are getting really into big arrangements and taking the listeners on a journey to what is becoming the new tradition in Scotland.
Theres a lot of cross genre music making too. I live in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and a hub of creativity amongst musicians of all styles. Folk, jazz, indie, rock and classical musicians are not only mixing with each other socially but are musically creating new sounds together. The results of this are now being on seen on stage and festivals such as Celtic Connections are a great supportive platform of this allowing it to be brought to the public’s attention.

With friends.

Your tunes are always rhythmic and is also filled with arrangements that glow of atmosphere…how do you value atmosphere in songs? Others are more into technique and speed. Do you think it is essential in every Scottish and Irish recording to have a sense of atmosphere or ambience?

I like to create records and shows which take listeners on a journey, giving them opportunities to tap their feet along, dance but then also give them opportunities to reflect and feel the emotion of the music we create. One of the tunes we most enjoy performing as a trio is the haunting melody “Cancro Cru”. We really get emotionally involved in the tune and this is often felt by the audience and commented to us after.
I don’t think its necessarily essential that every recording gives a sense of this atmosphere but I do think its important that musicians and bands try to give an impression of what the atmosphere their live show creates, through their recordings.

You have been active these days especially during festivals. What are the things you learned being musician, in terms of traveling with ease? Tips you can give us? I remember what Scott Hoye said about harpists..it’s not like playing the fiddle where you can toss it and go. Harpists carry this huge instrument.

Preparation is the key! I often fly with my harp. Living on a large island (Britain!) means that any gig I do outside the country means a flight. I always phone up the airline in advance and let them know I’m taking a Celtic harp and ask them to make a mark on booking. I’m always very casual on the phone and make it clear that its not that bigger than a suitcase, weighs less than 20kg (normally less than my suitcase!) and that I fly all the time without difficulty.
It used to be that I could take it for free, but now you just have to accept that you have to pay for it. Most of the large airlines just see it as an extra piece of hold baggage and this can usually be paid for in advance which makes life easy.
Its always important to be sure that the car that will pick you up will have room for you, your suitcase and your harp. To be honest mine is actually quite small in its flight case so this is normally no problem.
I also have a protective fibre class flight case for my harp which is very easy to move around and protects it well. I tend to tape up the clasps on it too for safety too. I also put pieces of polystyrene pipe round my levers inside its cover, to protect them further.

What are your suggestions for both artists and enthusiasts about this type of music and making it grow? We have the technology and tools but what do you think are the things that each of us can do to improve and expand the scene.

I like to use social media to connect with people… through Facebook, twitter and youtube. Its a great way of keeping in touch with your fans and new people are discovering my music through these ways every day. It also gives me the chance to promote other music, that isn’t always mine. Bands and groups that I like that I think deserve to be heard. I like to post videos etc. of them to help their music grow and get to new people. Its definitely a worthwhile thing to get into….facebook, twitter and youtube and free to use so you’ve nothing to loose!

What tell young people who find harps fascinating and want to study it?

Rocking out the Scottish reels
— with Maeve Gilchrist.

Get yourself to one of the harp festivals and try it out for yourself! I’m on the organising committee for the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and it coming along to a festival like it really is a great way to discover harp music. You can join a beginners course and have a go, visit the harp exhibition which has all the top makers in Europe showing of their harps and you can go to some of the concerts. Harp festivals really are a great way of experiencing everything “harp”. You also get the chance to meet harp players young and old, of all levers from beginner-to professional. We’re all a very friendly bunch.

Who are people who influenced your growth as an artist through the years?

When I was at university in Glasgow, studying music, my harp teacher was Corrina Hewat. She was an incredibly encouraging teacher who really pushed me to discover my own style of playing. We don’t really play in the same way and I think that’s a testament to her as a teacher.
A lot of my friends are professional musicians, Jenn and Euan who play in my trio, Jamie Smith who plays in the group Jamie Smiths Mabon and Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop. We’re all very very head strong and passionate at what we do and we’re very good at encouraging each other to keep going and achieve our dreams and success in music.

What’s your biggest goal in life.

Well to be happy, and to be fulfilled both in my personal life and in my musical life. simple!

Rachel Hair – Harp
Jenn Butterworth – Guitar / Vocals
Euan Burton – Double Bass

Follow her band in facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelhairharp




Somerset Folk Harp Festival

Everyone got a harpful for 4 days! People who are very enthusiastic about harp music(including yours truly) will keep this festival on the calendar. Some of the big names in the community attended: Chris Caswell presented Guerilla Music Theory. There’s also Breton dancing( this is really fun!) led by harpist Clotilde Trouillaud. For people who wanted to pick up a handy instrument enjoyed the tin whistle workshop. Maeve Gilchrist whom we presented in this site was also there teaching techniques.

Other notable musicians:

Peacocks Feathers: entertained with Irish & Scottish tunes & songs during the lunchtime concert in the Atrium.

Debbie Brewin-Wilson lead the 3-day Basically Beginning workshop.

Nicolas Carter on the first of his 3-day class on Paraguayan harp. He’ll also help out Tracy Gorman in the Paraguayan Dance class at 3:30pm.
There’s Billy Jackson in his workshop on Scottish Harp of the 17th century yesterday. Right now he’s teaching Composing in a Traditional Style. By the way I have one of his albums!
Thanks to Scott Hoye who is up to date. He’s the source of this news.

Today in Pictures: Athas on Tour

Amy thought she ordered the large Bloody Mary-Jeff Ksiazek

Between gigs, the band unwinds.
Follow the band’s tour schedule here: http://www.athasmusic.com/schedule/

Book curiosity:

Dark Dealings by Karen Victoria Smith
Synopsis: At thirteen, Micaela O’Brien was found wandering a pasture in Ireland, the sole survivor of a mid-air explosion. Now, as a successful investment banker, she will discover that Wall Street has fangs and claws. When international power brokers, creatures hiding in plain sight, threaten her and those she loves, will this heiress to a Druid legacy deny her power and let loved ones die again?A thrill ride of money, monsters and murder across the globe.
According to the author
: 2 DAYS left to get Dark Dealings for Kindle on sale for $1.49. 1/2 royalties 2 Kick #Cancer Overboard.BUY,read,review amazon.com/Dark-Dealings-… Read the novel described as Trueblood meets bluebloods with a 4.4/5 rating on Amazon. Price goes up August 1
Tataratat! The Gothic Celtic in me loves it! Twilight fans sorry but I think Karen Victoria Smith does more than Stephanie Meyer. Nothing is better than Vampires and Celts in one book.


Our featured band Delta Rae

Take a look at this official video by Bluegrass fusion band from North Carolina  Delta Rae. I love the concept. It is both funny and creepy. The voice of Brittany Holljes has a powerful quality in a pop sense but with New Age delicacy. There are also male lead vocals occasionally. The music has a knockout rocking quality but with  the atmosphere of Sarah McLachlan. It is a band that will  appeal to fans of music categorized as folk/rock or country with chillout moments. My favorite track from the band is Holding On To Good because it is really explosive and glorious and the sound just floods through you. So beautiful! But wait till you hear Surrounded, a moving and mesmerizing track that builds up into a glorious release- a crashing wave of sound, angelic harmonies and earth ravaging meteor or emotions.


Ian Holljes (vocals/guitar)
Eric Holljes (vocals/keyboard/guitar)
Brittany Holljes (vocals/percussion)
Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals/percussion)
Mike McKee (drums)
Grant Emerson (bass)



Music: http://www.myspace.com/deltaraemusic/music

Our Free MP3 Download for Today: String Theory


I was eating dinner while looking at my site. I know, it isn’t a good habit to have your laptop on your dining table along with your food. I know I am already risking something by telling you about my personal habits. Anyway, I kept looking, chewing and thinking. I was asking myself, what people could possibly want from my site apart from getting the music news. I know that bands will peek every now and then to see if I have written something about them. I know that fans will check to see if I have written something about their favorite bands. Yes there are videos, but these videos are only appealing as far as the musical preferences of my viewers permit. I have interviews scheduled as a weekly thing. My reason for this is to give bands and musicians the opportunity to have more exposure. I do have pending interviews but I need to stick to my schedule to provide everyone the same opportunity.

I am sure you don’t come to this site for the following reasons:

  1. The weather forecast
  2.  Fashion trends
  3. Health tips
  4. Romance counseling
  5. Stock market reports
  6. Tips on how to get even with your neighbor who plays the same annoying album over and over again.
  7. Self defense advice
  8. Recipes. Hmmm…No.

Something occurred to me. People like to visit websites not just for information, but they do appreciate being offered freebies too. It’s nice to be able to have visitors leave my site with something they can keep. I think digital downloads are a gift that is always appreciated. I will have to ask the bands I have already interviewed to see if I can do this as a part of a weekly freebee give away. I can’t commit to doing daily updates since I am working on this alone and committing myself to something that might be too hard to carry out might tarnish my reputation in the blogosphere. I think that this download offer will work. A weekly free mp3 (I don’t know how many I can give away) is what I will be offering you.

This idea isn’t new. Marc Gunn has been doing this way before I launched this site. But you, my readers, are important to me and I think you should have something you can keep with you when you come and visit this site. In return, I would like to ask from you to share the word about the bands you download especially if you like their music. Please spread the word about this website too, so that it will get more traffic. The more traffic it gets, the more we can help expose our favorite musicians. So what do you think? It’s fun to share together!

My choice this week is Mike Vass whom I had the honor of featuring before. This track is taken from his album String Theory.

Scottish Musician and Composer:



Winner of the inaugural Neil Gow International Composition Award, Mike Vass is fast gaining a reputation as one of Scotland’s foremost tunesmiths. His compositions frequently appear in the recordings and performances of some of the UK’s top name acts; most notably luminaries such as Brian Finnegan, Corrina Hewat, and Mairearad Green.

Mike is regarded as one of Scotland’s finest fiddle players, in great demand as a performer, composer and teacher. He has toured extensively in the past few years with leading Scots Song band Malinky, in a duo with twin sister Ali, and with International super group Fiddle Rendezvous, featuring Bruce Molsky, Maryann Kennedy and Gerry O’Connor.

Mike’s New Voices Commission ‘String Theory’ debuted at Celtic Connections in 2010, and was described as ‘the most direct and honest since the idea was first conceived … precision, subtlety and attention to detail’. One of the highlights, the avant-garde piece ‘Man’s Search’ inspired by Viktor Frankl’s best-selling book, was described as ‘utterly compelling’ and ‘one epoch-making composition’. ‘Man’s Search’ was subsequently featured by the Victor Frankl Institute in Austria to commemorate Frankl’s birthday.

Mike was nominated as ‘Best Up and Coming Act’ in the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards, along with pianist/singer twin sister Ali, and won ‘Best Folk Band’ with Malinky in 2010. A runner-up in the 2007 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, Mike was subsequently invited to tour with the 2008 finalists as an accompanist. Although barely 5 years into his career, Mike has already featured on more than a dozen recordings, including Volume 1 of The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill, produced by Dr Fred Freeman, and Malinky’s acclaimed fourth album Flower and Iron.

The Heart Rendering Accordion Tunes of Harriet Bartlett

Life with the accordion.

I think I am coming down with a cold. We’ve been having some nasty weather lately….

Music is my sanctuary. I am sure it is the same with you. With all the negativity in the world, I am glad that there is this place I can go and feel at home. Music has sustained me through the years. I think my ‘relationship’ with my favorite musicians lasted longer than  with few actual people. Music heals. Sometimes when we are  mad we forget who we are. But music restores that purity. It tells you ” I am here and I will never leave you or hurt you.”

I want to share with you this amazing accordion player. Her name is Harriet Bartlett and she’s from the UK. You should hear her own version of Music For a Found Harmonium originally done by Patrick Street. She adds her twist to it! Her album  Eyes Wide Open has been out for years. She does both instruments and vocals. She has a terrific voice. I find it strange that an artist of her caliber doesn’t have a follow-up album yet.

They say don’t judge the book by its cover but I can tell that looking at her album art and listening to the tracks you really get what you see-pure talent and awe-inspiring energy. Right now I don’t have news for you about her current projects. But if someone out there can step forward, that would really be awesome!






Harriet has been playing accordion for 13 years and performing at festivals, folk clubs and theatres for the past 8 years. Her repertoire consists of Celtic music on the piano accordion at lightening speed, heart rendering slow airs and beautiful songs. She has already composed many of her own tunes with a traditional style that belies her years.

To date she has played at many venues at home and abroad to include Celtic Connections, Sidmouth International, Venner Folk Frühling, Fylde, Bromyard and Warwick Festival, to name but a few.

Harriet was invited to do a studio session / interview withAndy Kershaw, BBC Radio 3 which was aired on 3rd October 2004.

In 2003 Harriet was a winner of a coveted Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award – the competition was held throughout the festival with no less than eighty entrants. Harriet was then approached by Greentrax Recordings to record her debut CD Eyes Wide Open produced by Dr Phil Cunningham MBE. Harriet was joined by some fantastic musicians – Ed Boyd (Flook) on guitar, Mark Maguire (Deaf Shepherd) on bodhran and Phil Cunningham on piano cittern and whistles. The CD was launched at Celtic Connections January 2004, and has received excellent reviews.

“Hugely talented. Eyes Wide Open is one of my favourite CDs of the year.” — ANDY KERSHAW, BBC RADIO 3

“Harriet has assembled here a fine collection of tunes, some contemporary with a maturity far beyond her years and if this is her first outing on CD… I can’t wait to hear the next. Go get em Harriet.” ..Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham.

To listen to the CD click here or to buy the CD click here

In July 2004 she was nominated for the West Midlands Folk Federation “2004 Award for an outstanding contribution to West Midlands folk / traditional arts.”

She was the winner of the In the Tradition Awards 2001 at the Assembly Rooms, in Derby. Organised by Mick Peat of PR Promotions and Folkwaves on BBC in the East Midlands. There were 6 finalists; amongst the judges were Jo Freya and Lester Simpson. She has been invited to play on stage with Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on numerous occasions, always to be enjoyed. “Phil Cunningham is a marvellous accordionist and I’ve admired him for years, so to actually join him and Aly on stage and play some tunes was fantastic!”

Living Tradition, Taplas, Celtic Heritage and Shropshire magazines have all run articles on Harriet. To view, go to the reviews section at www.harrietbartlett.com

The Shee: Be Dazzled!

Dazzling music from the UK 

A magical listening experience happens when you combine a group of young women with both vocal and instrumental prowess. Their amazing stage presence and dazzling technique of playing the instruments have won them followers from all over the world. The Shee  released two albums: A Different Season and Decadence. I wish I could write more about them but I have little resources. If you want to catch them live then you better be there on Friday 29th of June 2012 Sark Folk Festival, near La Moinerie, West Coast, Isle of Sark, Channel Islands.

Lillias Kinsman-Blake – flute/ fiddle

Shona Mooney-Fiddle/Viola

Rachel Newton-Harp/Voice/Fiddle

Amy Thatcher-Piano Accordion and clogs

Olivia Ross-Fiddle/Voice

Laura-Beth Salter-Mandolin/Voice

Online resources to help you:

Myspace   http://www.myspace.com/theshee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shee/232191416883

Website: http://theshee.webmasterdave.net/

‘An all-female revelation…fresh, feisty music’ fRoots

‘The Shee… are brilliant; their version of Tom Paine‘s Bones is one of my favourite songs of the last 12 months.’ Mike HardingBBC Radio 2

The Shee are an exceptional all-female band showcasing three powerful vocalists and an astonishing level of instrumental prowess. Their diverse range of individual musical influences combine to produce an adventurous brew of Folk, Scots, Gaelic and Bluegrass, earning them considerable recognition along the way with high profile performances at festivals including Cambridge and Celtic Connections, as well as concerts across Europe and Canada. Their debut album ʻA Different Seasonʼ was released in 2008, followed by nominations in both the MG AlbaScots Trad Music Awards and the BBC 2 Folk Awards 2009.



2011 Trad Fest and So Much More…

It is nice to sit down with someone and talk about creativity. After all, we are creative beings. We like to build things and see where or what happens next. It is the idea that creation is part of our every cell is such a fascinating thought!

My fascination with traditional materials arose from Archeological fascination. Join it with the love for sounds and creativity..then it becomes a marriage that has stayed for almost two decades-though it is safe to say that I am not married to someone(and I don’t intend to be).

It’s always an honor to be able to get responses musicians and have their thoughts compiled so that others will be inspired. We affect the universe in our actions. And a little goes a long long way.

And so for the news….

Clannad @ Leo's Tavern

Clannad @ Leo's Tavern

Clannad as mentioned earlier are making n amazing comeback. Al the members are excited to come up with new materials and their performances are sold out. Well it’s been more than a decade and I think it is only right that we hear them again and bask in their magical glory . See complete story here: http://www.clannad.nl/2011/01/clannad-in-late-late-show.html


Seth Lakeman

Seth Lakeman

1500 artists, 300 events, 18 days, 14 venues!From January 14-31, Celtic Connections will feature artists with the intensity of torrential rains. There is no stopping the passion as it hits the stage. Secure your seats now. Featured artists are : Seth Lakeman, Shifting Sands, A Night of Celtronika and a lot more…



Fans of The Waterboys will be delighted to see Mike Scott’s An Audience With Mr Yeats. This one took twenty years in the making.

Sunday 30th January 2011, 7.30pm

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall : Main Auditorium


If you are going to Count Clare, don’t miss out TradFest 2011 which will take off in February. Ronan O’Snodaigh(Kila), Ciorras, Martin Hayes and many others http://www.ucctradsoc.com/#/tradfest-2011/4547251256