Craving for new sound? Get Windmills in the Sky by Coast.

Craving for new sound? Get Windmills in the Sky by Coast.

River is one of the catchiest Celtic rock songs I have heard in ages. There is no comparison because the style is original. Perhaps I would  mention a little bit of Dougie MacLean, Luka Bloom and Simple Minds for reference but I mean when I say that they’re quite unique and captivating. The song (River) starts with a banging of (alsmost gated) drums. The chorus “Take me down to the river..’ is so well-written and recorded that it makes me sing along! It is taken from their new album Windmills in the Sky, consisting of ten songs reflecting their Scottish roots but with modern appeal.

COAST Windmills in the Sky cd cover HIGH RES

New album: Windmills in the Sky

There are five people in the band with Paul Eastham ( Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano)
Chris Barnes( Percussion and Vocals), Finlay Wells (Electric & Acoustic Guitars and Vocals)
‘Mop’ Youngson ( Drums) and Dave Williamson (Bass and additional Vocals). Here’s a brief background from their website:

COAST is a world class, UK based professional rockband started by brothers Paul Eastham and Chris Barnes in 2009.

Paul is an outstanding songwriter, vocalist, performer, producer and virtuoso pianist with an extensive industry CV which includes credits and collaborations with some of the most highly regarded international artists, songwriters and producers.
Having spent many of their childhood years on the Island of Benbecula in Scotlands’ Western Isles, the musical work of COAST has a character and style which is shaped and coloured by the dramatic landscapes and cultural aspects of the region.
With two albums, three EPs and many UK, European and Scandanavian festival appearances behind them, COAST continue with what has been a rapid rise to international acclaim with a new album launching in early 2017 followed by extensive touring of their new high energy show.

Their songs touch various topics and one has such historical content like the ballad “1884.” At times, their music approaches a cinematic scope like the soaring and frisky “Old Atlantic Sky.”  Like their Irish cousins Clannad (who ventured into soundtracking), they’re able to come up with a haunting instrumental piece called “You’re So Beautiful To Me.” I think this track will get Celtic music aficionados (like me) to put them in the elite category of the musical culture. They know how to make a grand close with the title track which showcases their propensity for a grand sound.

Windmills in the Sky is now available for purchase through their website. You can also pre-order CD and vinyl versions.

Advertisements
Na Fianna -Making Modern Irish Music That’s Very Catchy

Na Fianna -Making Modern Irish Music That’s Very Catchy

If traditional-based Irish music needs a wake up alarm then leave it to the members of Na Fianna. Their energy is punk-like but they owe most of their aesthetics Irish music like the ballads of Christy Moore and the melodic wonder of The Clancy Bothers and Dropkick Murphys. They play lively tunes that are so catchy Thin Lizzy will be proud of them. 11223581_10155793250160504_1664260918107804656_n

I became familiar with the band’s name after browsing Reddit and see them trending under ‘Celtic’ category. But even though the musical identity of Na Fianna is distinct, their sentiments are inclusive and that makes their music universal.

Still not convinced? Go ahead and listen to their new single via YouTube and you will know what I mean:

 

There are four people in the band comprising of:

Hugh Finn: Banjo & Vocals

Ciaran Finn: Guitar & Vocals

Peter McMahon: Percussion & Vocals

James O’Connor: Accordian & Vocals

Unearth is the new album and it has twelve songs. There are traditional songs that are familiar like Step it Out Mary, Star Of County Down, The Lakes Of Pontchartrain and more. Fans of Christy Moore and Luka Bloom will love both this album and these four lads. Check out the EPK below:

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Larry Kirwan will be performing live at the Cutting Room NYC St Paddy’s Day Eve. It will be the first since the announcement of doing separate musical projects from Black 47. See the details below:

1. You will be doing  first solo St Paddy’s Day show in NYC! Are you excited?

Sure! Playing on St. Patrick’s Day in NYC is like jumping atop a wild stallion.  You try to guide

it but you usually end up just hanging on and going with the excitement and glow.  I did a solo

show at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore on Saturday and it went really well, so I’m wound up and ready for St. Patrick’s Night.  When I did solo shows during the Black 47 era I usually contrasted the performances – take the solo show down and make it more introspective.  But now I just take the Black 47 fire onstage with me and attack the electric/acoustic Takemine just as I did the Stratocaster for 25 years.

2. Can you share with us your set list? 

I won’t even decide on that until just before going onstage, and even then I’ll change that set list around while onstage.  I have a lot of Black 47 songs to choose from and will re-imagine them, oftentimes adding a bit more of the back story before the actual song; so it’s somewhat a different experience.  People will hear more of the lyrics and perhaps get deeper into the soul of the original song.  I’ll also be doing some songs from my musical Hard Times, and setting the scene back in July 1863.  I’ll probably do a couple of covers.  And there’s a Yeats poem that I set to music about 10 years ago that I’ve never really performed.  We’ll see… but whatever, it will all be fresh.

3. What can we expect from you this year, in terms of live shows and also solo projects?

I’m developing Hard Times for a bigger production up in Toronto so will be up there quite a bit.  I’m also doing a solo show of Foster in the Five Points out in Bergen Community College Theatre in Paramus, NJ on April 16th.  I was commissioned to do that by the Lincoln Library and will probably do more of those shows.  I have a new book coming out in April, A History of Irish Music – and will do some readings from that over the next six months.  I’m also working on a new musical about Iraq that will incorporate a number of the songs from Black 47’s IRAQ CD.  But I will do some strictly solo music shows – I’ve really gotten back into guitar playing again.  I miss the Fender Strat – it was like a part of my body for all the years of Black 47 – but I’m enjoying the acoustic again.  So, onwards and upwards, as the bishop said to the actress!

4. Message to your fans?

“Treat every day as if it’s your last – and one day you’ll be right.”  That’s actually from my friend, Malachy McCourt.  But it’s so true.  On a more personal basis, thank you so much for all your love and support down the years.  Even though Black 47 will no longer play, the spirit of the band will go on.  The songs are still there and I’ll be playing them.

It’s going to be an exciting event. Go to his website for more details: http://www.black47.com

Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Wow it’s just the middle of the week and more phantasmagorically smashing updates are coming up from the world of music. OUR world of music 😉

Moxie announced their plans of recording a new album late last year. Now, they are in the middle of it and the effort looks and sounds really promising. Check this amazing link. It gives the new meaning to the word busy :

MOXIE http://www.moxiemuso.com https://www.facebook.com/Moxiemuso
https://www.framelight.ie
http://beechpark.com (Studio)

Robert Doyle is releasing his new album next year. Here’s a sneak peak at the tunes he’s making. Arrangement by  Mark Thomson and video by  Alan Lambert .

Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean

http://www.robertdoyle.net

 

 

Repost your Soundcloud!

Repost your Soundcloud!

 

A blog featuring John Breen, Fraser Fifield and TradConnect

It is great to realize that soundcloud has grown into a site where musicians and listeners can interact and repost music. Have you been reposting the music you heard too? I have been doing this today. I have not uploaded my podcast in soundcloud as I use mixcloud for that. But soundcloud is still the biggest site where you can reach many people.
From a mere(passive)listener of tracks you can actually make a difference by reposting. So you don’t have to be a blogger to influence people if you have a soundcloud account. Just share what you are listening to and the Internet will take care of the rest.

When bloggers like us experience a downtime in traffic and comments, we launch into conclusion that perhaps we have done something wrong to put our readers off. Maybe we are not doing good enough and that is why readers are going somewhere. Well, the truth is, you are wrong. For niche bloggers like me, it is expected that I will get specialized subscribers who are really passionate about Celtic music. I don’t expect pop listeners to check out what I post. This goes with other niche blogs out there.

Too many choices.

As new bloggers crop up everywhere, competition becomes deadly. The market is no longer dominated by those who are ‘stalwarts’ in this industry. Prepare for that. When you are doing video blogs or simply writing blogs, don’t be discouraged when you have lost view counts. This is normal. It happens to everyone. It’s even happening to Tech vlogger Chris Pirillo.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Are you afraid that if you do something different you will turn certain subscribers off? Don’t be. In fact it might be a good thing. Blogging is like marriage. There are times when a relationship hits plateau and you need to do something different to spice the relationship up.

Going back to soundcloud, I have discovered new posts today and I am sharing them with you. Yes this post is after all about soundclous. But if you get something helpful from by detour then good!

 

John Breen’s Compilation

 

 

I enjoyed many songs from John Breen. There is this simplicity in his way of delivering songs. Expect a range of songs going from simple to grand treatments. This time he compiled his own soundcloud playlist of what he thinks are his top artists.

 

Fraser Fifield Playlist

Here’s the Scottish master of eclecticism. This is a good introduction to what his music is all about. There are other amazing talents that share the spotlight with him, in these recordings.

 

TradConnect playlist:

If you are looking for something purely trad then this is the best site for that.

 

 

Larry Kirwan talks about Last Call by Black 47.

Larry Kirwan talks about Last Call by Black 47.

Black 47

Larry Kirwan (lead vocals, guitar)
Geoffrey Blythe (saxophones)
Fred Parcells (trombone, pennywhistle)
Thomas Hamlin (drums, percussion)
Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes, flute, bodhrán)
Joseph Burcaw (bass)

9 questions for Larry Kirwan of Black 47.
I finally got the replies from Larry Kirwan for the interview through Anita Daly.  Just heads up,they will be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on St Patrick’s Day night on NBC TV 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Between gigs and going around, he finally got the time to answer these question. Check out what he says about the new album and also the future of everyone’s artistic career.
1. You explored many musical styles in the recording  of new album Last Call. Why did you choose the title Last Call?
 

Well, we’re disbanding on Nov. 15th after 25 years.  It seemed appropriate, as did the cover – a view of dawn breaking over Brooklyn – something we’ve seen many times.  Also, life goes on…

2. There are many socially conscious themes in your songs. One of them is Let the People In which is clearly about immigration. What inspired you to pin that track down?  

Because the foundation stone of this country is immigration.  Having a liberal immigration policy is so right for the country on so many levels.  It seemed like there should be a song that reflected this sentiment – seemed like a job for Black 47.
3. I know that you put your heart to every song you recorded for this album. Can you name your favorites and why?
 
I like every song that Black 47 has ever recorded – there’s never been filler.  Some I could have nailed a bit better but I care for them all.  I like Salsa O’Keefe because I’ve always wanted to do a Latin flavored song.  Night The Showbands Died is a favorite although it hurts in a way to hear it and perform it – I was a fan of Fran O’Toole’s who got killed in the massacre, he was always kind to me, so it brings back a particular place and time.  I like the funky groove of Let The People In…. I’ve always been fascinated by Brendan Behan.  I’m surprised that Shane didn’t get to it first but such are the breaks.

4. This is the last album of huge band together. Was this a very emotional experience for you and everyone involved in the recording process?
 
I don’t really think so, although I can only speak for myself.  When you’re recording or performing you’re putting everything into it, no matter if it’s your first or fifteenth.  But I do think there was a desire from the band to do a great final album and to have Black 47 be at its very best.  That seems to be the case – but time will tell.

5. Why did you finally plan to disband after many years being together?
 
I didn’t want an endless end.  Black 47 means a lot to a lot of people – it was very important that we finish up in a suitable manner – not to have it just drag on.  The band was sounding at its best when we made the decision six months ago and last night’s show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park was one of the best I remember – so I think we’re doing the right thing – go out at your best and doing new material that matches up to your crowd favorites.

6. What’s the plan for the album(in terms of promoting) this year?
 
I don’t know.  We just play as many gigs to as many people as we can.  That’s always the B47 way of doing things.  Everything else tends to take care of itself if you do it that way.

7. Will fans get to see you or any of the band in various incarnations?
 
Everyone will continue playing.  We’re working musicians.  We have to make a living!  I’m not sure what the other guys will do, but I’ll continue doing Rock & Read solo shows.  This is about finishing Black 47 on a high.  What happens later will happen…
8. Where can fans get The Last Call album?
 
The best place is to buy it from the Black 47 site www.black47.com  It will also be available on iTunes, Amazon, and the 
various other platforms.  But best to buy a CD at a gig – that way you’re supporting live music – do that to all your favorite bands.

9. Your message to old and new fans?
 
We did it our way, said the things we felt should be said, and always with inventive and original music.  Thanks for all the love and support down the years.  It’s been one hell of a ride!
Sources:
An Utter Loss: The Passing of George Donaldson of Celtic Thunder

An Utter Loss: The Passing of George Donaldson of Celtic Thunder

George Donaldson

George Donaldson

George Donaldson of Celtic Thunder dies at 46.

I was checking my news feed just now and saw the post of musician Eoin Murphy of the Buachaills regarding the passing of Celtic Thunder’s  George Donaldson. He was known for his guitar and flute talents on top of his amazing vocals.  This is really tragic. He was a strong presence in the group. He recently released a solo album in the middle of 2013 called The World in My Mind. According to the Inquisitr:

George Donaldson had been the face of the band Celtic Thunder since he joined in 2007, but now the 46-year-old has died after suffering a massive heart attack. 

Donaldson died Wednesday at his home in Glasgow, Scotland. The self-taught musician joined the group Celtic Thunder six years ago after auditioning for producer Sharon Browne, and served as the principal singer since then.

His powerful shone though his stage performances. He brought something different to Celtic Thunder as he drew influences from his native Scotland and added diverse materials from contemporary music. Donaldson’s passing is one of the tragedies that struck the Celtic music community recently. He was too young to go. Such a loss of talent and beautiful life. My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. May his musical legacy continue to shine through and bring comforts in our hearts in times of darkness.

“Glasgow” written & performed by George Donaldson, http://www.george-donaldson.com

” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

Band members:

" Esyllt " CD Record 10 songs

” Esyllt ” CD Record 10 songs

Gwalchmei, Guitare

Dam kat, Vocals

Patrick Boileau, Drums

Stéphane Rama, Bass

Loic Blejean, Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistles

Jean Marc Illien, Piano & Keyboards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help independent artists and help maintain our musical culture.

Fantastic Album: At your Call by The Buachaills

Fantastic Album: At your Call by The Buachaills

The Buachaills

The Buachaills

If you recall, I wrote about the The Buachaills in my previous post. I am really glad to get to listen to “At your Call” ahead of the official release. The album will be available on May 10th 2014. So all you music fanatics and supporters of the genre, let this album bolt out of the doors when it hits the stores. Make it a great event!

The album has good opening and closing track.

At Your Call which is the title track reminds me of the lost glory of 90s Alternative bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket and Jars of Clay. My friends at The London Celtic Punks already wrote a review so you might want to check that out. Combining the beauty of Irish instruments and good songwriting, this song is unique, explosive and inspiring. The chorus has vocal melodies that goes ” Someday soon we’ll find the words to say.” The lyrics and the melody float together making this a perfect song. If they need me to carry the torch all the way to top 40 radio for modern rock tracks then I will carry it for this song!

The same goes for Baker Street (Which is their first single with an awesome video above). If you like something by Chris Isaak, Bible Code Sundays, Alice in Chains and anything with these bands combined, then you will love everything you hear in At Your Call. You Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time, showcases the perky tin whistle and sing along chorus.

King of The Fairies pays tribute to the Irish myth. In this tune, they explored their haunting and atmospheric side. This is actually my kind of ‘Celtic music’ as the genre is meant to transport you.

There is another surprise. It’s the brilliant remake of Will Ye Go Lassie Go(Which I originally heard from Mountain Goats). Lovers of Light has pure rhythmic fun as it showcases world favors on top of the irresistible beat and sumptuous uilleann pipe sounds. Little Creatures closes this beautiful album with its energetic and haunting nature.
The band’s strong point are the following: Their use of vocal harmonies. The second is their songwriting style which is very contemporary  and which has the capacity to jump genres. Next is of course, the instruments.

Be sure to get this album when it comes out on May.

The album was produced by Ciaran O’Shea http://ciaranosheamusic.com/ who has worked with Linken Park , Bush and the Frank and Walters to name a few.

It was mastered in New Zealand by Darren O’Reilly (Clannad).

www.thebuachaills.com

www.facebook.com/thebuachaills

 

https://twitter.com/buachaills

Creeds Cross: Gods & Fighting Men Is My Energy Music!

Creeds Cross: Gods & Fighting Men Is My Energy Music!

The Album features an all star line up of musicians including Pete Jupp (FM) Drums, Bob Skeat (Wishbone Ash) Bass, Pat McManus (Mamas Boys and Celtus) Fiddle, and Brian Kelly (Shane McGowan) on Banjo. Paddy Rock takes on a new twist with this guitar driven traditionally influenced release. It’s a journey from mayhem to melancholy, stopping at every pub in between-Creeds Cross Website.

Harnessing the power of a broad musical spectrum, Creeds Cross crafted an album that will appeal to many listeners. They also made a good musical representation with their (visually pleasing) video for The Irish Band. The album has eleven tracks that celebrate the passionate spirit of Irish rock. What I admire about this recording is its natural vibe that flows. It doesn’t matter what tempo, the passion rubs on you right away.

The Irish Band is a perfect introduction to the music of the band, and I guess that’s the main reason it is their first single. Fiddles, banjos and other instruments wrapped this uplifting tune. Precision is the thing that marks their playing. No loose ends there.

I like the way the drummer(Pete Jupp) hammers the snare in One by One. People can call their music Paddy rock or any way they want to call it. But for me it is simply this: Beautiful music! A kind of album you should take with you when you go on a trip somewhere far away. The energy screams caffeine and after several listens, you will realize how easy it is to memorize all the songs in Gods & Fighting Men.

Good Enough is a good power ballad suited for a huge arena. Bart Foley proves that he has remarkable vocal pipes, enough to make the gods stop in their tracks. The title track Gods & Fighting Men sounds like it has a potential for second single. It has this loud and confident style that most young people really dig these days. I’m Coming Home has a very Americana feel. I love it because it makes me smile when I hear it. Two thumbs up for the banjo player(Brian Kelly). I also love Half a Chance for its power to make me want to dance-pogo dancing that is…

For those who are into the softer side of music, listen to A Lullaby. It’s really a good song with awesome mandolin playing. When you reach the chorus part it feels like you are flying.

You can buy Gods & Fighting Men here: http://www.creedscross.com/product/gods-fighting-men-album/

From Gods & Fighting Men video shoot.