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Their songs touch various topics and one has such historical content like the ballad “1884.”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.

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:

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 (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



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  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!
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,

” 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 :

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 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).

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:

From Gods & Fighting Men video shoot.

On the radar: Creeds Cross

On the radar: Creeds Cross

Creeds Cross

Creeds Cross


Pete Jupp (FM) Drums, Bob Skeat (Wishbone Ash) Bass, Pat McManus (Mamas Boys and Celtus) Fiddle, and Brian Kelly (Shane McGowan) on Banjo.

Website :

When I stumble upon a fantastic band with something to show I don’t hesitate. I get my iPad and blog away! Time is of the essence and people need to know. I like how the band Creeds Cross are stomping their way into our musical consciousness with their own style of Paddy Rock(the fusion of Rock and Traditional with a twist). I think this music is geared towards the weekend crowd when all you want to do is listen to great tunes and party. Music is a community affair and people from across generations know this. The style and volume might have changed over the years, but the essence is still the same.

The music video is very attractive as it focuses on the essence of what it is to be a band playing great Irish tunes in a contemporary arrangement. Being a fan of rock music myself, I can really spot the authenticity in their attitude. And the other part of me who celebrates the beauty of Irish music thinks this is a fantastic find. A musical pot of gold.

This is just a taster of what,s to come from the band. This song is from the

new album “Gods & Fighting Men Out on worldwide release March 3rd. The first single is called The Irish Band. I enjoyed every bit of that song!

Radio Friendly and Insightful-Last Call by Black47

Radio Friendly and Insightful-Last Call by Black47


I think that the decision for the placement of Salsa O’Keefe by Black 47 as the opening track of The new album Last Call( and perhaps their final one before disbanding later this year) celebrates their years in the music world as the one and only band that fuses Irish and Reggae while maintaining that Punk Rock energy. Wow the last one? You mean to say that perhaps we will never get to hear them together again? But knowing how passionate these guys are, I am sure we will hear them in various incarnations. I guess it is not easy to carry a huge band like this especially in this changing landscape of the music industry. Maybe these questions will be answered once I hear from the main guy Larry Kirwan.

Last Call could be the unapologetic tongue in cheek take on what it means to be Irish in New York city. But when I read the press release it says here that : , (Last Call)explores the life and psyche of Irish playwright, Brendan Behan, model for Shane McGowan and a host of Celtic rockers. No wonder I feel that poetic passion all over the songs. Culchie Prince features a fantastic uilleann pipe, tin whistle and a whole bunch of traditional Irish instruments on top of what could be one for the greatest modern rock song in history.

Let the People In celebrates diversity and explores themes covering immigration. You check out the lyrics because I know this will stir up that patriotic string in your heart and reminds us the reasons why America is called the land of the free. There are thirteen songs and every song has its ‘style’ to show. It closes with an interesting cover of Stephen Foster’s Hard Times. Like I said this could be the last album you will hear from this legendary band so better grab your copies. We fans keep the music alive!

Press release:


“On ‘Last Call’, Black 47 serves a 200 proof cocktail made with a shot of funk and two fingers of Irish malarkey thrown in for good measure. Larry Kirwan saves the best for last, using roots, rock, and reggae to bring the final curtain down on the most influential Irish American band in history.”

Mike Farragher, The Irish Voice


In November 1989, Ed Koch was serving out the last days of his mayoralty and an earthquake had recently hit  the World Series in San Francisco when Black 47 set out for its first gig in the Bronx. After 2500 shows and 14 CDs the “house band of New York City” will disband in November 2014 exactly 25 years later. Rather than resting on any laurels, Black 47 will release its final album, Last Call on Feb. 25th.


We decided to go out when we’re ahead and, as always, on our own terms,” said leader, Larry Kirwan. “The band has never sounded better so why not record some songs and explore new ground.”


That they do, the lead track Salsa O’Keefe rips into a Rock-Salsa groove while describing the sassy daughter of an inter-racial couple from Bayamón, Puerto Rico and Cultimagh, Co. Mayo. Always interested in filling the dance floor, Black 47 explores the world of EDM in Dublin Days, a hymn to lost love and international student exchange.


On The Night The Showbands Died Kirwan looks back at a hero, Fran O’Toole, killed in the 1975 Miami Showband massacre in Northern Ireland. While the band takes no prisoners in US of A 2014, a state of the union Rap-Rock anthem, and Let The People In – a demand for more logical & humane immigration laws.


Black 47, a pioneer of rock biography songs, explores the life and psyche of Irish playwright, Brendan Behan, model for Shane McGowan and a host of Celtic rockers. Oona Roche, niece of The Roches, makes a vital debut on Johnny Comes a’Courtin a Reggae account of a young woman exiled by Oliver Cromwell to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean. But overall Last Call is a testament to the band’s belief in Rock ‘n Roll redemption as they swagger along on Culchie Prince, Queen of Coney Island, and Shanty Irish Baby until they round off the album with an uplifting version of Stephen Foster’s Hard Times – fitting enough given Kirwan’s recent success with his musical about the father of American music.


Formed by Chris Byrne an NYPD detective and Kirwan, a playwright, Black 47 – who took their name from the worst year of the Irish Potato Famine – caused an immediate stir by introducing original music and political context into the Irish bar scene. “It was a bracing sound, we were setting Irish jigs and reels to Hip-Hop beats, singing about James Connolly and Michael Collins, while creating pub anthems like Livin’ in America and 40 Shades of Green.” Soon Black 47 was signed to EMI Records, Funky Ceili lit up FM Radio and MTV, and the band became a feature on Leno, Letterman and O’Brien.


Geoff Blythe (saxophones), Fred Parcells (trombone/whistle) & Thomas Hamlin (drums) are the other three original members. Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes/bodhran) joined when Chris Byrne left in 2000, and Joseph “Bearclaw” Burcaw (bass) came aboard in 2007. All members add their own spin to the arrangements of the songs from Last Call, described by Kirwan as “a very up, horn driven, celebration of American and Irish life.” Then again, that’s what Black 47 has always been about. It should be a great final year for “the only band that matters,” as their friend Joe Strummer once described them.

Last Call Tour

 Big thanks to Anita Daly for sending the albums my way!

Enjoying This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Barleyjuice

Enjoying This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Barleyjuice


When I write a post about an album I am usually stuck in my bedroom relishing every divine note that comes out of each speaker. Today I did something different. I took the album with me as I made my way across the city, relishing the atmosphere of productivity and randomness. Guess what. It made a big difference. There are two types of music: Private and public. Celtic rock is always the ‘out there’ kind of music. Such energy has to be unleashed and I think that’s what all the guys in the band want. They want listeners to enjoy themselves while listening to the music.

There is no slowing the down the creative guys behind the Barleyjuice. I like the sound of the new album This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.I know what to expect and so much more. Yes there are differences as well as evolution of their music but it is still them: energetic, catchy and utterly exciting.

The album has ten original songs. Most of them are rock oriented. With the exception of Lost On a Foggy Afternoon which I think is their finest instrumental track. It’s magical and very visual. Parish Jig is also fantastic.

Sheets to the Wind (part1)”Let’s go down to Whiskey Town”… is my favorite because of the vocals and the fiddle. I can listen to it the whole week and I can’t imagine getting tired of it. This is my ‘mainstream top 40’ kind of tune. I am not surprise if this song makes it to college radio one of these days.

This is not to say that the rest aren’t as good as this song. It really depends upon your mood. And this one happens to be played while I was out and about. So it captures that spirit. This album has elements of punk, ska, pop and folk. It has things that you will love. It’s like Bailey’s on a cool Friday night.

Barleyjuice performs St. Patrick’s Day from their latest CD     “THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS”


Press release from Barleyjuice:



Officially Releases Seventh Album


To tour US and Ireland


While on the road for three years performing their critically acclaimed album, ‘Skulduggery Street’, Barleyjuice managed to record a new collection of music along the way.  They are now officially releasing their seventh album ‘THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS’. With the start of the New Year they are ready to bring their brand of excitement back to the stage.


In an article for the Irish Voice, writer Mike Farragher noted “The band’s shows are the stuff of fiery, sweaty folklore, with beer splashing, glasses clinking and arms flailing. These new songs will be more fodder for the proverbial musical cannon, right from the opening number.


On how the album, got its name and the direction they chose, Band lead singer Kyf Brewer says, “We were in the van on the road to somewhere, where a multitude of apt and clever sayings were being bandied back and forth. When it [the title] got a chuckle from [band mate] Swanny, we knew it was meant to be. There’s no conceptual thread to these songs. Really just more of what we do best, done better. We’re at the point with the band where the only challenge left is to write a new song that’s as good as the last favorite without sounding too much like it!  Same with the covers. Just keep the creative edge sharp.”


This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things is Barleyjuice’s  contains ten new songs from band members Kyf Brewer, Keith Swanson, and Eric Worthington and two covers from Gillian Welch, Mike Nesmith, Carole King and Jerry Goffin.



To purchase the CD online:


For additional INFO on the band:

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers  plus Podcast #25

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers plus Podcast #25


After almost two years, French band The Maggie Whackers are back with a new EP called Naoned Whisky. And yes they are from Nantes France. A great place of music! Drunken Sailor is timely because it’s a decade of the mainstream’s fascination with Pirate movies and tunes. There are strong Breton elements in their songs especially in Sans Regrets Sans Remords which is my favorite track due to its beautiful use of the bombarde. Fucking Goblins show their punk side. I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday is shocking with its tenderness and melancholic melody. Burn in Hell showcases the joint forces of traditional Breton instrument and Clash-inspired guitar playing.

Naoned Whisky is the testament to the band’s continuing energy. Their songwriting has evolved since the release of their self-titled EP. They have  great sense of musical and visual style. I am sure their live shows are really entertaining. Listen below and go to to buy the album.

For bookings and any question:

The Maggie Whackers
06 33 72 49 44


The Baxteria Podcast #25 is Up!

The Baxteria Podcast #25(Celtic and Indie variety) by Baxter Labatos on Mixcloud


Sharon Corr-We Could Be Lovers
Brishen-Live at the Victoria International JazzFest 2013_ “Coquette”
Bachue-Rumble Thy Bellyful
Jacob McCauley-December 2010 Concert Part 6_ Bodhrán Solo
Moya Brennan-Sailing (radio edit)
Jack Raven’s whores-Bad Trip
The High Kings-Gucci
Arctic Monkeys-Arabella
Beth Orton-Something More Beautiful
J.P. Kallio-Too Late to Say
Fiona Joy Hawkins-The Journey (600 Years in a Moment)
Rebecca Brandt-The Moment
Fleet Foxes-English House


Sharon Corr Sings:We Could Be Lovers from “The Same Sun.”

Sharon Corr Sings:We Could Be Lovers from “The Same Sun.”

I’ve just finished watching the new music video by the ‘other sister’ of The Corrs, Sharon Corr. It’s called We Could Be Lovers. I got insomnia and instead of being useless, I decided to open my laptop and see what the rave is all about. I admit I was thinking this post should go to my other blog because the song is more pop than Celtic. But The Corrs have always been pop even though they introduced Traditional Irish music in their subsequent albums. I was expecting to see her playing the fiddle in this video but I know that she doesn’t need to prove that. What she is trying to prove is that she can actually sing. And she has a beautiful voice!

The video features Corr in a sultry image trying to seduce a ‘tamed’ Irish guy. The lyrics show that longing for the possibility to be in a relationship with someone who seems to be preoccupied with his goals in life and has little time for intimacy. But in the end of the video, our beautiful Irish chanteuse proves that she wins. The track has that bouncy folk style that is acoustic guitar driven.

Of all the sisters, I find Sharon Corr to be the most attractive and sweet. It is great to see her touring and promoting the new album “The Same Sun.” American fans will get to see her perform at the Aladdin theater on February 23, courtesy of 67 Music.

Cleghorn will Headline the The 7th Annual 30a St Patrick’s Parade and Festival

Cleghorn will Headline the The 7th Annual 30a St Patrick’s Parade and Festival

 Slated for Saturday March 15th 2013

I am glad to hear that Texas Celtic rock group Cleghorn will be part of St Patrick’s Celebration! Their tune 9 Minutes of Woo still plays in my head. That’s a proof of their persistent devotion to craft. Anyone can be inspired to write a tune. But crafting that tune and making it immortal takes time. This is the area where father and son John Cleghorn ( Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica)  Dylan Cleghorn (Fiddle, Bagpipes, Didgeridoo, Vocals) with  Mike Griffin – Bass and  Paul Muller – Drums   really do well.

Check this press release from 3a:

Santa Rosa Beach FL – The 7th Annual 30a St Patrick’s Parade and Festival is slated for Saturday March 15th 2013, Nationally recognized Celtic Rock Band Cleghorn will headline the entertainment along with the Drake School of Irish Dance 0001737059_20

CLEGHORN are a Texas-based Celtic Rock band. They combine stadium rock with blues and folk influences laced with a strong Celtic brew.

If you mixed ZZ Top with The Hobbit soundtrack, it might sound something like CLEGHORN. Their music mixes original folk/rock songwriting with high energy Celtic fiddle and bagpipe tunes. Creating their sound based on traditional Celtic fiddle tunes, they rock harder and play wilder shows with a fiddle and didgeridoo than most of their guitar-trashing contemporaries. music mixes original folk/rock songwriting with high energy Celtic fiddle and bagpipe tunes.

The parade expects over 50 floats and parade entries, in all shapes and sizes. Parade lineup begins at 3.30 pm Saturday March 15th on 30a and heads 4 miles west, ending at Gulf Place, where the festivities continue.

“The 7th Annual 30a St Patrick’s Parade and Irish Festival will be bigger than ever, said Paul Vizard, event founder. The original mission to showcase local businesses and the area of 30a is being fulfilled in a greater manner than imagined.”

The perpetual trophy won last year by Kitchens Etc will once again be awarded for “Best in Parade.”  The Eco-friendly “green” prize award for the best electric/self powered or non gas powered vehicle entry for the 2nd year running.

Festival goers can purchase commemorative T shirts, experience arts and crafts, including jewelry, wood carving, face painting, and of course a variety of food and drinks. A few vendor table and tent spaces are still available, and businesses are encouraged to be a sponsor, details at

Event Information

The 7th Annual 30a St Patrick’s Parade and Festival is the largest celebration in NW Florida of Ireland’s St. Patrick’s day. The parade commences on Scenic 30a in NW Florida March 15th at 3.30pm and ends at Gulf Place, where premier Irish Dancers and Celtic Bands perform through the evening. For details visit

Contact Information

Jack Raven’s Whores Plus Podcast #23

Jack Raven’s Whores Plus Podcast #23


Anyone who loves good old whiskey will find something familiar with the band’s logo. Think of  Jack Daniel’s and Jack Sparrow-then you get the idea behind the logo of the band Jack Raven’s Whores. Ok I admit I am not confident to say the last word out loud but these guys have the right to be confident with their music.




Combining Irish folk, Balkan, sailor music (and a hint Breton music)l; they weave songs that celebrate the wild adventures straight out of a pirate movie. In terms of craft, they are serious. Bad Trip is  their latest single. It has a long instrumental intro. But then it dips into a beautiful folk song.  The band are:Greg Raven(Lead vocals and guitar), Cormac Jones(Vocals and Mandolin), Mathieu Vigouroux(Clarinet and tin whistle), and Ju Rosh Lcmte(Fiddle).


Podcast # 23

My latest radio show is now available on podcast. Visit the link and enjoy great music!

The High Kings-All Around the World
The High Kings-Come with Me Now
The High Kings-Gucci
The High Kings-Friends for Life
The High Kings-Galway Girl
The High Kings-Health to the Company
The High Kings-Peggy Gordon
Steven Hawson-Maids: In the Meadow; At the Churn; At the Spinning Wheel
Ashley MacIsaac-Devil In The Kitchen
Lisa Gerrard-Sanvean: I Am Your Shadow
Sleepthief-Skimming Stones
J.P. Kallio-Northern Boy
Siouxsie Sioux-Heaven and Alchemy
Samuel Smith-The Way of the World

The High Kings: Friends for Life

The High Kings: Friends for Life

Album Artwork

1. Oh Maggie
2. Gucci
3. All Around the World
4. Johnny Leave Her
5. Health to the Company
6. Galway Girl
7. Peggy Gordon
8. High
9. Ireland’s Shore
10. Come with Me Now
11. McAlpines Fusiliers
12. Friends for Life

Too precious to be pop yet  modern to be inaccessible -those are the things I found when I listen to the new album of the High Kings called Friends for Life. I think that after years of being on the road and filling arenas, the quartet of Darren Holden, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Martin Furey can confess that they are going to be in music for life. They are friends and fantastic artists as they weave their talents for listeners to enjoy. Released by Sony Classical, I expect nothing less from this album in terms of production. And yes I am completely satisfied and proud to recommend it to everyone.

Oh Maggie is the first track and it introduces what the whole atmosphere of the album sounds like. Jacketed by a nice banjo sound, it proves that Ireland’s pub culture can sound so good in the cities of the world. After all, it was music that saved civilization and thus the spirit will continue to flourish through time. It shall be savored by generations to come. Gucci is a potential single with its emphasis on power chords and aggressive rhythm on top of the fantastic vocal abilities. We hear guitars, fiddles, accordions and other traditional instruments along with moderns ones in Friends for Life. Jonny Leave Her so irresistible it will make you sing along.

I think this is recorded with live performance in mind as everything here sounds upfront and lively. Darren Holden, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Martin Furey have outdone themselves with this wonderful recording. I love the remake of Galway Girl and  Peggy Gordon. Friends for Life continues the magic of Memory Lane but it has a more modern appeal. I think there are tracks that can sound fitting in alternative rock radio stations. The folk roots are still there but I think they are moving forward with this album. They get better and better with every studio session.

As always my big thanks to Anita Daly for pointing me to this new release!

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

The Passing of Pete Seeger and Podcast #22

My late mom used to sing me a song called Where Have All the Flowers Gone. It’s such a sweet poignant song that reminds me of dusk and summer, of petals getting blown to nowhere. It was not decades later when I learned it’s written by the late Pete Seeger who passed away today. I heard a lot of his songs (without knowing him) because I was raised by people who grew up after the Second World War. So my upbringing was a combination of the old ways and the love for exploring new things. Judy Collins was also a popular artist in my childhood. So I get to hear Turn Turn Turn a many times in the house. My cousins were huge fans of folk music.

I started venturing into Celtic music in my late teens. He was associated with banjo and 12-string guitar. He has a continuing powerful influence   to other singer/songwriters with  names like Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Donovan, , Nanci Griffith, Indigo Girls, Tom Paxton, Bonnie Raitt, Martin Simpson, and Bruce Springsteen are associated with him.

I think his impact to me is more as a songwriter than a performer. His songs get better with time. The distinctive folk elements in his songs tell you: this is how to write a song. Pete Seeger will be sorely missed. It’s characteristic of people who carve their names in everyone’s heart. Life is a collage of all things that you’ve heard, seen and felt. His songs were the songs of the best years of my life. How could I let those go?

When I feel this heaviness in my heart I go into this little corner and listen to the songs of my childhood. And like magic the pain disappears. Where Have All the Flowers Gone indeed? Life is a mystery that is temporary. But memories are forever.




The Baxteria Podcast #22

Podcast 22 comes with a live concert featuring The Gloaming.
Track listing:
The Gloaming-Set at the National Concert Hall of Ireland(Live concert)
Robbie MacInnis-Massacre of Glencoe (ft. Robbie MacInnis)
Eivør-Hounds Of Love
BrowneProject-Silver Sun
J.P. Kallio-Time
Once A Tree-Light Me Up
Paula-I Could Be
Dadawa-Sister Drum

Make Way for Ranagri

Make Way for Ranagri

Jean Kelly , Eliza Marshall , Tad Sargent  and Donal Rogers

Jean Kelly , Eliza Marshall , Tad Sargent and Donal Rogers

I wrote a post about flutist Eliza Marshall two years ago. Now she is part( playing the Flutes/Whistles/Guitar) of Folk/Acoustic/World band based in London called Ranagri. They are currently recording their debut album. You can listen to two of their singles Sad Songs and the amazing cover of The House Carpenter.

It took me one listen to Donal Rogers and that’s it. He has a warm and friendly voice. There are Celticky instruments like the Harp,Electric Harp and Piano played by Jean Kelly. Tad Sargent  adds the Irish spice with his   Bodhran, Bouzouki and Whistles.

Their music video for Sad Songs is really fantastic. It really represents the dazzling sound of Ranagri. I am excited to hear the new album. Check out the youtube sampler below. I already predicted my future favorites from the album.



Loreena McKennitt releases The Journey So Far
The Best of Loreena McKennitt

After 30 years in the music business(and running her own company Quinlan Road) The Journey So Far will prove to be a retrospective and interesting ‘music book’ covering her songs that span continents and culture. Ms McKennitt has always created ‘global’ Celtic music fusing different ethnic styles but still true to her folk roots. To get an in-depth info here is the link:


If you haven’t yet check out my latest Podcast!