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.

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And…Winter Came!

And…Winter Came!

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I have been checking out the instagram pics of my online pals. I see snow everywhere. Sad to say, there’s no such thing where I am. The tropics can be cold but not THAT cold. I take comfort in the way music takes us to places we’ve never been. Like books, they let you live life vicariously. And such is found in the album And Winter Came by Enya. Yes I have mentioned that this month is mostly about holiday albums, and I am taking my time to listen to albums I bought through the years.

I think I raved about AWC when it first came out yes, I am writing about it again yay! It is such a joy to talk about music with someone who shares the same interest. I like the white theme of the album. Enya has  themes running through all her albums.  The Celts- black ,Watermark – orange, Shepherd Moons – blue, The Memory of Trees – gold,Paint the Sky with Stars – sepia,A Day Without Rain- emerald, Amarantine – Red and finally, And Winter Came -white.

The white horse in the cover art. Take a look at that. Is it about The Order of the White Horse? I suggest you Google that and you might find interesting bits in the internet 😉  Her voice has evolved. I sometimes hear a likeness to Karen Carpenter as her voice started to acquire that deeper and warmer shade. Those who listened to her when she was still with Clannad would notice that incredible softness. It is not a girlish kind of softness. It is more like, diaphanous and otherworldly kind of softness. Yet she can hit very low notes that at times made her sound androgynous. But after later albums that signature voice has evolved and became more expressive.

She and producer Nicky Ryan always like trying something new in the studio. I remember after recording A Day Without Rain , they gutted their Aigle studio and replaced everything with hi-tech recording equipment. I keep tabs of anything Enya through the Unity forum. Although, I’ve not been very much active there these days. Her fans are always patient and passionate with whatever she puts out. It is true that any artist can build a career out of looks or spectacle. But when the music is bigger than the artist, fans will stick around.

I like O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I think it’s the Latin verses that really define the power of the melody. Her lyricist Roma Ryan(from Northern Ireland) has a huge background in different languages, mythology and history-Irish or whatever. I think the reason why the songs will remain fascinating through the years is because listeners can uncover different layers and references all the time. For instance, the song Aldebaran (from The Celts) is a tribute to director Ridley Scott ( who also gave us Blade Runner ). There are more things you will discover when you listen to her albums.

My next favorite track is Last Time by Moonlight. (I know Trains and Winter Rains, a single from the album is everyone’s favorite. But I always choose something that doesn’t usually make it to the singles).I used to play this track to my late mom. She would say that Enya has a beautiful voice. My mom passed away this year. But when I play Enya albums, the music brings me closer to my mom because we used to listen to her together. Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night) has a fantastic re recording. This is the second version of the same song she recorded in the late 80s.

I hope there will be another holiday album from her in 10 years. For now, this is my comfort music.

For info visit http://enya.com/

Newfoundland Vinyl by Allison Crowe

Newfoundland Vinyl by Allison Crowe

Young singer/songwriter Allison Crowe  puts tradition in motion with Newfoundland Vinyl.

How do you get to know the kind of people who inhabit a place? The answers can be complex but I do know that the kind of lives they led are reflected in their songs. The kind of music we listen to might not really say everything but it says something about who we are and the kind of values we have  As the background notes in the CD say: “…The album’s 10 tracks traverse parlour songs to country tunes and folk favorites, songs of land and sea that share the strength and the struggles, the heart-breaks and the humour of people.”

There are albums that focus more on the personal struggles of the singer/songwriter. But there are those that explore the encyclopedic aspect of songwriting and bringing the song history to the fore. This is where the work of Allison Crowe  proves its importance to contemporary music. She has mapped the culture of Newfoundland and gave each song an up to date delivery that transcends time.

The style of Newfoundland Vinyl echoes the sound of old vinyl records. This can be heard in the opening track Black Velvet Band where her voice takes the nostalgia of  parlour songs during the early part of the 20th century. Her strong voice and upfront delivery shine in Easy. The backing vocals owes much to the African-American gospel choir.  The project was the result of  her involvement with the Gros Morne Theatre Festival. She is now curating and arranging songs for the Summer fest.  She expressed her happiness in this project saying “I get to work with extremely talented and fun people each Summer in a gorgeous setting.”

There are dark humorous  moments in this album like Seven Old Ladies.

” And it’s-Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Seven old ladies locked in the lavat’ry

They were there from Saturday to Sunday

and nobody knew they were there.”

The variety of rhythms expressed in this album make Newfoundland Vinyl an exciting album to listen to. I found myself wrapping a blanket up, sipping tea while watching the rain outside. There is something about this album that makes the songs become the soundtrack of your life. The grace and subtlety in the instrumental and vocal arrangements make this a one of a kind must have album for 2013. There is that stripped down atmosphere in every track like it’s an unplugged concert. I am sure that you might have heard some of the songs and sometimes you wonder about their origins. Now you know.

Did you know?

In the movie “Man of Steel”, the Zack Snyder-directed Superman epic, she has a cameo – as a musician performing “Ring of Fire”, a song made famous by Johnny Cash.

Allison Crowe

Qristina & Quinn Bachand: Relative Minors

Qristina & Quinn Bachand: Relative Minors

Relative Minors by Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Album: Relative Minors

Artists : Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Genre:Folk/ Celtic/ World

Type: Instrumental

Place of origin: Victoria, British Columbia

Tracks:

1. Spootiskerry/High Road to Linton/Big John McNeil
2. Extra Bar in Paddyland / The Smirnoff Gigolo
3. Jigs in A (Rosewood Jig/Teviot Bridge/Who’ll be King but Charlie/The Canadian Club)
4. The Frenchies (Fil et Bobine / Les Poules Huppes)
5. Mabou Harbour Set (Flowers of Edinburgh / Miss McLeod’s / The Beached Whale)
6. Kathryn’s Castle / Lost in the Loop
7. Jigs in G (Old Favourite / The Roaring Barmaid / Out on the Ocean)
8. La Bastringue / St. Anne’s Reel
9. Kid on the Mountain / The Butterfly / An Dro
10. Gaelic College Medley (Memories of You / Please Scrape Your Dishes)
11. The Barn Set (Colin Rankin’s Strathspey / Kelsae Brig / The Holland Wedding/Predator Reel)
12. Jigs’n’Reel (Morrison’sJig / Swallowtail Jig / Lilting Banshee /Hobbart’s Transformation)
13. Wistful Daydreamer
14. Relative Minors (Fifteen Children / Snail Fever)
15. D Set (Haste to the Wedding / Banish Misfortune / Miss Susan Cooper/Virginia Reel/Silver Spear/MacLeod’s Farewall)
16. Polka Medley (Kenmare / Britches Full of Stitches / Bill Sullivan’s)

Total time: 59:07

With the instantaneous success of Family, Relative Minors seems to have been overlooked by the music crowd. But yes Relative Minors is the album that started it all. Siblings Qristina and Quinn Bachand (Q & Q)have created a collection of tunes woven tightly to create an exquisite listening experience. Although this primarily a traditional album , the two added their own styles.

Their bombastic exploration into the Celtic instrumentals is exemplified by the first track Spootiskerry/High Road to Linton/Big John McNeil. It’s a tune that makes you want to dance around the living room. A very happy tune. This is followed by the Extra Bar in Paddyland / The Smirnoff Gigolo in which Qristina’s fiddling shines through. In Jigs in A (Rosewood Jig/Teviot Bridge/Who’ll be King but Charlie, Quinn has mastered the art of light guitar strumming.

The amazing thing about Celtic music is that you don’t have to know what it is to appreciate it. This is in the case of tunes like The Frenchies (Fil et Bobine / Les Poules Huppes) where the melody takes a joyful turn amidst the interesting time signature. The music talks to you and this is what makes the Bachands amazing!

Everyone in the house knows how this CD has been played repeatedly. It’s that fresh quality that continues and doesn’t eat you just because the album has been listened to for a hundredth times already! Yes it doesn’t get old. Which is a feat considering that these two were literally very young when this one was released way back 2008. Big nod to the musicians who joined the project like Dave Klassen, Eric Reiswig, Russ Godfrey and Adrian Doland. These artists are huge in the Canadian Celtic music scene. The sound Engineering of Aaron Scoones maintained a raw but crystalline approach to the sound. It’s like witnessing a sunrise after a long rainy week. Design, layout and photos also gave justice t the music of this album.

I love the gentleness of Kathryn’s Castle / Lost in the Loop and its change of rhythm from slow to fast. But take note of the title track Relative Minors (Fifteen Children / Snail Fever) where they played at a breakneck speed while displaying the delicate style they are known for. Relative Minors is a flawless album and really deserves the best place in your music shelf.

Listen to the track and buy the album here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/qqbachand

Biography

“Qristina is a gutsy, fiery fiddle player – Quinn is nothing short of amazing!” – Fiona Heywood, The Living Tradition Magazine (Scotland)

“Qristina and Quinn Bachand are best act to come along in the world of Celtic music since…. anyone you care to mention.” – Tim Readman, Penguin Eggs (Canada)

“The Bachands have the Celtic fever in spades and play it superbly.” – Eric Thom, Roots Music Canada

Qristina and Quinn Bachand are creating quite a stir in the Celtic and Folk music world. In 2009 they were nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the Young Performer of the Year category. In 2010 they won the Irish Music Association’s award for Top Traditional Group and in 2011 they earned another two Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations, Instrumental Group of the Year and Young Performer of the Year, as well as an Irish Music Award win as “Top Duo”. Qristina and Quinn have released two independent studio albums, “Relative Minors” (2008) and “Family” (2011), co-produced by Juno nominee Adrian Dolan (The Bills).

Twenty-one year old Qristina Bachand is an expressive fiddler, with a unique personal style that is bold and edgy. Clearly at ease on stage, Qristina is a natural performer, consistently delivering a spirited performance that features her energy, enthusiasm and love of Celtic music. Qristina recently added traditional and original songs to the duo’s repertoire, and is already receiving rave reviews as a vocalist. Her singing has been described as “lovely and delicate, with a laidback sweetness.” (Roots Music Canada)

At just sixteen years of age, Quinn Bachand is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who already has a reputation as “one of the best Celtic guitar accompanists in the world” (Ashley MacIsaac). Although Quinn plays a range of guitar styles including jazz, it is his talents in the world of Celtic music that are drawing the most attention. Quinn adds a contemporary edge to traditional Celtic music. In particular, his creative harmonies, hard-driving strumming, inventive chord voicing and powerful rhythmic effects make even the most well-worn tunes seem new and exciting.

Qristina and Quinn have performed across Canada, the US and Europe, including European tours in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and North American tours in 2010 and 2011.

 

Susan Borowski, Steel Clover

Susan Borowski, Steel Clover

Steel Clover

The music of Susan Borowski would feel at home in the grand halls where people are in colorful flowing attires. There is something grand about her style that calls to mind the beauty of old music. She is a respected name in the Pittsburgh Celtic music circle. I don’t have one of her CDs yet but I am currently playing samples off her Reverbnation playlist on her official website.

Her music is happy and I can tell that Susan is a happy person where music plays a big part in her life. Thanks to her husband Jim for introducing her works to me via email. You see, blogging does connect people and music is the center of that. I find a great deal of inspiration from Susan’s life story, surviving cancer through the healing qualities of music. Miracles do happen if we believe.

Steel Clover is the name of her project. An interesting title. She mastered the fiddle and mandolin, guitars and vocals. Speaking of vocals, her Slovak/Ukrainian heritage shines through her recordings. Mixing those with Celtic music, resulted to something unique and fascinating. She is shown in pictures  with a mandolin or playing the fiddle.These are available via her website along with the music samples and link to her store.

I am listening to three tracks available : Veil of Sorrow, Queen of Clubs and My Love is Like a Red Red Rose. Take note of her past influences before stepping into Celtic music. You will hear their echos in her renditions. She has also tracks available via youtube. They are Down by the Salley Garden, Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears and As Christmas Day Draws Near. Try to hear them out and experience something different. Yes she doesn’t sound like anyone.

This is just an introduction to her artistry. As soon as I get the CD then I will review it for you. Yes I will let you know how it sounds like and what makes it fascinating. Susan Borowski is an inspiring artist. May her story touch everyone to acknowledge the healing powers of music. Please read this link to know more about her  story: http://triblive.com/aande/music/3493573-74/borowski-cancer-says#axzz2Sp5ZPccy

Music samples are here: http://www.steelclovermusic.com/music.php

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Bio:

Sue’s love for performing music began at age ten in a Carpatho-Rusyn dance group, a sub-group of the Junior Duquesne University Tamburitzans. For three years she studied the music and traditions of her Slovak/Ukrainian heritage and performed her first solo on-stage at age eleven. In December of 2006 Sue gave her debut performance on the mandolin at the Melody Music Shop’s Holiday Showcase show at Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead, PA. In 2007 she met and auditioned with singer/solo artist, Matt Hughes of “Ar Eigean Gael”. Thus began her journey in the Celtic genre. After two years with Ar Eigean Gael, Sue joined the RichPatrick Celtic Music group as their fiddle and mandolin player, vocalist and guitarist. Sue enjoys playing in acoustic settings with friends around the City of Pittsburgh and most recently has ventured into a solo project under the name of “Steel Clover”.

Wezen by Alicia Ducout

Wezen by Alicia Ducout

wezen

Alicia Ducout (piano, harpe celtique et chant), Florian Baron (guitare et oud), Kenan Guernalec (flûte traversière irlandaise), Marc Blanchard (arrangements électroniques), Anthony Debray-Laizé (percussions)

The world can be a dark and scary place. That is why we have music to escape to when things start to get chilly. I would recommend Alicia Ducout’s (who also goes under the name Luascadh) ambitiously atmospheric project called Wezen. It is a CD-Book with accompanying artwork . Her works are always marked with her classical, renaissance and Celtic influences. This is an album that’s a treasure to own because this is not something you can find in mainstream music.

I like the Celtic harp because it conjures  images of Tolkien’s characters. Alicia Ducout is based in France. A detailed information about the album can be found below. Wezen is not just eclectic in the musical sense but also in its use of different languages. This calls to mind works of groups like Dead can Dance and artists like Loreena Mckennitt (for the eclectic instruments) and Connie Dover (for the multi lingual approach).

I love it when artists venture outside the English language or from their own native languages. I think language is essential for an album in addition to the instruments and arrangements. I think it adds to the authenticity of the sentiments you are trying to create and also the feeling of the song. It gives that feeling of being transported into the native soil of the composer and not in an urbane setting which is always characteristic of English songs. This is not to belittle the English language because it is what i use to blog, but being bilingual myself, I appreciate the beauty of being able to walk in the two worlds of spoken and written words.

Back to the harp, the beauty of her playing is her understanding of the emotional range of the Celtic harp or other harp instruments. Ducout studied drama at Lyon, and after 10 years of piano practice, she joined several medieval ensembles. The artistic  journey opened the doors of Celtic civilization and ancient traditional music to her and now we have Wezen.

Wezen is a tale  written in 2008 by Alicia Ducout. It tells the story of a strange character and the essential question: how to fight fear? This story deals with issues of identity, trust in yourself and others. The graphic novel and its soundtrack  was released in December 2012.
To echo a history, music is at the crossroads of several traditions, as shown by the choice of instruments: harp, bodhran and Irish flute for the Celtic sound. Oud for the Eastern source. The nyckelharpa for Northern anchor (Swedish), the piano like a familiar linking that connects us to our own history. The electronic sounds are even more subtle we can say connect this traditional matter and to present to the world today, bringing a breath of timelessness work.
This alchemy is born a minimalist style (inspired by Philip Glass, Bruno Coulais, Steve Reich) speaking we can say here instrumental or sung in several languages.

A journey through the sounds of German, English, Norwegian, Irish, Spanish, Aramaic, and even Elvish!

http://www.aliciaducout.jimdo.com/

http://projetwezen.tumblr.com

American Irish Music:Damien McCarron of the Indulgers and Mile High Celtic Hour (Interview)

American Irish Music:Damien McCarron of the Indulgers and Mile High Celtic Hour (Interview)

Also in this edition: Celtic Vampire novel Dark Dealings and Cherish the Ladies.

Celtic Music Fan asks Damien McCarron what it’s like to  front a band called The Indulgers and to host a show called Mile High Celtic Hour.

They offer more than the rousing beats and electrical vibes. They are melodic and sophisticated musicians. The Indulgers play original Celtic Rock Music and they are synonymous with the word energy! So what type of sound(s) defines them?

They play  Celtic/Western/Americana/Irish Rock music. They are based in  Colorado USA, owing much of their music to the strong Irish/Scottish roots. Formed in 1998, the band are fronted by Damien McCarron who is originally from Dublin. He does the lead vocals and guitars. Now to go into specifics about their sound, think about it in terms of bands/solo artists like Waterboys, Horslips, Thin Lizzy, Christy Moore, Paul Brady, Spirit, Fleetwood Mac, Irish Trad and The Beatles.

The rest of the band are:

Mike Nile – Vocals, Guitars, Mandolin, Harmonica and Electronic Bagpipe
Renee Fine – Fiddle/Violin
Aaron Haywood – Bass
Frannie (Cheech) Mannone – Drums
Guesting on occasion:
Neale Heywood – Guitar
Ryan Bunnell – Guitar

Damien McCarron also runs a show called The Mile High Celtic Hour (TradioV.com) which offers an hour of great Celtic tunes rockin’ or otherwise but never a dull moment! He always brings something new to every show and we will talk more of that here.

Damien joins me today for a quick chat. He is also our artist of the week!

I think the Indulgers are making music that lovers of melodic Celtic rock are looking for. What do you have in store for your listeners this 2013?
Hi Baxter,
I suppose I kind of have my hands full at the minute but I’m not alone as the Indulgers set out to release a new CD. There’s fourteen new songs and it’s more a collection than a concept CD although the theme of immigration does tend to seep into what I write with Mike. The track list includes both a softer side and some rockers.

 Fast tunes or slow tunes: which one works best for you live?

The band feeds on energy but likes to change tempos and instrumentation throughout a show. There’s always time for a nice romantic styled song, but only just enough before we’d up the pace again. Each Indulger CD by tradition includes a instrumental piece featuring Renee on the fiddle and includes “fine” in the title, the lovely “Doin Fine” continues that aspect for this seventh album. The CD was mastered in LA by Howie Wineberg just this past week and will be ready to release in the next month or so.

We’re playing all these new songs live and in recent days rehearsing older material with a new arrangement or two, adding an little more electric guitar to the mix. Should be an interesting year with the new shiny CD at last. It’s been a little while since the last release, six years even, so hopefully folks remember our CD’s are a lifetime treasure and a must for every home.

You now have a weekly show called Mile High Celtic Hour and I always tune in because it is informative, fun and spontaneous. The video streaming is a great way to show music videos of the Celtic artists you are playing. How did MHCH came to be?

With Glen Hansard

 

The Mile High Celtic Hour was something I asked TardioV about hosting not too long after their launch. The concept of TV on the Net, streaming live from a real studio was something that I thought was brilliant. It’s also archived, which does no harm at all. The morning show host Matt Need endorsed the idea of Celtic Hour with the producer Trevor O’Connor. Matt comes form FM radio background and I had been a guest a few times on his previous FM show. Initially the producer had ,been looking for a country music host, so I pitched my idea.

What can we expect happening to MHCH in months to come?

We’re ten weeks into the show, well ten episodes, it’s a hour long and allows me to cover the Celtic music genre all the way to the edges and back, having guests is a fun aspect, and one guest the Celtic Caterer will continue to join us now and then as a running segment. Last show he lit a hogmanay cake on fire. Not the normal is likely what we’ll look for, but staying within the confines of the Celtic culture in general.

Can you tell us about your upcoming playlist on the show?

I’ve no idea what the next playlist for the show will be, it’s an ongoing dig of all thing’s I come across and think, that’s pretty show like, there is no overall plan, except to be aware of the theme that might expose itself as I try to capture good content. I’d imagine I might get a better plan as I settle into the idea that every Thursday morning it’s a blank sheet.

You came from Ireland. How has Irish American music changed so far since you first arrived?

I’m twenty years in America, so the music has changed. In Celtic circles the genre is multi-layered in a way that’s so far from the purity of the past it’s not even talked about anymore. Celtic rock has established itself as a genre gaining slots in major festivals where as back in 1998 that was “never going to happen”. At the same time there’s also a huge amount of “punk” ballad/cover bands now too which seem to have replaced the actual solo ballad singer in the pubs. Session music in Colorado is at the strongest it’s ever been and I think it’s fair to say every band is touring so there’s more to see than ever too.

It’s all good.

From the state of Colorado, The Indulgers with a new song “The Cure”. “Won’t you try a taste of medicine” The legalization of MMJ has led to many a new store front. So here’s a few to the sounds of a new song.

Here is the latest Mile High Celtic Hour episode.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/27678729

To know more about Damien McCarron’s band The Indulgers, please visit them through the following sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Indulgers/59965579492

http://www.shamrocker.com/

With The Indulgers

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A Celtic Vampire Holiday with Dark Dealings

For a limited time—DARK DEALINGS is on sale for $0.99 for Kindle! This is until end of year. Yes I read the book and I really love the story! I asked author Karen Victoria Smith about the sequel and she hopes to have next book ready for May release next year. For those who don’t know yet, this is a great read. The first of its kind. I have been searching for years for a story that will bridge my love for vampires and Celtic culture and Dark Dealings and its upcoming follow up revolve around these themes.

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Dealings-ebook/dp/B007Z9DEEI/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1356388041&sr=1-2&keywords=dark+dealings

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Featured Video: Cherish the Ladies, Celtic Christmas medley with Irish Dancing

They are part of the amazing album Together for Christmas(Various artists).

Members of the Celtic band “Cherish the Ladies” perform a medley of Celtic Christmas tunes live in the witf Performance Studio, with Irish dancing by Michael Holland, 2-time All-Ireland National Champion Irish Dancer.

Merry Christmas my dear readers!

The Mentionables: This Week in Music!

It is the first week of December folks and I assure you there are many reasons to update this site. The scene is boiling with great events from your favorite Celtic bands either those I know and don’t know. This is a great year and 2013 will prove to be a good year in music!

New CD from The Picts

Douglas McQueen Hunter

Douglas McQueen Hunter

Scottish band The Picts have just finished recording a new set of tunes and they are working on polishing the craft. According to front man Douglas McQueen Hunter:

“I’ve been up to my eyes in the new cd coming out… I’m tied up tonight and tomorrow. All the recording is done now…. just paperwork and CD artwork”

Douglas is also in the middle of an interview with yours truly so you can see he has his hands full 😉

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An Tain

I did mention before in the Martin Tourish interview that he’s working on a music based on The Tain. Here is a snippet of the music:

According to Martin: ”

In the final act of An Táin the Brown Bull and White Bull finally meet and gore and slay each other in a furious and frenzied, slaughter which shakes and tramples the entire country. The Brown bull emerges the gore-spattered victor but his great fury proves too much and his heart cracks like a nut in his chest.

Release/catalogue number: lmm011002
Release date: Feb 1, 2012″

Awesome. Wait for that one!

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The Celtic Tenors in NYC

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Zelienople, PA.

The Celtic Tenors are making rounds in NYC. They are getting more and more love from their American fans. A few weeks back they made a successful concert in China. It is just a matter of time before they conquer the world 😉

According to them:

“Tomorrow (3rd December) we will be singing a song as part of a Benefit gig for Huntington’s Disease at Playwright’s Theatre on 42nd Street NYC. Delighted to be appearing with Michael Brunnock — at Bohemian Pizza”
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Have a Cornish Christmas
 Here is a nice track translated to Cornish by Matti Clarke. Yes the season is really looking up 😀
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Celtic Music live The Czech Republic
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” Been meaning to see Pipes and Pipes for ages, and I’ve got no excuses this time. They’re in Plzen and their support includes Cheers!Hurrah!”
There is no excuse to see this even when you are in the Czech Republic. The invitation is in Czech but it means one thing: Great music 😉
Nejnašláplejší tuzemská punkrocková kapela Pipes and Pints přijíždí se svou novou desku „Found and Lost“!
Nové album je stále o dravém punkrocku s charakteristickým zvukem skotských dud, ale mnohem vyzrálejší o zkušenosti které kapela nasbírala během uplynulých tří let, kdy s debutovým albem „Until We Die“ objela prakticky celou Evropu. Za tu dobu se z Pipes and Pints stala kapela minimálně evropského formátu a není jistě náhodou, že si je pod svá křídla vzal respektovaný label “People Like You records” a

produkce na novém albu se ujal zkušený producent Darian Rundall, který úzce spolupracuje například s “Epitaph records” a “Hellcat records”.
Jako speciální host se celého turné zúčastní klubový objev Dirty Blondes a v Plzni je navíc doplní jihočeská legenda melodického punk rocku Suffer, která zde odehraje jeden ze svých posledních koncertů a zároveň představí poslední desku “Bee-Songs From The A-Cide” a plzeňská folk punková naděje Cheers!.http://www.pipesandpints.com/
http://bandzone.cz/dirtyblondes
http://www.suffer.cz/cz
http://bandzone.cz/cheersstart: 20:00
vstup: 170,-/200,-

Vstupenky na tento koncert lze zakoupit také prostřednictvím Plzeňské vstupenky zde: http://www.plzenskavstupenka.cz/index.php/cz/component/ticketseller/title/1004-pipes-and-pints

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Great album reviews from TradConnect
If you haven’t checked yet, this is a great site for anything traditional. Yes, there are many styles of music and sometimes it is hard to look for something you want if you are not sure where to go and also who is in authority for such matters. Well, I tell you now, Tradconnect is the best in the tradmusic online sites. You can sign up and chat with other members and even get to have a good chat with owner Tony Lawless.
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Song for Advent from Phil Holland and Dave Palmley / Celtic Duo
Here’s a message from Phil and Dave:
“Here’s a wee Christmas Carol for you from Celtic Twist…The Coventry carol….our own arrangement and recording…to get you in the Christmas spirit now that advent is upon us…please share with all your friends and family this year at Christmas….
all the best, Phil and Dave”
Seriously this is one awesome track. It has all the ingredients of what makes a perfect yuletide song: atmosphere, beautiful instruments and heavenly singing.
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Babel Pow Wow project‏ by Dom Duff

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“2013 will see the release of my new album Babel Pow Wow. Celebrating all cultures od the world, in my breton folk rock mood and language.
I am looking for people to help make the album possible by purchasing a copy in advance, or if you would like to contribute more to the making of the album by purchasing one of the other rewards on offer.
The money raised will cover the musicians fee, mixing, mastering and duplication.
Thanks for your support
Dom.”
Yes I truly support this project and I think this will be a great one.
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WGBH Music: Carlos Nuñez – Aires de Pontevedra

I am glad my friend Greg Shea always updates me with only the best videos in Celtic music. Today we have Carlos Nunez:

Born in Galicia, Spain, Carlos Nuñez began playing the bagpipes at the age of eight. He met Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains as a teenager and later became known as the “7th member” of the band. In Europe, he plays to sold out stadiums and arenas. He has toured throughout the world and continues to wow audiences with his high-spirited Celtic music.

Nunez kicked off his latest North American tour from the intimate confines of The Burren Irish Pub in Somerville, Massachusetts. This is their closing encore of the night, “Aires de Pontevedra”.

Carlos Nuñez — Galician piper
Xurxo Nuñez — Percussion
Hanneke Cassel — Fiddle
Katie McNally — Fiddle
Pancho Álvarez — Guitar

The Burren Backroom Series is hosted by Brian O’Donovan of A Celtic Sojourn on WGBH Radio.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel WGBH Music:http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=WGBHMusic

WGBH Music Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/WGBHMusic

More from A Celtic Sojourn: http://www.wgbh.org/Celtic/

Audio Engineer: Antonio Oliart
Camera/Editing: Greg Shea
Camera: Annie Shreffler
Producer/Host: Brian O’Donovan

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Barrule booking for more gigs in 2013!

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According to the band:” Barrule  from The Isle of Man are booking for 2013… Got any festivals that you would like to see us play next year? Let us know, and more importantly, let them know too!”

Visit them here: https://www.facebook.com/barruletrio

Fraser Fifield: Relationship of sounds and styles(Interview)

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

Fraser Fifield: Pic by Barryjohn Bj Stewart

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

From: Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

About: musician, composer and producer.

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

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

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

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

What’s keeping you busy these days Fraser?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh this is shaping my work nicely!

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

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

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

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

With Corrina Hewat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Fraser

http://www.fraserfifield.com/

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

Fraser Fifield

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

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

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Enda Seery: Website updated and revamped!

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

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

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

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

Traditional Irish, Bluegrass and Americana

 Featuring:Patrick D’Arcy, Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Kyle Carey and Noriana Kennedy

Introducing Piper Patrick D’Arcy

For some musicians and listeners, simplicity is everything. Patrick D’Arcy sets an example of how one instrument can give out so many layers to observe, savor and glorify. His simplistic use of the uilleann pipes, unadorned by other instruments sort of magnifies that soul of the instrument making its core radiate.

Most of us usually take the drones for granted as our attention is focused on the play of notes and also interplay of other instruments. Patrick makes every angle of sound posses that bulk and electricity. I am amazed how beautiful the drones can be when your ears don’t process too much information.

Patrick D’Arcy is now based in Woodland Hills California after leaving his hometown of Dublin several years ago. He manages five websites. http://www.patdarcy.com/ is a directory of all his other sites.  One of them is web and print design called www.darcycreative.com while www.patrickdarcymusic.com is about his music. http://www.uilleannobsession.com/ focuses more on the instrument and also learning it.  http://www.socalpipers.com/ is a place where all pipers meet around  Southern California.

It might surprise you to know that this passionate piper studied classical guitar at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Why did he give up guitar and chose the uilleann pipes? That is what I will find out one day! He just released a traditional album called Wallop The Spot composed of 13 tracks. You can buy the album here: http://patrickdarcy.bandcamp.com/

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The breezy music of Kyle Carey

Real life is HARD. But Kyle Carey does a good job of transporting us into lazy afternoons, visions of orange blossoms and fireflies at dusk. Her various styles(Bluegrass, Irish and New Age) create a satisfying experience that leave you with a feeling you get after a good nap-fresh and clear headed. There are gentle guitars and lurking banjos in the sea of fiddles and vocal harmonies. Her voice has this silky feel reminiscent of Alison Krauss and Grada. To be able to escape for a moment into the music that channels the power of kindness and childhood innocence is really worth your time…maybe an hour a day would be good for you.

If you love original music that will stand the test of time then Kyle Carey’s Monongah is for you. Buy her albums here: http://www.kyleannecarey.com/

Visit: http://soundcloud.com/kyle-carey to sample her music

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Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha

Presenter and producer: Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha

Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha is a head radio presenter at RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.  If you want to know the phonetic way to say her name it’s “Nancy”. I listened to her recorded shows and they are truly informative and exciting. They are geared towards the traditional music audience. Her approach to hosting is relaxed and once in a while she inserts anecdotes. There’s never a dull moment. Throughout her career, she moved between Galway which is her hometown and the United States, back and forth. Her favorite quote is: I can resist everything but temptation! Don’t we all? Especially if the temptation are those beautiful Irish tunes!

Visit: http://soundcloud.com/neansa-n-choisdealbha To hear her recorded shows.

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Noriana Kennedy

The Bluesy Noriana Kennedy

A few months ago, I feature a video by Galway based singer who is working on her album with her band Wildflowers. According to her recent post to her website:

We made a merry start to recording the new Wildflowers CD last weekend. Myself, Nicola Joyce, Noelie McDonnell and Gerry Paul spent the weekend at Larry Kelly’s beautiful Finnish log-cabin home in Tuam, Co. Galway.  We put down new versions of  ‘Dear My Maker’ and ‘Poor Ellen Smith’ along with three other brand new tracks.  We’ll give it another blast next month to finish it off…all going well the CD will be fit for filling stockings in December!  Big thanks to Liam Caffrey, our patient and gifted engineer and of course Larry and Olivia for the generous loan of their fabulous home, the gourmet menu and constant feed of happy vibes.

I know there are friends who are excited to hear something by this amazing singer/songwriter with a unique voice that can deliver a full range of emotions.

Visit:http://www.norianakennedy.com

and also : http://soundcloud.com/noriana-kennedy to sample her music.