Raise your glasses to a rip-roaring new album from Cheers!

Band: Cheers!

Album: Daily Bread

Release date: May 2017

Snarling, swirling, raging, roaring vocals and electric guitar tempered by fairground accordion arpeggios, whistles and flutes.

‘Chances’ – the opening track on the new album ‘Daily Bread’ from Cheers!

Cheers! was born in a whiskey and Guinness-fuelled frenzy in Pilsen, Czech Republic in 2011 and the first single was released in November the same year. Their debut album ‘Wrong and Right’ was recorded in a 10 hour marathon live session and released in 2013. They are touring almost constantly, playing clubs and festivals, and took their music to Italy in 2015 and 2017. ‘Daily Bread’ is their second album, and unlike their first, this one was made in the studio over a period of weeks, but still keeps a gritty, powerful live sound.

Call me old- fashioned, but I still like my music (if I can’t get it live) to come in CD-sized packages – downloading just doesn’t do it for me, and I put a lot of store in first impressions. A mighty handsome looking CD this is with a work-soiled, heartbroken figure on the front, ironically plastered with the jolly name of the band, and then in sombre, tombstone gothic font, the album title ‘Daily Bread’. According to the band, ‘daily bread’ means several things both in Czech and English, including ‘hunger for what you deserve or daily routine misery, this is what drives the lives of us all…’

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When I first heard this lot live five years ago, I thought ‘here’s a breath of fresh air on the Czech music scene’ – in fact I was blown away by them then and even more so now. Their debut album was rough and ready, but the energy was definitely there. ‘Daily Bread’ really is a mature piece of work and a labour of love – independently released by the band. The new album is very nicely produced and mixed and all the instruments, even the quieter whistles, fiddle and accordion, keep their character within the melee of driving sounds. Pick me up off the floor guys- I’m knackered just listening to this- but in a good way. My ears are still ringing with the joyful collision of electric guitars and acoustic whistles, the reverberation of accordion and uilleann pipes and Pavel’s distinctive and passionate vocals holding it all together.

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Pavel (vocals, acoustic guitar) very kindly took some time out of the band’s busy schedule to answer a few questions about the album.

How long did ‘Daily Bread’ take to record compared to the first album? 

Pavel: Ten times more I think. The first album took 10 hours to record and a couple of days of mixing. We started working on ‘Daily Bread’ this January and recorded it in, like, two months or so. Mixing and mastering took 3 months. It’s plenty in comparison with the first record, but not that much on an LP studio album really.

Influences on your sound?

Pavel: Each band tries to preserve its unique sound or at least that’s what they say. But one way or another, it’s necessary to have a fixed point. In this case, those would be The Dreadnoughts and Dropkick Murphys. I think the sound is overrated though. I know too many bands whose records suck, but rule on stage.

How do you feel about the new album? 

Pavel: Bored of it already. We got to make another (laughs).

What message (if any) are you trying to put across in the songs?

Pavel: Hard to say. Each song’s got it’s own. But overall the usual – love, hatred, people, feelings, politics, etc. That’s what the genre does, don’t you think?

Guards of the Poor (2014)

Where/How can we buy your CD? 

Pavel: It will be available on Itunes, Spotify and other servers in digital format. Physical CD on Amazon or Czech band merchandise e-shops. Or you can contact us directly. Right now we’re trying to spread it over so it’ll take some time before it reaches the counters.

What’s the true story behind ‘Mr. Batter’? 

Pavel: True story? That’s it. We got busted on the streets for stealing copper sheets from a theatre by local police and the night guard pointed us out even though we had no idea. Coming to that, do you need any copper?

What are your favourite songs on the album?

Pavel: For me personally, that would be ‘Dagger’ and ‘Misery’. ‘Misery’ is an old piece and we’ve been playing it since I can remember, and still I get goose bumps when it gets to some parts. We picked the title of the album from its lyrics and I’m glad we did. ‘Dagger’ is a much younger song and was made for the album. Simplicity and straight meaning is sometimes hard to follow, unless the muse kisses you on the cheeks and that happened with ‘Dagger’, I guess. So it makes me feel free every time we play it.

So, prepare to hang on to your seats for an angst-filled 48 minutes and 23 seconds of Celtic folk-punk brewed in Pilsen…

Cheers! on Facebook

Cheers! on YouTube

Cheers! on Bandzone

 

 

November Updates!Realta, Cookeilidh and Many More!

November Updates!Realta, Cookeilidh and Many More!

 

 

(Réalta – Asturian Set – Clear Skies (Saltón de Meres – Pasacáis del Xarreru)

Promotional video for the Irish Traditional band Réalta – the opening track from their second album Clear Skies (2016).

Clear Skies is available from iTunes, Bandcamp and the band’s own website:

http://www.realtamusic.com/shop/

https://realtamusic.bandcamp.com/albu

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cle…

For more information about Réalta, check out

http://www.realtamusic.com

http://www.facebook.com/realtamusic

Realta just released their second album Clear Skies and judging from the video it will be better than their first. Apart from their great stage presence and youth, I really like their style of music. They remind me of those great trad bands in the 70s and the newer hip bands that proliferate our Celtic airwaves. They always come up with fresh ideas plus a musical chemistry that really works!

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I’ve been following the posts by Cookeilidh on Instagram. The platform enabled me to discover new music. It is also a great way to advertise this blog. This video proves that their sense of cool is always there be it musical or fashion-wise!

About the band:

Cookeilidh ( Cook – Kay – Lee )

Cookeilidh is a 4 member Celtic band from Victoria, BC, comprised of 12-string guitar, fiddle, wooden Irish flute, electric bass, bodhran, and vocals.

Noted for our high energy performance, we play a variety of Irish & Scottish Trad tunes, with a good dollop of Canadian East Coast and West Coast flavours, along with some tasty originals. Driven by a passion for the timeless and traditional Celtic music of past generations, we enjoy weaving our own special blend of “Trad with Attitude”.

Website: http://www.cookeilidh.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/COOKEILIDH

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How was your Halloween? With so much work load it is hard for me to take time and post an update but I am trying my best because work will never go away as long as we live. So what’s up? There are great releases before the year ends. I wrote bout Kyle Carey’s Kickstarted venture and looking forward to the new album that she’s making.

Here we go with the music. First is an update from Daly Communications:

2 amazing Indie Irish rock acts from Dublin in NYC -THE STUNNING + JAMES VINCENT MC MORROW/ Scottish Play comes to the McKittrick Hotel sponsored by THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND

The Stunning Live!

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The legendary Irish band’s long-awaited return to US this November – 
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5th ~ CONNOLLY’S, KLUB 45, TIMES SQ, NYC
James Vincent McMorrow:
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HE IS IN NYC on 11/7 @ Webster Hall go to his website for tickets before it sells out! http://jamesvmcmorrow.com/
 
E McKITTRICK HOTEL AND THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF SCOTLAND
PRESENT THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF
THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART
 
PREVIEWS BEGIN NOVEMBER 16, 2016    OPENING NIGHT TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13LIMITED HOLIDAY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH JANUARY 8, 2017
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So there you go. Happy listening and I will catch up with you soon.
 
‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!

‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!

 

So it begins! Gaelic-Americana singer-songwriter Kyle Carey has launched her Kickstarter campaign with a lot in store for music lovers. This is going to be exciting. Given her track record, you will not be disappointed!

As you might have noticed, I mentioned this in my previous post. I am highly supportive of her music. If you have been following my posts you know that it goes back to her first album.

As evident in the video above, Carey only surrounds herself with the best in the industry. Sios Dhan An Abhainn was performed in the 2016 Celtic Connections. That video is an example of her evolution as an artist and it will be further showcased in ‘The Art of Forgetting.’

Here’s an exerpt of the project:

Now that I’ve carved out a niche for my transatlantic sound, I’m ready to add a new element, and so I’ll be heading down to Louisiana in January to record my third album The Art of Forgetting with seasoned and acclaimed producer Dirk Powell – who I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to work with.

Dirk and I have already discussed the ways in which we can present ‘Gaelic Americana’ with a slight Acadian twist, which includes conscripting the aid of veteran guitarist Sam Broussard of ‘Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys’ – an expert Cajun and alternate-tuning guitarist.

We’ll be laying the basic tracks in Dirk’s beautiful home-studio known as the ‘Cypress House’ and then through the winter – adding accompaniment from the finest Celtic and American musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

With a wonderful graphic designer (Heidi Pitre!), exemplary backing musicians, mastering services already secured and a team of talented promoters to spread the word – I’m confident that this album will be some of my finest work, and make an even bigger splashthan its predecessors.

You can read more about the campaign by clicking the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kylecarey/the-art-of-forgetting-kyle-careys-new-album

http://kck.st/2evLZcc

I am posting the pictures which are all approved by the artist.

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Padraig Duggan-The Spirit of His Music Will Always Live in our Hearts.

Padraig Duggan-The Spirit of His Music Will Always Live in our Hearts.

 

August 9. Moya Brennan posted a photo of Padraig Duggan with this caption: My dear uncle and fellow Clannad member, Padraig Duggan, passed away peacefully this morning. Rest in Peace Padraig and thanks for all your music over the years

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Today, we reflect and remember Padraig Duggan of Clannad.He passed away this week due to a recurring illness. It was  a shocked because he was only 67 and this is so unexpected. For lovers of Irish music, The Duggans are a duo that I am sure you are familiar with. I am currently listening to their music via YouTube and these are songs from their 2005 album Rubicon.

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Padraig Duggan.

You can feel the passion of the brothers as they are joined by special guests: Moya Brennan on vocals, Bridin Brennan, Deirdre Brennan, Andrew Roberts, and Ciaran Byrne on backing vocals, Maire Breathnach on viola, David James on cello, Peter Jack on bass, Ingolf Kurkowski on drums, Ian Parker on piano and keyboards, and Ian Melrose in guitars, whistle, dobro and backing vocals.

According to Noel and Padraig Duggan:

The Rubicon is the point of no return. It is the place at which someone must continue on their present course of action. For us, the Rubicon is very significant. Musically, we felt that this album was the only direction that we could take at this time. The night was approaching and we could hear the wind rise. We now feel that we have crossed the Rubicon. Clannad-Banba-Frontal

Duggan played guitar, mandola, mandolin and provided vocals for Clannad. I think his most memorable contribution was with Banba. It’s the album that introduced me to the Clannad discography and I just fell in love with their sound. His mandolin playing was highlighted especially in tracks like The Other Side and Sunset Dreams.

Apart from the Duggans, Padraig was also a member of Norland Wind with his nephew Ciaran Brennan.

His contribution to music will never be forgotten and peers mourn for his passing.

Flow by Nua: The Great Sound Of The Outdoors

Flow by Nua: The Great Sound Of The Outdoors

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Flow is a follow-up to their highly acclaimed debut album Bold. And they satisfy music fans once again!

I have the habit of bringing my huge speakers outside while chilling in my hammock. This happens every morning because I work at night.On most days the music consist of Spotify playlist-the current stuff, whither its chilled or lively tunes. There are days when I like playing Celtic music because it is good to listen to when it rains.

So I pumped up the copy of Flow which is the newest album by Canadian trio Nua. I got a positive reaction from people who happened to be nearby when they heard the tracks off the album. My cousin who was in the kitchen remarked that the music makes her want to dance, without being intrusive or noisy. She has a point. The trio have always maintained a minimal approach in their sound while maintaining that positive and uplifting style. Flow is not an exception. The tracks all go together and they have this fresh, clean and golden feeling in them.

Why golden? The music reminds me of the outdoors. It’s like sunrise against your face when you wake up in the morning. James M Law has really established his  emotional style of fiddling underneath the controlled delivery. Graeme McGillivray has a kind of playing style where his guitar sounds whispy, almost transparent. Jacob McCauley(who is my bodhran hero) has maintained that expressive mastery of the instrument that talks to you. If percussion can speak, then that has got to be the way he plays.

Flow promises to satisfy traditional music fans. The album has twelve tracks. The range of styles explored are Jazz, folk and world. There is something here for everyone. Even if you are not  hard core trad/instrumental fan , you will like Flow as proven by the reaction I got from bystanders. It is hard to choose a favourite as all tracks are beautiful in their own way. But Wide Open is a good introduction to the mood of the whole album. Like I said, Flow is the sound of the outdoors, the sound singing streams and the dance of sunlight against your face. Smuggler Cove is also a favourite due to the interesting arrangement. I don’t know if Ghostrider was inspired by the film but hey, whatever floats their boat right? Law, McGillivray and McCauley have created another masterpiece that will stand the test of time. Time to grab the album and share it with everyone.

Visit: http://www.trionua.com for more info about the trio.

Celtic Woman Q & A with Máiréad

Celtic Woman Q & A with Máiréad

mairead-susan-lynn-mairead

 

I’ve been playing Destiny by Celtic Woman many times. New voices and new songs. And lots of magical listening experience. Check out my entry regarding the album in my previous post.

It is a great honour to finally get to talk to one of the artists, notably my favourite violinist Máiréad Nesbitt who took the time to write the answers to my questions. You are probably wondering what it’s like to be part a powerful musical ensemble that continue to make music after a decade right? Well here’s your chance to know.

 

1. The new lineup brings something exciting to the music. What happened to the previous members?

As with most women we have desires to go off and start families and get married! Most of the beautiful women that have passed through Celtic Woman decided to leave to come off the road and settle down. Some have also gone on to have solo music careers too.

2. I love many tracks in Destiny. My personal fave is How Can I Keep From Singing? What made you decide to record this song?

I love that song too but as a listener from the wings! We love Clannad and Eabha was taught by the lead singer Moya Brennan so it seemed ideal for her to sing it. 

3. I See Fire (for me) threatens to be better than the original. What’s the story behind the inclusion of this song?

We wanted to move towards the future whilst not forgetting what made people love the group in the first place. Ed Sherran has deep Irish heritage so his music is heavily influenced by that- especially this song. It’s very Irish folk in style and is also a modern one so it seemed like the perfect fit. I also love story telling and this song has such drama in it. 

4. You are back with your US Tour. Wow 85 Cities! How are you preparing mentally and physically for this marathon tour?

Well, personally I follow a plant based (vegan) lifestyle to keep myself healthy of mind, body and spirit and I also work out every day to keep my immune system strong. Lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, water and sleep when we can! 

5. Can you give young women tips on how to sing beautifully like Celtic Woman?

Just be yourself. Don’t try and mould yourself into who you think you should be. Accept yourself from within and sing from your heart. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is happy in herself. 

6. What’s next after the US Tour?

We have lots planned including a hopeful trip to Asia-then onto Australia and back to the states for our Christmas symphony tour where we get to perform gorgeous Christmas songs with a different orchestra every night. I am also recording a solo album with Celtic Woman in the summer when we get off the road which I’m super excited about! 

There you go 🙂
-Máiréad Nesbitt
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The Gloaming 2 is available most places today!

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This is going to be a short post as I am going to bed since I will have work later tonight but if you missed this, please pay attention sweeties:

From the band’s Facebook: So very happy to share that The Gloaming 2 is available most places today!

Pick it up at your favorite local shoppe or via iTuneshttp://smarturl.it/the-gloaming2-itunes & Amazon.com:  http://smarturl.it/the-gloaming-amazon— with Iarla O’lionairdMartin HayesCaoimhin O RaghallaighCaoimhín Ó RaghallaighMáirtín Ó hAodhaDennis CahillIarla O’LionairdMartin Hayes & Dennis CahillDennis Cahill and Thomas Bartlett.

 Learn a tune from “The Waylaid Man” and get a FREE CD.

 Learn a tune from “The Waylaid Man” and get a FREE CD.

Do you want to get a free copy of an Irish traditional record? Well you better hurry before offer runs out. According to Irish recording artist Michael McCague:
  
So grab your camera phones and make a video of yourselves playing one of his tunes. Hey it wouldn’t be hard even if you don’t have his album yet as you can always looked it up via YouTube.

Karl Nesbitt is working on a new album The Constant!

Karl Nesbitt is working on a new album The Constant!


Karl Nesbitt, The multi instrumentalist Irish musician is working on a new album. The album is titled The Constant . Details are coming soon. He has been busy with many musical projects. These are recitals and Master classes.

He has already released two recordings Vista Point and the Good News EP. You can get updates about his latest releases and projects by visiting his official website

www.karlnesbitt.com

 

Videos:

Breaking Trad- Spike Island Lassies

Breaking Trad- Spike Island Lassies

https://soundcloud.com/www-tradconnect-com/breaking-trad-spike-island
My big thanks to Christi for sharing this wonderful track from the group Breaking Trad. The tune is called Spike Island Lassies. It is a unique interpretation of a traditional Irish tune which echoes fresh sentiments. Kudos to Trad Connect for featuring these musicians!

Also check out their YouTube video:

Members are Donal Murphy (accordion) Niall Murphy (Fiddle) Mike Galvin (Guitar) and Pauline Hartigan (vocals).

Thank You Fionnghuala

Thank You Fionnghuala

I’ve been starving for inspiration. I got nothing to write about. One needs to be passionate about something in order to create. I just had this conversation with a Scottish novelist via Facebook. And he remarked that the cure for depression is being able to do something. While we were chatting, I was listening to the second album of The Bothy Band. It’s called Old Hag You Have Killed Me. Remember that one around 1976? It is the album’s second track. I think something happened to my mind when it started to play. It is such a beautiful tune. The accuracy and speed of the rendition is otherworldly. They made their voices into instruments. And they are signing in Gaelic in this recording. I think this is my personal favorite from now on. bothyband371529

The beauty of traditional Irish music is that it is timeless. You could never tell that this album came out in the 70s. It sounds like it’s only recorded this year. You can feel the passion of the band members and how much they have mastered their musicality. It is true though that members Paddy Glackin, Tony MacMahon, Matt Molloy,Paddy Keenan, Dónal Lunny, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Tommy Peoples and Kevin Burke have already established themselves in the trad scene before joining this band.

I thank The Bothy Band for sparkling my fingers to write again. It is true you can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t write when you don’t hear or see anything that inspires you. I suggest, when you find yourself in the midst of a rut, go listen to anything or go out and see the view outside. There might be something there waiting for you.

You can buy Old Hag You Have Killed Me through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Old-Hag-You-Have-Killed/dp/B0014GFHQQ/ref=pd_bxgy_m_img_y

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

February 2015 Celtic music updates.

..And so we have amazing tunes to start the big bang of Celtic music for 2015!

Welcome to my ‘conversational post’ where I talk like a normal person especially when I am not doing album reviews or interviews. 2015 brings us fantastic tunes in the trad and fusion department. Celtic music is colorful as it embraces many. I will

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

The winning image from the Bodojo Header competition by Matthew Olwell.

bring you fresh uploads from musicians you have not or probably heard already. But guess what they have in common? Yes it’s fantastic music. These are artists who dedicated their lives in perfecting their craft. They have released albums independently and I think their persistence is admirable. Especially in a world where ‘common’ or ‘ordinary’ music is praised. But think about it. What’s so great about common right? Why not spice up your life with something you seldom read up the Billboard or Rolling Stone reviews. Why be part of the herd when you can be different. Think different. Act different and dare to be you.

This is a fresh upload from Irish musician Enda Seery(with James Hughes). I think a new album is on the way. What do you think? I love this tune.

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I will be posting an album review of this amazing artist. He is John Breen. 

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Have a taste of Buan, the new album by Danu. Yes they have a new album out if you haven’t heard yet. It’s been creating quite a stir in the trad community these days. Worth a check! Thanks to Trad Connect for this link.

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Fans of Scottish artist Julie Fowlis will be pleased. She has released a new album called  GACH SGEUL – EVERY STORY. As always, her vocals are in between the haunting realm of Celtic music and the simplicity of indie pop. Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/juliefowlis

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Bodhran Drum Solo – Abe Doron

Fans of bodhran music will love this! I love the bodhran and I am trying to be an expert but I guess I need more time. If you want to check out anything related to this instrument then be part of Bodojo https://www.facebook.com/groups/bodojo/?fref=ts

Have a great weekend everyone and more to follow!

Thoughts and Music this Christmas

Thoughts and Music this Christmas

Still with Allison Crowe… About the song: Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, sailor and islander Andy Vine (http://www.andyvine.com) composed this song in the late 1970s. While music-making in St. John’s, Newfoundland he discovered “Woman of Labrador”, the remarkable autobiography of Elizabeth Goudie. Of Inuit, Indian, French and English roots, Goudie (née Blake) was born in 1902 in Mud Lake, Labrador. At 18 she’d wed a trapper, raising their eight+ children in the brush – her memoirs recounting life and travails and dwellings from a trapper’s “tilt”, and log cabins to a Summer lake-shore fishing house and beyond – all that comes with and from such a pioneering existence in territory that encompassed family homes in Mud Lake, North West River and Happy Valley-Goose Bay To read the complete description, go the You Tube link: http://youtu.be/uYBp3ooX-2Q About the song:  From Corner Brooker Allison Crowe’s album, “Newfoundland Vinyl II”, comes this stirring song of a shipwreck and brave rescue efforts that occurred on November 29, 1875. To read the complete description, go to the You Tube link: http://youtu.be/LEM9DIRAGyk After listening to Souling and The Newfoundland Vinyl !! repeatedly, I notice something I never mentioned in my last article. Allison Crowe has a strong and distinctive voice. Singer/songwriters or musical artists who play their own instruments have always been associated with having soft singing voices. There are those who do have powerful voices but this is rare. Feel free to correct me but this is my observation. I think it comes with the fact that singing while playing an instrument is hard. You got to pick at least one instrument to channel your skills and emotions. Pop divas have their voices as their primary instrument. And for instrumentalists who don’t sing, they channel their power to that instrument they are using. But to master both is a challenge-I think. I have tried performing before and it is really hard to channel intense emotions when you are strumming a guitar. It feels awkward. When you belt out a tune, you do it easily when you are just holding a mic. And this is what I have noticed in Allison Crowe’s singing. She sings like a pop/rock vocalist but she is also that woman with the guitar. But he is certainly not Suzanne Vega or Judy Collins. She’s more like the late Nina Simone with bit of Natalie Merchant.

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Holiday albums I listen to year after year.
 
The list of Holiday albums I listen to change year after year depending if there are artists who are able to squeeze into my top 5. This usually happens upon new releases. But here are the albums that made it to my holiday list which I will be listening to next year.
  1. Loreena McKennitt- Midwinter’s Night Dream: This Canadian artist never fail to dazzle me with her amazing voice and marketing smarts. What is Christmas without the elfin appeal of McKennitt’s music?
  2. Enya-And Winter Came: Every year I listen to this because her arrangements bring down the snow. I won’t say more but perhaps you know what I mean.
  3. Moya Brennan-An Irish Christmas: After her US tour, she will be performing a Christmas special in Ireland. The first lady of Celtic music continues to dazzle.
  4. Souling-Allison Crowe: Yes she made it to my top 5 and I know I will be playing this album next holiday season.
  5. Together at Chritmas-Various artist: I want to thank Anita Daly for giving me this sampler as there are many amazing Celtic artists out there worth discovering.

*** Martin Tourish and how Celtic music continues to inspire me. I sometimes get asked, how I am able to keep up my passion for blogging . Especially that it’s been years since I started this baby? The answer is simple. Music. When I hear something that I like , that tune inspired me to write something about it. It is like discovering a beautiful plant that you just want to take care of it because seeing it bloom give you much pleasure.1458141506_bb96e77eb0 Of course it’s been obvious that I also like other types of music. And this liking for other styles of music made me marvel at the beauty of Celtic music. Because it remains different and ‘not mainstream.’ We all have our degree of elitism and this is my little elitist guilt ….and well, let’s face it, you don’t want to be part of the herd right? You gotta find your niche and hone your creativity around it. For me the sound of uilleann pipes, harp and other Celtic instruments inspire me. I love hearing them and also the comments that I get from people when they say that my music is something they could not find anywhere and that when they hear it they are soothed. So let me give you a taste of this wonderful playlist by the very talented Martin Tourish. This is presented by Trad Connect, the leading site for lovers of traditional Irish music. http://www.martintourishmusic.com

My Christmas thoughts. Warning it’s a little bit personal. 
Never be afraid to be vulnerable. I read that via Flipboard this week. I must confess, one of my fears to bare my weakness for anyone to say. And so I hid behind the guise of a blogger who just wants to post updates and ‘new stuff.’ Of course the ‘enterprise’ can be about that and building a brand. But that’s way behind me now. What I just want to do is to share music, and my thoughts about music. And perhaps a bit of my ‘voice.’
I know everyone has his or her own holiday plans. It could probably involve visiting relatives or holding a party. Mine is receiving relatives, playing Yuletide tune, completing a book by Anne Rice about werewolves of mid-winter and watching great movies. My aunt who raised me to become who I am today passed away last May 16, 2013. So it’s the second Christmas without her. I have to tell you, it is not an easy thing to go through year after year. But she also raised me to be strong and despite the pain I might be feeling inside, the ‘show must go on.’ There are moments of crippling pain especially when I am alone. There are moments when I feel I lave lost my relevance. I feel that she took the meaning out of existence with her, when she went away. As if living is a just a task I have to do because there is nothing else to do but to endure and to live for others.
I want to thank everyone who followed this blog through the years since its first launch in 2009. So may things happened. Amazing and tragic things. I met amazing people through this blog. And I know nothing lasts forever. We don’t have inexhaustible source of energy. Who knows one day I might stop writing simply because I could no longer go on. Perhaps because I have moved on to another venture. But I just want to say that this is my baby. I nurtured it, poured my love and sometimes pain to it. And I tell you, there is one thing that makes life beautiful and that is the feeling of being connected. That we are all part of a bigger picture, whatever that is. That we are not alone. No one is insignificant.
For my late aunt:
To my late aunt whom I call mama. You were the meaning of my life. And when all the stars fade and I have given all I have to give to life, your smiling face will be the last thing I will see…your voice , the last thing I will remember. And the universe will go on.
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Coming up…
I will be posting a review of North Star by Kyle Carey
Weekend Tunes and a big Happy Birthday to Kevin Crawford.

Weekend Tunes and a big Happy Birthday to Kevin Crawford.

It’s been a while since I posted something here. Blame it to the many obligations I took (which sometimes I regret because they zap my strength and creativity to blog) and that you can’t serve two masters at the same time. When you want to give your best on something, it must occupy your time and attention. And I believe that writing reviews or blogging about music is not just for the sake of putting something out there. It must be true to your heart. Music is about touching lives and putting that ‘soul’ to your existence because your music defines you. And I know that there are those who really don’t like my music preference but that’s just a matter of taste. What is important is that people are passionate about what they like to listen to. Because when you dissect music  in its barest essence, it is after all about energy. And energy is what the universe is made of. And it is part of us all.

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Happy Birthday to Kevin Crawford!

Yes the big man of Lunasa has just celebrated his birthday. They will be in the US next year so watch out for that event American listeners.

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Ensemble Eriu on Soundcloud.

These musicians are fantastic. They have created a kind of sound that is unique and also artfully crafted. I enjoyed every song from them and I think you will enjoy this Soundcloud link I posted. If you like the combination of Traditional Irish and modern music then you will love anything they release!

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Hooray Julie Fowlis!

If you haven’t visited the website of Julie Fowlis yet, you better check it out. A new album is out plus recognition from her own country. She wowed fans of alternative rock and traditional Scottish music and her wide appeal is evident in event below.

Music Award:

Julie made history last Saturday night when she became the first Gaelic artist to be honoured alongside pop and rock stars at the ‘Scottish Music Awards – The Tartan Clefs 2014’; where she received the ‘Scottish Traditional Music Award’.(from her official website.

New album from Julie Fowlis is out now!

If you want to read more about it and also upcoming music events from Julie Fowlis, then go to :http://www.juliefowlis.com

 

 

Album Review: Four Celtic Voices with Celeste Ray

Album Review: Four Celtic Voices with Celeste Ray

Good day folks! All you music lovers out there will love what I have brought today. An album review plus a facebook event that has been making waves!

New album:

If you like Broadway Style of Singing -or classical singing for that matter then you appreciate the Four Celtic Voices with Celeste Ray album. The singing is strong, pristine and emotional.fourcelticevoiceswithcel

As for the instruments, you will hear traditional as well as classical instruments. The mood is relaxing and it is overall magical.

Although the theme is not seasonal (or Christmas) the mood is suited for the contemplative spirit of winter. This is shown in one track called The First Noel which I am sure you know how to sing by heart.You can tell that the talents involved in this project have pipes that have undergone countless performance. There is the confidence that resonates in every track.

The style jumps from medieval, renaissance, folk and even country. There are even instrumentals. My favourite is Scotland the Brave / Psattery Dance. It has that spritely energy that brings a smile on your face!

The Blessing of the Three closes this album. The dramatic soprano reminds me of Loreena McKennitt. The vocal harmonisation is beautiful. There is a playfulness there that’s been evident all throughout the album.

This is a perfect holiday album which you can play in the background if you want to feel the spirit of the winter, which beautiful voices and instruments that will take your breath away! Thanks Anita Daly for bringing the magic around.
http://fourcelticvoices.com/

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Mental Health Awareness.
Notice: St. Patricks Mental Health Foundation in Ireland. Text “shoes” to 57802 to make a donation. You can visit the website at www.walkinmyshoes.ie if you are outside of Ireland.

Below is a video about a trad challenge which has been making rounds in Facebook like the ‘ ice bucket challenge’-remember that one lads? These musicians are nominating their friends to raise mental health awareness. Yes mental health is important. Take a look at Sean Og Graham and Niamh Dunne of Beoga.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154846486390475&pnref=story

UPDATE!!!

Today, Blackie O’Connell also posted here own below:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203033252214061

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Flashback! Climbing Pendle by Celtic Twist:

I love this instrumental tune and would love to hear it from time to time. Here’s Celti Twist ( HOLLAND AND PALMLEY) for you:

http://hollandandpalmley.wix.com/celtictwist

A fantastic essay from Fraser Fifield and more updates.

A fantastic essay from Fraser Fifield and more updates.

Here is an interesting update that musician Fraser Fifield posted on his Facebook page. I thought that it would be great to share this post for everyone (with his permission of course) to read. And yes he gave his approval:


“A jig with no melody per se, perhaps.a wee pre referendum musing, feeling pensive at the time I think, but optimistic, stupidly. audio a bit a low side, but you can just turn it up, a fair bit. hope you like. it’s optimistic with a hint of certainty of getting done in and overtones of despair. ”

http:www.fraserfifield.com for more

My newsletter, to show unsubscribers just what they’re missing out on…

Welcome. Enough has happened in the life of this freelance musician, I feel, to warrant sharing an update for any vaguely interested, muse upon an existence which is pretty varied if not opulent, recount some highs and lows of the past year and so draw a line in the sand.

Then step over it and into the future. 2015 looks interesting, but first a non-chronological look at some of what was has been so far, 2014.

(Why? Because I like my work to remain current and vaguely in people’s consciousness at times, it’s healthy given my job, plus there’s good music involved which I’m genuinely happy to advertise).10387424_790070994388029_5241127912082493114_n

I’m happy to have contributed to a variety of nice recordings. Still unreleased, but soon to be, are 2 lovely records by Inge Thomson ‘Da Fishing Hands’ and Sophie Ramsay’s 2nd solo album, respectively. Already filtering through to discerning ears are records by Patsy Reid ‘The Brightest Path’ and Jim Sutherland aka Struileag aka Children of Smoke and one by me and Graeme Stephen lest I forget – Esotero, released this time last year, and still flying off the shelves. And there’s an unmixed record by David Milligan, Graeme Stephen and I, resting on a hard disk for some months now, quite happy, look forward to share that in due course.

A pleasure to play alongside and learn from (and travel, rehearse, eat, drink etc) Angus Lyon/Duncan Lyall Band, Gavin Marwick’s Band, Corrina Hewat’s Band, Graeme Stephen, Dave Milligan, Mr McFalls Chamber, Red Note Ensemble, Allan MacDonald’s ‘Bruce 700′, Big Big Sing, Jerry Donahue and crew, and all others..Thank you all, very much.

And the Eurovision song, for Montenegro, glorious, I didn’t see that one coming. Thanks Slobodan. A lovely song too… No, no I didn’t appear in the final, just the singer and a rollerskater did. I didn’t even leave my own flat…been doing a few bits of remote recording this year – just last week on a cover of You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC for a musician in USA. And also last week, in another studio right enough, a kind of sultry Marilyn Monroe version of the Proclaimers’ 500 Miles kind of gobsmacked me momentarily, but I regained composure and pitched in with everything I could blow or squeeze no problemo. They won’t mind me mentioning, it’s not meant for folks like you.

My week in Gavoi, Sardinia, in June, courtesy of the British Council, collaborating and making friends with fellow European musicians, was a small sunny highlight and felt perhaps like something of a holiday whilst being allowed to pursue an interest in making experimental music, without guilt. I’m not an experienced holiday-maker, some would argue a professional one, but they don’t know.

Sad news came regarding the untimely passing of Georgi Petrov this year. He’s missed. A virtuoso player of the Gadulka, he kindly played along with Nedyalko on my 2008 record Traces of Thrace. His warmth of character, stories, good company and the music which resulted was loved by all who knew him.

The musical year started with a chance to play on a couple of songs with Capercaillie on their 30th anniversary gig in the Glasgow Concert Hall. Having gone through teenage years listening to them a part of me felt a tiny bit fraudulent being on stage.. For the 15 mins on the night and only a day or two of anticipation beforehand in typical, loveable, Shaw style, this was really exciting. Later in the year if I hadn’t missed his call I could have got to play my whistle with Kylie Minogue.

The musical year actually started bang on the 1st with Graeme and I playing our part in Lau-Land Edinburgh, which was perfect, my guitarist colleague almost managed to sleep in, but didn’t.

What else…became increasingly politically charged re the Scottish referendum for a while, insulted quite a few people with contrasting views probably, got crushed, returned to normal.

The Martyn Bennett Prize for composition happened for the 2nd year in Edinburgh. This time I had the job of trying to play the finalist’s pieces along with 4 other musicians – fun and challenging. The standard was great but I would urge more composers to have a go – it’s restricted to Scottish based composers (I think) but that’s pretty much the only restriction. It’s got a 1st and 2nd prize of 2 and 1k respectively. It’s a kind of high-brow X factor, not to be taken overly seriously as competitions shouldn’t, but an event that can help motivate new ways to integrate elements of our traditional music in composed music. Fingers crossed it’ll run next year.

Now, looking over that line and beyond the approaching festival of consumerism, is Celtic Connections Festival 2015 and my pal Greg Lawson’s work to arrange Martyn Bennett’s great last album, Grit, for a large bespoke acoustic ensemble. As you do. To be performed in the festival’s opening concert, January 15th. All being well it will (must surely) be quite epic I imagine.

Inge Thomson’s Da Fishing Hands – Celtic Connections 23rd January, Glasgow. Inge and I are also beginning to play as a duo which I’m chuffed about. More info about this soon. But the Celtic Connections gig is a 5 piece and will surely be lovely. The 1st gig of this collection of music/song, on the tiny island of Fair Isle, May 2014, was one of my favourites. Inge and I also play Dec 12th in Kilbarchan, nr Glasgow.

A great opportunity has come along for me to join the tabla maestro Zakir Hussein’s ‘Pulses of the World’ project which will tour in Dubai and India at the beginning of February and in the USA in March. With Rakesh Chaurasia and Jean-Michel Viellon on flutes… shelves of my CD collection just came to life. Not that often I can reel off a tour list like this, so I’ll take this opportunity to:

13th March – Pabst Theater, Milwaulkee
14th March – Purdue University, Fort Wayne IN
15th March – Cullen Theater, Houston TX
17th March – Lisner Auditorium, Washington DC
20th March – Moore Theatre, Seattle
21st March – Chan Centre, Vancouver BC
22nd March – Boulder Centre, Boulder CO
27th March – Painted Bride Arts Centre, Philadelphia
28th March – Carnegie Hall, New York
29th March – Somerville Theater, Boston MA
31st March – Rio Theater, Santa Cruz CA
2nd April – Jazz Centre, San Francisco, CA
3rd April – Jazz Centre, San Francisco, CA

Audiences in the Scottish Highlands (mostly) will get a chance to hear my collaboration with Red Note Ensemble and Kuljit Bhamra (tabla) at the beginning of March. It was nice to meet and try some material out at the recent Sound Festival in Aberdeenshire. The Highland dates will be posted in due course.

I’ll leave it there, just before I begin to tell of a big bit of news, good news, which I had to read a few times when it arrived the other day. But that perhaps would turn this simple newsletter into something else, a short story at the least so, back soon on that.

Nice to write to you. Nothing to sell you directly but perhaps some CDs for Christmas presents, always an option, always a tenner.

Any correspondence always welcome.

All the best,

Fraser

 

www.fraserfifield.com

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ATHY “The Electric Harper”

Athy from Latin America.He’s got style, he’s got the funk. He plays the harp like no other. Mix the Spanish soul with Irish tradition and you get Athy Electric harper. He is passionate in propagating the harp as popular instrument and not confined inside the doors of classical standards. I made an interview with him before and he is down to earth and filled with a great sense of humour. It is good to see how his fans are multiplying year after year. He has toured around the world ad have performed with the greats in the world of traditional and contemporary music.He is embraced by fans of Jazz, World, Classical and Folk. Irish musicians hold him in high regard and well, hearing his recordings myself made me a fan!

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Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra – Sailing

For those who missed this track the day it came out, here it is. So lovely! Enjoy your weeks ahead friends.

 

Album Review: Across the bridge by Red Sonnet

Album Review: Across the bridge by Red Sonnet

It is great to be visited by the muse of the cold months. With that comes the kind of music suited for reflection. It is the time of year when people like to stay indoors watching the leaves fall. It is a moment of contemplation and artistic stimulation. It is an honour to introduce this new recording by England-based ambient/folk group Red Sonnet. Their music has been likened to Enya and Clannad due to the haunting female vocals and fascinating melodies. a0134699439_10

The piano is the dominant instrument in this album but there are other gossamer instruments that weave their smoky embellishments around classical and soft rock influenced tunes. I love how the tympani in Across the Bridge creates that epic moment as if I am in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. And yes that is the title of the album too.

The overall experience is pleasant. I recommend this for people who love Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLachlan and those I have mentioned earlier.  There are moments when the vocals can sound a bit shy so I would encourage more confidence in future Red Sonnet recordings. But this is a great atmospheric treat and you know me, I LOVE atmosphere.

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For a taste of trad and fusion here’s  King & Cillian Doheny with MUSICOPHILIA. I let the purity of the music embraced me again. I remember the first time I started this blog and how this type of music inspired me and the creativity I found within. Perhaps traditional music is mostly technical but if you go further and see it in a different perspective, you will realise the spiritual aspect that has always been elusive but prominent. And I am reconnecting to that source again and hopefully bring you more review.

This is performed by Cillian King and Cillian Doheny. I just found out the name is pronounced as ‘Kill-yan” and not with the Sil-yan as I used to do. Beautiful performance. You can see the listeners love them!

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Been listening to this today. This is a perfect tune to welcome Autumn. I am a fan of Robert Doyle so whatever he puts up in his youtube gets me excited. This man is an amazing artist with his strong grasp of contemporary and traditional Irish music. He also expands his interests to include other styles and cultures.

About :Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean 

These are two jigs I first heard on Matt Molloy’s classic ‘Heathery Breeze’ album from 1985. The arrangements are by Scottish guitarist Mark Thomson. 

The tuning is DADGAD with capo on 1 and the guitar was built by Frank Tate. 

For more info please visit: 
www.robertdoyle.net

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Let me express my huge apologies to this band for not posting this video sooner. I got this on August but was not able to post due to my hectic work schedules. They are based in France specialising in folk and world music. Very good! You should check them out. This is Nabila Dali & band performing the traditional “Bedlam Boys” in Paris on December 6th 2013.
Official Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nabila…

FALL SHOWs at THE PARAMOUNT  on LONG ISLAND

FALL SHOWs at THE PARAMOUNT on LONG ISLAND

Hi Friends,

This will be a short introduction but an informative post below. Great things are happening in Long Island. Our long time friend Anita Daly provided the deets. Check the press release below:

Imelda May is coming to The Paramount on September 28th at 8pm!  This native Irish singer-songwriter’s unique rockabilly sound and 50’s inspired style has caught attention of many fans around the world.  She has shared the stage with artists such as Jeff Beck, The Supremes, Elton John and many more.  May will also be making another New York stop on her tour performing at Irving Plaza on September 29th.  Tickets for The Paramount show can be purchased on ticketmaster.com.

Imelda May, photo courtesy of http://www.liquidroom.com/

Imelda May, photo courtesy of http://www.liquidroom.com/

Come out to see Imelda May at The Paramount on September 28th at 8pm.  370 New York Ave. Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. 11743.  www.paramountny.com 613 673 7300.

 

The Kooks are coming to The Paramount on October 9th!  This British rock band has had extraordinary global success since forming a decade ago.  Although they are a self-described “pop” band they possess a very unique rock sound which can be attributed to inspiration from various sources. After two years of no new material from the group they have released their fourth album, “Listen”.  Tickets for their show at The Paramount can be purchased on ticketmaster.com.

Come out to see The Kooks at The Paramount on October 9th at 8pm.  370 New York Ave. Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. 11743.  www.paramountny.com  613 673 7300.

 

Flogging Molly is coming to The Paramount on November 28th!  The group’s sound infuses punk rock with Celtic instruments and clearly pulls inspiration from traditional Irish music.  Flogging Molly’s incredibly loyal fan base is said to be due to not only their sound but also the social and political awareness that truly drives the music.  Tickets for their show at The Paramount can be purchased on ticketmaster.com.

Come out to see The Kooks at The Paramount on November 28th at 8pm.  370 New York Ave. Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. 11743.  www.paramountny.com  613 673 7300.

Comedian Kathleen Madigan is coming to The Paramount on November 6th!  Madigan has had a 25 year career as a stand-up comedian and has been seen on comedy televisions shows such as Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, and so on.  She has been described by Leno as being “One of American’s funniest female comics.”  Tickets for Kathleen Madigan at The Paramount can be purchased on ticketmaster.com.

Come out to see Kathleen Madigan at The Paramount on November 6th at 8pm.  370 New York Ave. Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. 11743.  www.paramountny.com  613 673 7300.

Gifts and New Album

Gifts and New Album

 

 

While there are events in our lives that ebb and flow, we are like willows bending and enduring whatever life hands us. But in that space between two  hills we are blessed by the calm that comes when we behold something beautiful. Be it the sunset or waking up to a fantastic song, the fact is, magic happens. So yes sh*t happens and so is the realization that everything is going to be ok. If we just hold on maybe the next day or week is going to be different.

Finally the new album by Kyle Carey is out!

Finally the new album by Kyle Carey is out!

So what’s new? Kyle Carey has new album out! Yes we’ve waited since last year as she wrote that the said album was going to be recorded during the Celtic Connections in Scotland. She posted pictures from these sessions via Instagram and in her facebook page. Now it is out! I will listen to it and then write a review.

Congratulations to Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser of The Bombadils for finally tying a knot. I knew this was coming. This two will create beautiful music together so I am sure I will be writing about the Bombadils soon, There are many things out there really worth blogging about. And yes check out the picture below. Those are gifts from my English friend Paula. She and Gilly went to Dublin to meet Ian for a photoshoot. You will read more about it in my other blog.

I am also posting a video from Kyle Carey. Thanks to Dave Hallowell for posting this beautiful live performance. You will hear this song in the new album by the same title.

I am hungry for new materials. I am excited for something new. But for now, this is going to be a blog post below 500 words. Just let it out in small doses. We don’t want to choke on too much info. For now.

 

 

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Catching up with artist Jenne Lennon

Catching up with artist Jenne Lennon

 

Film composer/arranger and kickboxer! Jenne Lennon is the woman of the new century.

For months now I wanted to post something about Jenne Lennon especially her project in South Africa but we never seem to cross paths in the internet. But there are good moments when this happens. This is a candid interview . Well, not really an official one because we are still going to set the time. But it is really important to get the information out. After all blogging is all about telling the world what’s going on. In my case, it’s what’s going on in the world of music.To avoid confusion, I bolded my lines.

JL: There you Are!! I was trying to reach you via Skype for a while. Thought something happened to you due to the Tsunami.

B:I have a new skype account

I see. Are you and your family well? I’m very relieved to hear that.

Jenne Lennon: South Africa changed my life.

Jenne Lennon: South Africa changed my life.

Yes and how about you?

Doing quite well thank you. South Africa changed my life and things here in Chicago are going quite nicely although this was the coldest, longest, winter in Chicago history

Glad to hear. We should have an audio interview soon via Skype.

Absolutely! I would LOVE that

Yeah spring came late in the US.

To late. Only last week in fact hehe we had a snowstorm 2 weeks ago.

Yeah I read the news.

And is it warm over there?

Yes.All he time hahahaha. Sometimes it gets too much.

Jealous….except for those tropical storms in fact. And how is your blog going?

Yes haha!It’s still(blogging) going passionately..weathering storms 😉

Good!

I guess what you can’t stop from doing defines who you are or what you are.

Well said!

And how’s music?

Going so well. Did a score and a choral scene for a new film “A Million Miles Away” i’ts one several awards and received many great reviews. I’m working with a NY composer right now on a Broadway project.

Wow.Getting bigger and bigger.

Thank you sir.I hope so. I just want my music to reach a larger audience and have a more significant impact. Film and theatre seems to be a great match for that.

Yes they are great vehicles. I will look for that film.

Please do! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. It’s about the power of music and young women. It’s a short, but is so powerful.The director is called Jennifer Reeder/Producer Steven Hudosh.

I see!Ok cool I will look for it and write about it.

That would be wonderful! I think you’re going to love it. 75% of the music is mine, the whole song in the choral scene is my arrangement, and I worked as the behind the scenes conductor in the film.

Wow.Glad to hear that.

Thank you. It’s my first film. Hope it is not the last.

I hope so too!

Unfortunately, I have to go. I have a kickboxing class. Hehe! Let’s chat soon!Glad you are okay!

Yes take care. And kick it!!!

Thank you

 

Photo by: By Roland Labana

 

http://www.jennelennon.com
http://www.glencoerecords.com
http://www.myspace.com/jennelennon
http://www.thecelticlink.com/jennelennon
http://www.srtrc.org/