The Log Drivers: Folk and Modern Beauty

The Log Drivers: Folk and Modern Beauty

The Log Drivers

The Log Drivers deliver another fresh sound from Canada. They combine that love for traditional style and modern sensibility to create a kind of sound that teeters between the ancient and the urban. Even fiddler and singer Julie Fitzgerald maintains that jazzy vibe with an understated vocal delivery that comes out elegant and timeless. I already know Spencer Murray ( Flute, Pipes) through his other projects. Nate Douglas (Guitar) maintains that wispy and vigorous playing which he does with his other band The High Drive.

The debut self-titled album combines influences from folk, jazz, world and even pop. It sounds rich as they add the other instrument to the mix including bagpipes, drums and various strings. It has to be noted that Canada is blooming with great talents in all genres. The Log Drivers are riding the waves of beautiful independent music that will appeal to all types of listeners.  Their music is energetic without being intrusive. Their talents are sublime. You will love Blue Reel, A Miner’s Life and more. So better get their debut album quick! You can sample their sound here:


A Taste of Cornish Music and Language:She’s to Blame “Dhe Vlamya Yw Hi” by Phil Knight  

Softly caressing her hair,
As the sun was rising, before my love had awakened,
Did I see on looking closely
That she was silently weeping, hiding her misery?
Tear turned to frown,
And when I spoke… in one leap,

Gone was my love, my sweetheart,
No doubt you would recognise her well.
No wonder, although my heart’s completely broken,

She has left me;
I long for her.
She has left me;
She wants to forget.
She has left me
And it seems I don’t matter
But she is to blame.

When I looked up she had gone,
No longer could I see her, only her track in the yellow corn.
The dawn sky was red,
The sun sparkling through leaves and a cow was lowing.
Though she had disappeared from sight,
Her anger and cruel words were still with me.

Gone was my love, my sweetheart.
No doubt you would recognise her well.
No wonder, although my heart’s completely broken,

She has left me;
I long for her.
She has left me;
She wants to forget.
She has left me
And it seems I don’t matter
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.
But she is to blame.

Lyrics printed with permission


Check this out: Top 10 Irish Traditional Album Covers of 2013


Here’s the link to the full article:


Michelle Butler Ceramics

Michelle Butler Ceramics

Michelle Butler Ceramics

These are fantastic ceramics by Michelle Butler!

When listening to Celtic music, why not embellish your coffee table with something lasting and beautiful as well? Michelle Butler Ceramics offers a unique way of looking at crafts. If you want something striking and personal then her designs are definitely something you should consider as gifts to loved ones, souvenirs if you happen to be in Northern Ireland or if you just want to awaken the ‘other you’  buried by years of cultural sleep.

Celtic Stone-Peacock Plaque
Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 5mm

I know how priceless these items are because I happen to own two of her ceramics. One is the Celtic stone peacock plaque and the other one is a brooch with a Celtic knot work design. She made sure the items have natural surfaces. She developed a style which reconciles primitive Celtic influences with contemporary designs and forms. What’s more, they are all handcrafted using textured stoneware clay and are finished with a rich metallic oxide producing a depth of luster-according to her website.

If you look at her catalog you will see that there are so many designs and they are divided into four types: Celtic stone, iron stone, jewelry and the unique. There is also a section for new products in case you are searching for something else. Her designs are so addicting that I am actually thinking of ordering items in the future for my growing collection of Celtic art at home. My big thanks to Northern Irish singer/songwriter Eve Williams who sent me these items. Thank you Eve for giving me something tangible and lasting. And also thanks for doing it at the time when I need something comforting and beautiful.

About Michelle Butler:

Michelle Butler is a Design Graduate from Falmouth School of Art, Cornwall, where she specialised in Ceramics. In December 1998 she started her business in the Omagh Enterprise Centre from where she relocated, in August 2005 to a barn at her home on the Gortin Road, Omagh where Sperrin Ceramics Studio was born.

Her stoneware ceramics have developed a style which reconciles primitive Celtic influences with contemporary designs and forms. The pieces are all handcrafted using textured stoneware clay and are finished with a rich metallic oxide producing a depth of lustre.

One of the brooches

A large variety of glazes are used to apply colour to specific areas of pattern and relief creating a rustic earthy ambience that makes each piece a unique gift from Ireland.

Celtic Stone, Iron Stone, Unique and Jewellery Collections are available in outlets throughout Ireland and abroad. Celtic Stone draws its influence in strong ancient Irish legacy while Iron Stone includes more contemporary designs and forms; Ironstone also features larger pots and lamp bases which are coil built and handcarved and are available as commissioned pieces.

The Michelle Butler Jewellery Collections boasts as amalgamation of these styles in a range of smaller distinctive jewellery items.

You can find more of her works in facebook:

Online store:

Or the store address:

Sperrin Ceramics Studio, 92 Glenpark Road,
BT79 7ST Omagh



And now few ads from friends:
Purchase the CANTUS LUNARIS – Debut-Cd : Fabula antiqua
Thank you for order and we hope you enjoy listening of our vocal-instrumental ensemble for old music and celitc !
Kind regards Cantus Lunaris

Celtic music record in Belgium.

New review of “Affinity”  Moya Brennan and Corma De Barra:

Post Valentines in Celtic Land

Post Valentines in Celtic Land

Featured artists: John Breen, Brian Cunningham and Corncrow

john breen, irish,folk,singer,songwriter,ireland,music

Welcome to our post valentine edition. I made it a rule not to talk at the beginning of a post. I will just reserve the talk for our Huzzah! Section so see you there .

The attention turns to John Breen this week . He hails from County Wicklow which is check this out: the Garden of Ireland. I am sure the flora and fauna of Wicklow have provided an ample amount of inspiration to Sir John Breen to be able to perform those tunes with the grace of a blooming rose in hyper speed.

Fans of Ronnie Drew, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and even Kenny Rogers will find something that will tickle their heart-strings. If you think his recorded songs are awesome, wait until you hear him live. His performance level will blow your socks off.

I think that ease of getting his feeling across is brought about by the fact that John is naturally a friendly fella. And you can’t fake that warm attitude. It will find its way around people who in turn responds to the same aura that you project. I felt that inner goodness and that’s what I feel the moment I heard his version of The Irish Rover and other songs. There is always that extra special you often find around Irish balladeers.

He signed up with Atlantic music group in 2004 and has two CDs to date. An interview is on the way but I wont tell you the exact date yet. I like suspense and I am sure you do too.

For more info visit:



Sean-Nos Dancer Brian Cunningham

Sean Nos dancing is catching fire and it is spear headed by the most prominent name in the scene: Brian Cunningham.  I am in the process of conducting an interview with the famous dancer himself and he is gracious enough to talk in between his schedules. There is really something good to be said about the majority of Celtic artists. They are so passionate about the art that it isn’t really about themselves but more on the exposure of the art. They give so much more and it is really important to keep in mind why their fans who are bloggers like are passionate in pushing their efforts to the front of Goggle search. We are all in the right scene!

He is currently performing in the Horseshoe Casino(Hammond, Indiana) so if you are around, don’t forget to see this one of a kind performer of traditional Irish dance.

Atlantic Steps’ is the inspiring epic story of Ireland’s oldest dance form (sean-nós), portrayed through the music, song, dance and Atlantic-Ocean-inspired energy of the Connemara region. For booking information, contact JRA Fine Arts at or 888.939.ARTS (2787).


Corncrow – Meriasek

Tell me if this song doesn’t evoke something within you! If it doesn’t then you have the heart of a crow(pun intended) I think Corncrow makes a kind of music that brings out ancient mysteries . The music is haunting and transporting bringing you back to ancient lands, where gallantry was abundant and people wore long dresses. A little digging on the background of the song tells me about a 4th century Breton saint who was also a great healer. His feast day is the first Friday in June.No wonder the song has a very spiritual feel. Corncrow are a duo of Kim Guy -acoustic guitar, recorders, vocals and Steve Hunt – acoustic and electric guitars, bouzouki, vocals. Meriasek is taken from their new album Sweet Nightingale.

You can find them in facebook:

and Myspace:

About the video: Official video for Corncrow’s version of Meriasek (S. Lockley, N. Kennedy), which I shot in Polkerris and Charlestown, January 2013.

Canon 650D, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Fader ND.

Celtic Twist Game:

The Celtic Music Fan would  like offer a free copy of Twist in the Tale to the winner of a competition which will start now. This is how it goes. All you need to do is find an answer to a question which in the animated picture blow. all you need to do is go to their official website to look for the answer. A winner will be announced at the end of this month.  Phil and Dave could send it directly to you with a short note of congratulations. How’s that? For those who are new to this album, here is the link to the review I did back in June 27 of 2012.



Now that we are in the month of love, the focus this week is about the best love songs in traditional Celtic music.  My first introduction was by Windham Hill compilation called Heart of the Celts. From there the list of ballads about love simply increased. If you look at our musical culture in a macroscopic level, you will realize that each Celtic nation has its own love ballads and it will take so much if we do some research and post the songs here. However, I would just like to emphasize that the Celts know how to write the best heart break songs, I think much better than love songs. But we also need to give tribute to Robert Burns for giving us one of the best love ballads called ” Ae Fond Kiss ” which is close to my heart.

Clannad is known to produced the best ballads both traditional and modern. There’s also Connie Dover, Loreena McKennitt and Altan. Then there’s so much more that like I said would take so much to fit this edition.

Sorry if this section is short. I  have to be honest with you: I have nothing to write for now. All my thoughts were focused on the meteor explosion in Russia and for hour I kept on posting updates upon updates about the incident via facebook and google plus. So when morning came I felt so exhausted and I kept on thinking about aliens. So there you have it. I promise to write more content on our Huzzah next time. Take care and see you this Tuesday for our featured interview and it is with no other than Scottish singer/songwriter Ewan McLennan!


According to the French Piper: Interview with Francois of Caliorne

According to the French Piper: Interview with Francois of Caliorne



France with its interesting culture and music is definitely a home to bands that are considered avant-garde. Living in France and having a taste for Celtic music would mean that you either go for Breton music or a combination of that and Gaelic sounds. Then there are elements of Jazz and Rock which the French are good at. Such elements can be found in the music of the six piece ensemble Caliorne. With the release of Rock Noz Band, Caliorne continues to define their music and also spread the love of music from France.

Francois (who also goes by the name Fanch Soixantequinze) is the band’s spokes person. He also plays the bagpipes and other wind instruments. So it isn’t a wonder how he landed in my interview section. It is a pleasure to learn what Caliorne is all about through the words of the piper.

How did you learn to play the pipes that way?

I started playing Highland bagpipe in Paris, where you can either play Breton music or Scottish music. I started with Breton music in a Bagad and after, in a Pipe Band (Paris & District Pipe Band). After few years I wanted to play with friends some french folk music (Groupe Sans Gain). To do this I discovered other bagpipes, tuned for that music. And finally, I met people in order to play Rock, what I always aimed to play To play with Caliorne. I tuned bagpipes on A440 with Equal temperament, rather than just temperament. That’s one of the reasons why my bagpipes melt with other instruments…Finaly, my way of playing is surely the result of all this meetings ! But it is the first time someone asked me.

Who is your main influence in your development as a piper?

So many highly skilled pipers ! Douggie Pincok (Battlefield Band), Gordon Duncan, Martynn Bennett, Patrick Molard, Erwan Keravec, Mickaël Cozien… and most of Celtic Rock Bands with a bagpiper (Wolfstone, Slainte mhath, Sonerien DU, Prydein, The claymore…) . And of course many friends and other musicians you probably haven’t heard of yet!

Do you have an exciting thing  going for your band this year? What are they?

Playing at a lot of gigs ! At the moment we lack notoriety, and we have few. That’s why we recorded “Rock Noz Band” last year, and we hope It will be listened to widely !And of course we will compose new tunes.

What are your favorite tracks that you recorded with the band ?

Well, I like most of the album ! Hopefully! But to answer to your question :Déjanté ( totally crazy), La Kro, Star de la Boite (la “Kro” is a common beer in France, and “la boite” means disco. And the sentence is pronounced almost like the traditional dance name…)Trad ha Rock (from tradition to Rock…) and Friponne (rogue).

What are the top 5 Celtic recordings you are listening to this week.

Here they are:

If one goes to France, what are the places in your area where one can listen to Celtic bands performing live?

Well, It is quite easy to listen to Breton music in Paris area, but for non-Breton Celtic music, it is harder. Dropkick Murphy’s played last week in a large hall (Zenith), but it is unusual. At the time of St Patrick day, of course, you can find a lot of gigs…
There is no formal venue dedicated to Celtic music…
The best way is to look at facebook or some website.
Some Pub organize Irish Music Session, every week, like the “Quiet Man”

Or the Carrs


About his instruments:

“Most of my instruments are made by talented craftsman, and some of them are almost unique pieces : 1 chanter in C major, 1 veuze chanter with highland pipe fingering in c major, my diatonic clarinet, etc…

Currently listening to:
Amos Hoffman – Evolution
AC DC – Black Ice
SuperTramp – Crime of the century
And a lot of unknown albums. They are completely unknown outside France.

What he loves the  most about being in the Celtic music scene.

Feeling the music & sound surrounding me and looking at the dancers moving with the rhythm..

A detailed review of Rock Noz Band via 67 Music:


About the video: During our recording in studio of Rock Noz Band, we filmed each musicians when they performed on the same tune. Here is a video of the “Scottish Purple”, with the final soundtrack of the CD.



Celtic Twist Game:

The Celtic Music Fan would  like offer a free copy of Twist in the Tale to the winner of a competition which will start now. This is how it goes. All you need to do is find an answer to a question which in the animated picture blow. all you need to do is go to their official website to look for the answer. A winner will be announced at the end of this month.  Phil and Dave could send it directly to you with a short note of congratulations. How’s that? For those who are new to this album, here is the link to the review I did back in June 27 of 2012.



Cornish Ceilidh band. I found that video above while looking for some Cornish music. Yes the wind blows from Cornwall this week-and Scotland. I’ve never seen any ceilidh band from Cornwall to be honest. So it was quiet a pleasant surprise to find something like that.I am sure if I look further there will be more.

This week, the commotion is all about the Traditional Album of the Year nomination for Trad Connect. So if you haven’t chosen your favorite album yet, then it is time to cast your vote. And please register so you can interact with musicians and bloggers like myself who drop once in a while.

That clip above is from The Big Fat Electric Ceilidh from Scotland manned by Dave Martin. Dave teaches bodhran while maintaining his love for electronic music. The great part about running a site about Celtic music in general is the lack of restriction I have to adhere to. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to something that sounds like Jazz, or electro one of these days. It takes all kinds….

The Peatbog Faeries have a new track and that video has both the great scenes and beautiful music! I look forward to doing an interview with the band soon. Who would you suggest I interview next?

Jamie Smith:”I have been singing for many years.” (Interview)

Jamie Smith:”I have been singing for many years.” (Interview)

Check out our column Huzzah! Featuring: Sue Aston, Leza Mesiah,  Carlos Nuñez and Solas.

Jamie Smith side view

Jamie Smith

The phenomenal Welsh singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Jamie Smith talks to The Celtic Music Fan about recording, performing and singing for the first time in an album.

Jamie Smith remained a mystery for years to the Celtic music circle. His accordion playing is electrifying. He possesses great showmanship when onstage. He is charismatic. With his band, they fill out venues as live performers. Late last year was the release of their much anticipated third album called Windblown. I noticed that they  are exploring new avenues of musicality.They also seem to posses that relaxed attitude in playing live and building their online presence to their listeners.

As a band, Jamie Smith’s Mabon captivated the imagination of everybody. They also brought with them the mystical sound of Wales. At the same time, they worked in fusing that sound with other styles from any Celtic nations.

As an individual performer, Jamie Smith brings something special to the music culture. I think it  is his passion and also the way he abandons himself to the music that he plays. This in turn gets into the audience and the sincerity of it all is the core of his artistry. He has a strong presence in the recording and live performance. It is hard to explain and you have to own one of their albums to understand.

 Before the end of 2012, we talked about creating this interview. At that time, his band was on tour so it was a busy month. But true to his word, he made it here.  So here he is, Jamie Smith!

Hi Jamie, your band formed in 1999 with your father Derek, Iolo Whelan and his brother Gareth. You must have learned a lot after being exposed to many live performance at a young age.What are the things you have observed in the Celtic music scene, in terms of releasing albums and performing the songs live?

One thing I have learned is you can always improve on what you are doing. It’s amazing to look back down the years since the early days of the band and see how we’ve gradually transformed over time. I think it’s important to keep moving or else you can stagnate and lose interest. Another thing I have observed is that the tracks the band likes best and are most proud of often aren’t the ones the audience likes the most! 

 The new album is a pleasant departure from the previous ones. You did vocals for the first time! And you made a great job singing. Your voice is such a fantastic instrument that can move between haunting deliveries to a more pop rock kind of style. Who encouraged you to finally take the mic? 

I’d been thinking about it for a while and my wife, Gráinne, gave me the extra push to actually go for it. It’s good to have new challenges and we’re looking forward to working on more new songs this year. I have been singing for many years, just never in Mabon. I have become more interested in songs within the Celtic/folk genre over the last few years, which is partly what led me to want to try writing songs for the band. 

How’s the whole experience making Windblown? Anything to share about your own experiences and also the quirks that happened during the whole songwriting and recording process?

Making an album is a strange and often obsessive process: you spend a long time working on it and constantly thinking about it, then when it’s done you quickly put it to one side and look forward to the next challenge. I’ve hardly listened to the album since we got the final copies back! We had some great moments in the studio and a lot of fun experimenting with overdub ideas, some of which made the final mix.

What’s your favorite track off this new album and why?

I don’t think I can pick out one track sorry! Something that has pleased me since releasing the album is that everyone seems to have a different favourite track. It’s fair to say Caru Pum Merch has got a lot of fans, because it sounds so different, but quite a few of the others have been singled out as favourites by listeners too.

If a young person asks you for an advice about the best way to maintain a creative working relationship with a band, what would you tell him/her?

Enjoy playing together and try to do it often! If you are all enjoying playing music together then it should be easy to be creative.

What do you like about being a musician and also being in a band?

I like entertaining people by playing music and being in a band is more sociable than touring on your own! Apart from the making and performing of music, the next best thing is getting to travel to so many different places both home and abroad.

 You are also part of Barrule which is an amazing band based in the Isle of Man. How do you maintain a balance between working with the Barrule project and JSM?

Barrule’s in its infancy still so it’s not too bad at the moment, although recording albums with both bands back to back was a mammoth undertaking. If it does become more difficult, at least that means we are all doing well!

What are the other talents you have apart from those we already observed?

I play guitar, but not in Mabon. I’m pretty good at whistling actually. Drives my wife up the wall though!

For more updates visit:


Jamie and the gang will kick off their March tour and here’s the list:





Welcome to the second part of this blog which is the chatty part. Yes it’s called Huzzah! Which is also one of the track titles in Windblown by Jamie Smith’s Mabon whose lead singer is our featured artist this week.  Yes yes I will talk about anything and be natural as much as I can. Now those of you who are following my facebook page have already seen this video by Cornish violinist Sue Aston. For those who are new to her music, she is actually based in Penzance Cornwall. She is both influenced by Classical and the folk music. What’s fascinating about her is that she writes and plays everything. She also runs her own record and media company. To quote American singer/songwriter Jim Wearne regarding this video: “Wonderful tune, and beautiful Cornish scenery, not to mention a Cornish fiddler who’s easy on the eyes. Celtic festivals? Are you listening?” Yes like Jim said are you listening festivals?

About the video: Dedicated to everyone who has lost someone special to them. Taken from my album ‘Inspirational Journey’ written for my Dad and Nan who I miss everyday. Sue


Four days ago I launched a discussion thread via Linkedin. I’ve been with linkedin for heaven knows how long and it became so boring I stopped visiting. Then, while perusing through the links four days ago, I found a group called Irish Music. Bam! Things just started taking off.  I now have a reason to go there everyday. I met wonderful people from that group includingvocalist Leza Mesiah. Here’s a link to her songs: “The back story on my Ren ‘Character’ is your generic African Musician Princess living in Scotland, having fallen in love with a Scot.”She said.


Great news about the amazing Galician piper Carlos Nuñez

I stumbled upon this through his site: My fascination with his music went back to early 90s when Windham Hill started releasing albums worldwide. Celtic albumswere hard to find at that time. But compilations made it possible. So my big thank you to Windham Hill and The Chieftains for introducing this amazing artist to me!


With Celtic band Solas making it on the same page as Beyonce just goes to prove that Celtic music is BIG in the United States


So do you have any Celtic music buzz to share? Feel free to comment on the thread and post your own. Yes this is open for all and ideas are welcomed.  This is what I learned lately: When you are in the world of marketing(that includes independent musicians and writers) playing nice really helps. We don’t live in a vacuum. And we create things not for our self but for the audience. Being ‘accessible’ and ‘community minded’ do help. Good luck everyone 🙂

Cornish Music Loud and Clear!

Cornish Music Loud and Clear!

In this edition: Merv Davey, Julian Goodacre, Alan Rosevear, Sevenoaks, Brenda Wootton and Sue Aston.

Picture – Large round stones on Porth Nanven beach, Cornwall.

Today I am exploring Cornish music. It’s been a while since I did an exclusive in one of the Celtic nations. I love the music of Cornish bagpipes as you can see and hear in the Cornish music session. When I think of Cornish music I remember my introduction to it through the late Brenda Wootton,the band Dalla and Sue Aston. They all come to mind because they’re the artists that got me started. Cornish music continues to grow as you can see here.

If you want the biggest online music store devoted to Cornish music then you just visit and EVERYTHING is there!

Cornish trad session

Cornish music session in the Barley Sheaf, Liskeard, Cornwall. ‘Coer Elath’ (Choir of Angels) is a traditional tune with additional parts composed by Merv Davey, seen here playing bagpipes.


Now for those who are wondering about the Cornish bagpipes, one of the commenter made a clarification:

The Cornish bagpipes are a traditional instrument in both Cornwall and Briezh. The oldest depictions of Cornish Bagpipes being played date from c.1400AD. The pipes have likely been played in Kernow/Cornwall for at least 2000 years. I am sorry to disappoint anyone who believes incorrectly that they are a recent invention or have been ‘made up’.-The Cornubian


The Cornish Pipes:

Now it has a distinctive sound. More mellow and sonorous than the Scottish bagpipes or the uilleann pipes.Check out how it is being played! With two reeds. This tune is however a traditional English tune called Shepherd’s Hey. But you get the idea of what it sounds like. Anyone interested to learn the Cornish bagpipes?

Video info: Shepherds Hey; traditional English tune played by Julian Goodacre, played on Cornish double bagpipes in D


Lamorna – a Cornish folk song

I have always been fascinated by the beauty of   folk singing. Especially when sung without instrumentation. It gives you that soul of the song because it becomes intimate. The simplicity is what gives it a pleasure to sing.  This is one beautiful song I would love to learn. I am posting the lyrics here and the video as performed by Alan Rosevear

So now I’ll sing to you , it’s about a maiden fair,
I met the other evening at the corner of the square;
She had a dark and roving eye, and her hair was covered over,
We rowed all night in the pale moonlight
Way down to Lamorna.
T’was down in Albert Square; I never shall forget,
Her eyes they shone like diamonds
And the evening it was wet, wet, wet;
And her hair hung down in curls
Her face was covered over,
We rowed all night in the pale moonlight
Way down to Lamorna.

As we got in the cab, I asked her for her name,
And when she gave it me, well with mine it was the same;
So I lifted up her veil, for her face was covered over;
To my surprise, it was my wife
I took down to Lamorna.

She said I know you know, I knew you all along,
I knew you in the dark, for I did it for a lark;
And for that lark you’ll pay, for the taking of your donna,
You’ll pay the fare, I do declare
Way down to Lamorna.

about the song:

A folk song popular in Cornwall. There are several candidates for where you could have a night of pleasure in Lamorna – Lamorna Cove near St Just is probably the most likely. Sung by Alan Rosevear in Exeter.


Sweet Nightingale (Cornish folk song)

What an amazing tune. Especially that it is enhanced by natural sounds like the birds and rustling leaves and even an audience coughing. There  lots of amazing Cornish talents. You just have to look.

According to Mark Potts who uploaded the video:

Recorded at the Eden Project in April 2007. I was in a local folk trio called “Sevenoaks”. The guitar arrangement was based on McCartney’s “Blackbird” style and I reference my source at the end of this piece! I’d forgotten what a lovely voice Charlie the singer had


Brenda Wootton – The Trees They Are So High

What is Cornish Music without Brenda Wootton?  This one is  from the 1975 Sentinel album. A duet with Dennis Bartlet.


The Home Coming by Sue Aston Celtic Music with Classical Twist from Cornwall

The Amazing Sue Aston closes our episode with The Home Coming. I made an interview with her when this site was new. That was memorable. makes me smile when I think of it. She has released a couple of album already and is very much active in the Cornish music scene these days. Visit

Bards, Composers, Folk Singers and Concerts

In this edition: Máirtín de Cógáin, Karl Nesbitt, Richard Trethewey, Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo

So what makes fascination and inspiration happen? I think these two go together. First you get fascinated with someone’s talent. Then you get inspired to do what you do. Musicians are artists who help fuel inspiration. Give me a moment in a day listening to music and I will start typing away. Do you also get inspired by musicians?

I have to admit, the past few months were tough but it was music that pulled me out of the labyrinth. I want to share that enthusiasm and passion to you all. We are all connected in a way that we can’t imagine. I am glad for musicians! You are what makes the world a better place to live. And yes, we the listeners get to do a LOT of things because of you musicians. We paint, design software, build buildings and write novels because of the music. It is a symbiosis of goodness!

The Bardic Hypnosis of Máirtín de Cógáin

Máirtín de Cógáin has a way of getting you engaged when he is onstage. Whither he is playing music or talking, there is something about him that is charismatic. His anecdotes never fail to bring out giggles. He draws the magnetism from the long line of Irish bards since the time of the High Kings. I think Máirtín can talk about anything all day and I will definitely listen sipping my hot tea! Enjoy the videos below folks.

Check out his various projects



Another achievement from Karl Nesbitt:

Karl Nesbitt

“ I’m thrilled to be writing/performing some music for this new film entitled Blind Pass, directed by Steve Tatone. Thanks Fintan Lucy and Edel Sullivan “:)

-Karl Nesbitt
Hmm..looks like our favorite instrumentalist/composer/producer and arranger is out to make waves in the Irish movie scene. I would love to see this movie. I am sure if the music is from Karl then it will be amazing.

And what’s a Karl Nesbitt article without his music?


New Releases from Cornish Music label Kesson feat: Richard Trethewey

I love the music of Cornwall. It has its own identity and beauty. Cornwall has its own folk and  traditional scene and its new representative is Richard Trethewey. He sings, and plays  fiddles, mandola, triangle,and other brass instruments. A man of good vocal range and perfect pitch. You can listen to samples of “ Dig Where You Stand” off Cornish music site Kesson:


Exclusive video: Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo performed “What Am I Doing Here?” at CBC’s Glenn Could Studio.
Canadian  bands The Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo perform in this beautiful video. Check this link out:

Philip Knight Uncovers Omdowl Morek, His Cornish Language Album.

Plus: Newgrange by Tina Negus and Corrina Hewat CDs

We have Philip Knight on board this week as he explains his reasons for creating a Cornish language album. I also attached an ‘artwork’ I did to further support the importance of such musical release. We have a great wealth of musical talents from Cornwall.  You will know more about it as you read further. It was fun catching up with Phil. He’s been in Spain lately bringing us the Spanish sunshine and giving us a glimpse of what’s in  his own and Cornish music in general.

•  Omdowl Morek is an album composed of melodic songs all in Cornish. How long did it take you to complete the album?

The album is the culmination of over thirty years of writing and performing songs in Kernewek. It’s a selection of the best of my own compositions, a combination of contemporary music and folk. I aimed to blend lyrics carrying traditional folk themes with those with a personal and modern flavour. Since the album comprises contemporary themes, I wanted to update my treatment to avoid a dated sound and be sure that the songs were suitable for the 21st Century. The whole process of adapting to these constraints and recording them took the equivalent of a month of concentrated recording of my vocal and instrumental work. The arrangements took a further three months of careful editing, special effects and production.

•  I like the crisp production that your son Paul Knight-Malciak has achieved. I understand he also arranged, engineered, mixed and mastered this album. How was the working experience with him?

As Paul is my son, he has a knowledge and insight regarding my love of Kernewek, my style of material and my musical aims. In view of his acumen, I was flattered that he had long pressed me to make a high-quality album. He has had ample experience with a top-flight band of both making music, arranging it and recording it and has worked with several leading technicians and producers. As a result I was more than confident in his abilities to direct, arrange and offer me advice. We trusted each other’s abilities and our working relationship was surprisingly civilized! Paul spent a further three months finalizing the results of my recordings, consulting with me once he had a draft album at the ready. We never once fell out during the process and I hope this shows in the finished product of which I am extremely proud.

•  All of the songs in this album are in Cornish but there is a corresponding translation to English in every song. It must have been a challenge putting everything in detail on the liner notes.

The difficulty in making an album purely in Cornish was that my potential listenership was bound to be limited as it’s a lesser-used Celtic language. With the lyrics playing such an important part in my songs, I wanted them accessible to as many as possible. Thanks to MAGA (the Cornish Language Partnership), I was able to provide an accompanying booklet in parallel translation, Cornish alongside English. Unfortunately, any such lyrics booklet proved too bulky to include in the CD. I was advised that outlets would be likely to place the album with a separate lyrics booklet in literature sections rather than music. MAGA helped me overcome this by creating a webpage where the lyrics could be accessed, whilst they also have available hard copies for distribution. I owe a debt of great thanks to them for that and their part in helping me to make the album.

•  How is Cornish music different from Irish or Scottish music in terms of melody and delivery?

Well, every language has its own lilt, cadence and rhythm and such is the case with Kernewek. It all comes down to the position of the stress, the type of the consonants and the length of vowels. In general, Cornish words are stressed on the penultimate syllable (e.g. Kernewek ). Often the most important part of a Cornish sentence tends to be placed first but there it also has great variety and subtlety of meaning according to the word order. These facts tend to dictate the way Cornish music sounds, particularly if we are talking about traditional, folk music. I suggest that Irish and Scottish music have their own distinct qualities for this reason but, in view of the many grammatical structures inherent in all Celtic languages, there are also many similarities. All the same, my own music is an attempt to bring a contemporary sound to Kernewek as a modern yet authentic, revived language. I have paid close attention to its non-English pronunciation but I hope the melodies will appeal also to English-speaking ears. The melodies of my self-penned English songs definitely have a totally different quality from my Cornish ones and only one of the songs on this album could also be sung in English (Track 5 – Karoryon Porthgwarra). In spite of that, Paul feels this is his favourite track, maybe because it is the least English-sounding, and a quirky, though folksy, tune.

• is selling your recording. I understand it also represents the best in Cornish music.

I have nothing but praise for Kesson (Harmony) as an excellent portal for all Cornish music, whether in English or Cornish. Its creator, Kit Davey, himself one of an accomplished Cornish family of active musicians and Cornish speakers, offers a professional outlet but does not seek to run the site purely on a commercial basis but rather to promote all Cornish musicians and music. He makes Cornish artists’ material available on a non-profit-making basis and, according to their requirements, offers albums as CDs or as downloads or both. Perhaps, readers might find the answer to the last question re Cornish music by trying a few samples on the Kesson website.

. Are you planning to tour your music?

I have no plans as such. The whole purpose in making this album ‘Omdowl

Philip: This was a beat group I sang and played the single-manual organ with (I’d have looked silly sitting on a tree, holding my organ!) back in about 1969-72. They were called the Velvet Touch and were Devon Pop Poll Champions.

Morek’ was to record to the best of all my creative powers with the help of my son Paul ‘s technical know-how a handful of my Cornish language songs. I have been a very active musician pretty well all my life since my teens in a wide variety of music, whether as a drummer, organist, guitarist vocalist. I have been folk singer, played in rock bands and beat groups, sung in a male voice choir, taught music to primary school kids, played in Country Dance bands. In a Cornish language capacity, I have been performing since the early eighties. With this album, I didn’t want my music in this vein to die and felt that, in some humble way, that it would be of benefit to the Cornish language world if it were to be there for all to be able to hear and access, and make their own. It is important for a revived language to be “sexy” so that young people want to take it up so it was important that the sound should appeal across age groups and, I hope, have a timeless quality. Otherwise there is always the risk that the language will become moribund and confined to traditional folk modes. It would not be to my liking to do a karaoke job of singing my songs to backing tracks though I obviously have these. I would need a band to reproduce the songs on stage as I might like. In the studio, I could form instrumentation as full as a whole band and, where vocals are concerned, multi-track my voice or even be a male voice choir as I was on the last track ‘Spyrys Agan Tir’.

. What are your major musical plans for this year?

Given funding, ideally I’d like to record a further ten or twelve songs that I’ve written in Cornish but, more than anything, I’d love to record a polished, updated, digital version of a song that I wrote for the Pan Celtic Festival in Galway, 1991, and which won Kernow first prize in the Pan Celtic Song Contest of that year. It was called ‘Deus Y’n Rag, Dolli’ (Come on, Dolly!) and was an attempt to create a Cornish language equivalent of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, whereby I hoped to resurrect the language with a rocking appeal to Dolly Pentreath to come alive again. She was the then-supposed, last-recorded native speaker of Kernewek in about 1770, and she berated an English philologist, called Daines Barrington, who was searching Cornwall for surviving Cornish speakers, in true fishwife style by calling him ‘Ty gronek hager du!’ or ‘You ugly, black toad!’.

If I can once more enlist the recording and producing expertise of my son, Paul Knight-Malciak, this will be my project, together with an upbeat ‘b-side’ ofanother of my songs, ‘Hunlev an Omsettyans’ (Nightmare of the Invasion), which recalls the reprisal raid on Dolly Pentreath’s village of Mousehole by a section of the failed Spanish Armada.

Bolonjedhow a’n gwella/Very best wishes,
Phil Knight

Well there you have folks. Another fine addition to our ever growing musical exploration. Be sure to visit kesson and if you like Phil’s new album, have a copy yourself.

1. Men Selevan (St Levan’s Stone) 00:00
2. Tamsin (Tamsin) 03:35
3. Maria Wynn a Gernow (Blessed Mary of Cornwall) 06:46
4. Dhe Vlamya yw Hi (She is to Blame) 10:43
5. Karoryon Porthgwartha (The Lovers of Porthgwarra) 13:49
6. Dehwelyans an Marner (The Sailor’s Return) 18:50
7. Myrgh an Mor (Daughter of the Sea) 22:59
8. Kyns ty dhe vos (Before You Go) 26:56
9. Spyrys agan Tir (The Spirit of our Land) 31:14

For bilingual lyrics and more information about the artist, go to…

All songs written and performed by Philip Knight

Produced, arranged, engineered, mixed and mastered by Paul Knight-Malciak

Recording generously funded by MAGA

To purchase the CD album, mp3s, and lyrics booklet go to


Today in pictures: Newgrange by Tina Negus watercolour/ink/pastel/waxed crayon 2007.

I love mixed media. This is an amazing painter by Tina Negus. My friend Paula brought this to my attention. We both love nice pictures and I found this heart warming. The colors are really vibrant and it is very Celtic. More interpretation can be found here:


What’s Playing: Corrina Hewat

An Derow: Cornish language songs with hints of other Celtic cultures

Genre: Cornish Folk Fusion

An Derow is a band made up of family and friends from Cornwall. The music is rooted in the tradition and atmosphere of the place. The style reflects the fusion of different influences that shaped the musical upbringing of each member. This makes An Derow hard to pigeonhole but has that undeniably Cornish style.

I really enjoyed the tracks because you can really feel the maritime breeze of the Cornish seaside. As a Celtic music lover, understanding the language is secondary to the beauty of the sound  that the language produces.

I think people who only listen to English songs because they can only understand English, fail to appreciate the musical value of the Celtic languages.They are missing out on other songs that they’d still appreciate because they sound beautiful.


Stuart MacQuarrie (bass)
Matthew Clarke (crowder crawn/voice/whistle)
Sue Aston (violin)
Dan Aston (guitar)
Phil Aston (guitar)

Find them in facebook:

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An Derow means “The Oak” or it can mean “The Beginning”. We sing mainly in Cornish and perform a Celtic/fusion style.

Just launched as of February 2012


Cornish language songs, up-tempo Cornish folk on voice and fiddle, with hints of other Celtic cultures, combined with electric bass grooves and electric guitars.

Dick Twinney – Cornwall’s Wildlife At Home Feat. Sue Aston

Cornish artist Dick Twinney is giving love back to nature with his wonderful wildlife artworks. You see his works in this video, featuring ‘The Home Coming’ by Cornish violinist Sue Aston. Enjoy the healing qualities of the music and enrich your soul with the colors of nature through the eyes and hand of Dick Twinney.

More from this link:

Bone Idol: Singing Songs of the Sea

The Isle of Scilly is an archipelago that lies in the southwestern tip of Cornwall. You might  not know it yet but because of its position, a lot of migratory birds come here from as far as North America and Siberia. Apart from the warm climate and rich history, it is also a place rich in musical tradition.

The all male vocal group Bone Idol have proven this. There is something haunting and beautiful in their style of singing. They sing the songs of the sea. Their album is available locally but if there is a way for them to reach a wider audience I think it should be a must. Music like this should be heard by the world. Forget Euro vision. This is way better!

Map of the Isles of Scilly. Location in relation to Cornwall

Author Craig Weatherhill- For The Love of Cornwall(Interview)

Me at the Men Scrifa. The mid 6th century AD inscription can be clearly seen: RIALOBRANI CVNOVALI FILI ('Royal Raven, son of Worthy/Valiant Hound'). Chun Castle (300 BC) and Chun Quoit (3,500 BC) stand on the hill on the skyline just to the right of the stone. All three sites feature in my novels 'The Lyonesse Stone' (with its recently published translation into Cornish, 'Jowal Lethesow'), and 'The Tinners' Way'. -Craig

Hopes for Cornwall – to see  it able to break free of rule from London. Decisions about Cornwall should be made from within Cornwall, by Cornish people who know their own land and its problems better than any one. Some people might think this is a “parochial” attitude but they couldn’t be more wrong. We have a global outlook. For all too long we’ve been brainwashed into this “Cornwall is too remote” way of thinking. Remote? From where?…oh, from London.  


I love the spontaneity of this interview with author and Cornish public figure Craig Weatherhill. He has released fiction and non fiction books about Cornwall. We have exchanged messages over the course of time about music and most of all his love for the Melloron which you will get to hear later in this interview. As part of the ongoing story about Cornwall I am glad for getting the time to talk to one of the most interesting minds of this age.

For his works you can visit the Craig Weatherhill Amazon Page  



I am planning to cover Cornwall this week. I am interested in what you do in preserving and promoting Cornwall’s rich legacy.

Where do I start…..?I set out decades ago to record and survey archaeological sites, with detailed, accurate scale drawings that recorded exactly what was there to be preserved. Back in 1974 no one had ever done this. I surveyed over 300 sites before professional bodies were formed to carry on with the work.

Cornish legend and mythology was also a close study, as were place-names, right down to field names – all this linked with the archaeology as there’s direct relevance.Then, I realised that no one had written comprehensive field guides to the best sites and monuments in Cornwall and Scilly, so I wrote Belerion and Cornovia (1981 & 1985), which remained in print until well after 2000. A new version of Cornovia, combining both the earlier books, came out 3 years ago.

I tried to promote the legends, and make people more aware of them, by writing the trilogy of novels (The Lyonesse Stone, Seat of Storms and The Tinners’ Way), which incorporate many of them.
Now, I’m looking at events in Cornish history that have never been fully, or truthfully, told.

Wow this is great! Ok so concerning Cornwall’s rich history and legacy, what can you say about the film, Mists of Avalon? It’s set in Cornwall right?

I’ve never seen “Mists of Avalon”. I think I remember reading the book many years ago.
And going back to your books, for those who only heard of them now, can you expound a bit on what they’re about? (The Lyonesse Stone, Seat of Storms and The Tinners’ Way)

The trilogy involves a modern family in the worlds of ancient Cornish legend. Their direct ancestor was the sole survivor of the flood that drowned the lost land of Lyonesse, said to have linked Land’s End with the Isles of Scilly, which is “why them”.
The first is about a sorcerer from legend, the Lord of Pengersek, and his mare (a demon in horse-shape) who is after a family heirloom which can give him true immortality, as he has lived for centuries dependent upon an artificial elixir.
The second has two more villains from the past, a storm-raising witch and a rapacious lawyer. In the battle to stop their schemes, the people of the sea become involved, with tragic results, but higher beings, such as the god Lugh and the goddess Epona, also lend a hand.
The third is an allegory on what Cornwall faces today with far too much external interference, and harks on Cornwall’s war with England in 1549, and brings in some of the villains from that war, as well as Cornwall’s very own sea monster (yes – we have one!).
All set in West Cornwall & Scilly. Most locations are real ones, and the books also bring in some real historical characters in cameo roles.
Have started a novel running a modern mystery-thriller alongside the story of the Spanish raid on Mount’s Bay in 1595. To be called “The Amezola Log”.
These days, I’m semi-retired, freeing up more time to spend with the horses, writing and music. In July I finally bought a mellotron, having wanted one for decades, and this features on Cornish band Skwardya’s new song “Gras dhe Nev” (Thank Heaven), written by Matthew Clarke.It adds a mix of strings and choir behind the song.
Speaking of Matthew Clarke whom I talked to in my last article, what are the things that you are involved with in the Cornish movement. I am keeping a close look at Kernow Celtic league and every one is taking interest in Cornwall’s Celtic heritage.

I advise the Signage Panel (bilingual signs), mostly on historic names. I’m still a member of the language group Agan Tavas. I’m also active with Save Penwith Moors against the desecration of our ancient landscape by the quangoes Natural “England” and “English” Heritage. I continue to research and write about Cornwall and its heritage.
I know you are passionate about your mellotron. Tell me more about this instrument. How did you fall for this one?

I could never afford a mellotron in the past. They were hugely expensive and hefty with it. The Mark II used by the Moody Blues weighed 350lbs, and the single manual M400 was still 150lbs. Then, last year, the Mellotron company developed the first digital model by sampling all 100 sound choices from the original mellotron tape archive, so the sounds are identical to the big analogue models, even to the 8-second note limit. This looks like the top section of an M400 but weighs only 33lbs.

Can you give me a good link for a video of a mellotron video of yours on youtube ?

Google ‘youtube cweatherhills channel’, and you’ll find one of me playing mine.
At this point , how is Cornwall doing in terms of Literature, Music and Economy?

"Just to show that I can relax now and again. 12-bar auto-harp"-Craig

"Just to show that I can relax now and again. 12-bar auto-harp"-Craig

> Literature. Cornwall is doing well, with writers like Alan Kent in particular. One great development is the production of translations of novels into Cornish (e.g. my The Lyonesse Stone > Jowal Lethesow), or bilingually published (Alan Kents’ The Cult of Relics/Devocyon dhe Greryow. Nor is Cornwall short of poets.
Music – Again, Cornwall is vibrant with music, with any number of groups (Skwardya, Hanterhir, Bagas Degol etc.), solo artists (e.g. Sue Aston, violinist), dance groups, choirs, and the available styles cover a broad spectrum, too.
Economy – Not well at all. The lowest incomes and the highest domestic overheads in the UK. For decades, London has taken around £300 million p.a. more from Cornwall than it gives back. Young Cornish people can’t afford to buy houses in their own land as 2nd homes have artificially inflated house privcs overall, and rents are extortionate. Cornish schoolkids get a fraction of central Govt. grants per annum than their counterparts in the Home Counties. Unemployment is high, and yet big firms and corporations (incl. Cornwall Council) prefer to recruit from outside Cornwall.

Are you currently involved in the music scene and festivals around?

As yet, I don’t perform music to live audiences, preferring to compose and play on my own (much as I write). However, if I improve and get more confident, live performances might yet happen.
I am interested in the Agan Tavas movement. Can you expound on this too?

Agan Tavas (“Our Language”) – a Cornish language society founded about 25 years ago, and with an emphais on the traditional language rather than very modern reconstructed versions). It researches, publishes, holds events, and social gatherings called Yeth an Weryn (language of the people). I was Chairman for 4 years before handing over to the current Chairman, Ray Chubb.
What are your hopes for your nation and what can we all do to make it come true?

Hopes for Cornwall – to see it able to break free of rule from London. Decisions about Cornwall should be made from within Cornwall, by Cornish people who know their own land and its problems better than any one. Some people might think this is a “parochial” attitude but they couldn’t be more wrong. We have a global outlook. For all too long we’ve been brainwashed into this “Cornwall is too remote” way of thinking. Remote? From where?…oh, from London. Who needs London? When you look at our geographical position, we’re perfectly placed for direct global trading. Far better placed than London is. Perhaps, with autonomy, Cornwall and the other Celtic nations could form a loose federation that allows each their independence, but also allows for solidarity when the need arises. Much as Europe was supposed to be but, hopefully, we’ll learn from the reasons why Europe never achieved that.
What can we do to make it happen? – Cut loose from the mainstream political parties who have serially failed us all, and get behind the pro-Celtic ones. In Cornwall, that means Mebyon Kernow which has just won a landslide by-election in one of Cornwall’s largest wards (geographically). In turn, MK has to be ready to develop and embrace some really high hopes but, with increasing public support, that will come. Plaid Cymru and the SNP both grew from very humble, and oft-ridiculed beginnings: now look at them! MK can do likewise.

I see a lot of things happening and right now. I am looking at Campaign Kernow and the commonwealth games. There are great talents from all around . If we talk about music can you point me to the right direction(for people who are seriously in need of music that represents Cornwall). For example.. this is a good one right?

Kesson – Cornish Music Portal


Looking at their list of artists, I’d say that’s a great place to start. Matthew Clarke (Skwardya), Philip Knight and Sue Aston are also FB friends. A further, amazing musician is Medwyn Goodall, a composer and multi-instrumentlist who has produced a couple of dozen albums. You can find him and Sue on YouTube. Phil just sent a link for his new album – I’ll share it to you.


Oh yes! I am a fan of his music(Medwyn Goodall). And of course those people you mentioned. Can I see Phil’s link?



Years ago (1991), my first novel was also the first to be promoted by a film trailer. We needed the right music for it, so I asked Medwyn if I could use ‘Nine Maidens’ from his Druid album. He laughed and said that the piece had been inspired by my book ‘Belerion’! How about that for full circle?
The equally admiring society You and Medwyn.I am listening to Philip Knight’s youtube sampler.This is amazing because this is in Cornish Terrific voice too.

Yes, he’s a fine singer. He only put that link up last night!
Whenever I see Justin Hayward (Moody Blues), who has a place at Lelant, he says: “Any more books?”, and I answer with: “Any more records?” (He’s another mad horseman, so you can see how we met up).

I love Moody Blues( I might sound like a phony but the artists you mentioned are familiar to me)…wow Phil’s music really makes me smile. So much variety to it. These and other artists we discussed will be linked to the interview .

It seems that we have a terrific music scene in Cornwall these days.

Where can readers find your books? Electronic copies?
Most of my books can be found on Amazon. Just put my name into the search box and they should appear. I don’t think there are any electronic copies. Just disappearing to search YouTube for that(Mellotron ) link. Back soon.Found it and shared it.
Ok, loading…Glorious!


You even get a couple of shots of what’s going on inside the ‘tron.

Wow…a lot to be learned from this instrument..
.. those are tape strips.. analogue sound extravaganza!

I’m still learning what mine’s capable of doing after 4 months with it. Yes – the analogue originals literally put heads on tapes when you pressed the keys, so the violins, flutes, choirs etc are the real thing, not an electronic imitation but, because the ‘tron’s a machine, it lends something of its own, hence the ethereal quality of the sounds. My digital M4000D is 24-bit sampled from the original mellotron tape archive.
That guy really took the cake with his demonstration.
You should upload a video of your playing when you are already confident .

I’ve got one. Want it? Sure!OK – one of my own (Drehafva’n Loor (Moonrise), and a Yes song.The word sounds and looks beautiful in CornishSent those two plus a demo of 16 violins and custom choir.============================================================================================================

The music has that impressionistic feel. Goosebumps! this is amazing stuff. You play so well.

Still a self-taught learner with a long way to go. But this amazing instrument will help that along.
I listened to all three(the others were uploaded in facebook so they can’t be embedded here) and I can say it has a powerful way of setting the mood I feel like I have just eaten a lot of chocolate hahahaha. Do you have a youtube version of these videos? I am afraid wordpress might have a hard time embedding them if they are not from youtube.
I’ve only put Drehafva’n Loor on YouTube. If you search youtube cweatherhill’s channel, you’ll find it there.
Ok great! Now I am writing another article about Cornwall and this is prior to your interview , which will be within this week.I will send you the draft for final approval before publishing it.
Fantastic – look forward to seeing it!
Thanks and take care. Enjoy the rest of the day over there.

Many thanks. Enjoy your day, too (although I expect it’s about bed time there – I’m downing my morning mug of coffee here. It helps to get my heart started).
It is only 3pm here. around 6 to 7 hour difference between us.
Less than I thought.

Yeah. And I know that Cornwall is considered as the land of light.

It’s 0745 here, just getting light (being winter). Very mild for the time of year, though. I was driving around yesterday with my car windows wide open!We’d expect around 8 or 9C around now (in fact, the last 2 Novembers were way colder than that). It’s actually around 14 or 15C and it was all sun yesterday after a stormy night.
I see. That’s really cold for our standards (in the tropics) of normal temperature. But I like the cold.
On the moors

On the moors

Doesn’t often get above 24C here even in summer. We have sea on 3 and a hal sides of us, and the warm Gulf Stream current to help out. We’re about level with Newfoundland, which is probably frozen solid by now – but they (and New York to the south) are stuck with the cold Labrador current.
Interesting how geography can really bring out the best in a place and the people there. 
Looks like another sunny day today but tomorrow we have one of our Atlantic storms brewing up. 70mph winds.
Well better keep yourself warm over there. here it is rainy as well. the first today in weeks.
Batten down the hatches for tomorrow. Anything I need to go out for, I’d better do it today. Talk again soon.
Ok. Blessed be.

Ha benegys re bo dhis ynwedh.

It’s Called Kernewek-In Cornish Celtic.

“Ha benegys re bo dhis ynwedh”-Craig.

Craig and I were having an interesting conversation which is part of the interview I am doing about him. He has written amazing novels about Cornwall’s myths among others. The course of the afternoon was dedicated to links and the music that best represents Cornwall. He mentioned Medwyn Goodall who is one of my favorite artists. He also said that yesterday, he drove around with his car windows opened. It’s mild there considering it’s winter.


We discussed about the links. I discovered Kesson earlier which I think is the best source of Cornish music for those who like traditional stuff. My ears can be picky but I got a couple of bands and musicians you might really want to check out. These are great stuff. bands like  An Strik, The Barveks and Anao Atao can really put you in Cornish mood.

Check out the goodies in the album section.


In between discussion of Mellotron which Craig is raving about(he has been playing his for four months) I listened to a couple of links and I am so excited to share them!

Phil Knight is an exciting name to come from the traditional music scene. He sings and composes in Cornish and his arrangements are varied and instrumentally refreshing. Here’s description for the samples in the video:

These sampler clips are from a new album (Nov 2011) called ‘Omdowl Morek’ or ‘Sea Wrestling’. All nine original and contemporary songs, written and performed by Phil Knight, and ably produced and arranged by Paul Knight-Malciak, are in Kernewek (The Cornish Language). Thanks to him and to Maga – the Cornish Language Partnership – I was able to find an opportunity to record an album of my best songs, a long-term dream. I am hopeful that there wil be among them above all the flavour of Cornwall and her language: There are songs with themes based on old legends and my personal faith, love of Cornwall’s land and sea, tales of love on account of young women even. Whatever your age and taste, may there be something to please everyone whether in the Celtic world or beyond. A bilingual book of lyrics accompanies the actual album which is available via Maga.


And check out this singing in Kernewek(Cornish)! This guy who hosts is speaking in Scottish Gaelic though…

Phil Innes and Josie Boucharde at the 2009 Nos Ur competition, singing the Kernewek language song Kernewek Ov Vy


Things Cornwall

Cornish traditional music played by Dalla at the additional “Nos Lowen” event hosted by Asturia … fine food and well-poured cider too – cheers, 😀

The dance – Mr Martin’s Reel (collected by Mr Hedley Martin in a place called Morval, near Looe) – is well known across Cornwall, and was danced at family parties, usually in a kitchen on the slate slabs. Young people would travel from farm to farm during the festive seasons, drink cider, socialise and perform such dances as this by way of entertainment. Often the dance was done in fairly heavy clogs with iron scoots, like horseshoes, on the bottom to increase the noise of step dancing.

“Nos Lowen” is Cornish for “Happy Night” … full of dancing, singing, eating and drinking … similar to a
Breton “Fest Noz”… 

So I am devoting this week and probably the next week  to Cornwall. Reasons? Nostalgia. I remember I covered something about Dalla a year or two ago and at that time everything was  OK in my life. I had not much worries. My constant happiness was keeping this blog up to date and also participating in my blogger community and writing posts.

Time has made things changed. I am glad I’m still here. I am glad I am hanging on and still keeping this page current. Now I love looking at the beautiful pictures of Cornwall. So relaxing. Cornwall is known for its beaches and rugged coastline. What’s more exciting is that there is a thriving traditional scene there.  Just listen to this sound clip by Matthew Clarke:

To demonstrate further, Cornwall here’s a nice view of the Cornwall coast.

Right now I am still getting to know more about the culture of Cornwall and the people who play a big part on the propagation of it. I am currently working on an interview of Craig Weatherhill.


Just in time for the Thanksgiving, Shishonnah has just released their album Elysian Dreams. I would describe the work of the duo Jenne Lennon and Liz Madden as a cross between Dead Can Dance, Loreena Mckennitt and Clannad.


I also got a scoop that Moya Brennan did guest vocals for Secret Garden. This is  an amazing project since I am  a big fan of both Clannad, Secret Garden and Moya’s own solo career. The song is “The Dream” taken from “Winter Poem“. More here:


Matthew Clarke: Defining The Cornish Identity Through Language and Music


Matthew Clarke: one of theleading voices of  Cornwall who continues to spread the cultural identity of his nation through music and language.

I stumbled upon his podcast by accident and out of that came the awareness of his talent as a musician. My interest in the culture of Cornwall started when I did a research about Celtic languages. Since then I was in touched with the culture through music. Dalla proved to be one of those bands  that embody the spirit of the nation. I listened to them and promoted their music. Craig Weatherhill (author) and Sue Aston (violinist) are among those I  have talked to in the past, when dealing with Cornish literature and music.

Here, Matthew shares with us his insights into things that he is passionate about. There is so much beauty in  Cornwall that people need to know and one of them is knowing its unique Celtic language as well as the music that continues to let itself be heard. Other than the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca and later done into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock, Cornwall is so much more.

* You started kernowpods around July of 2011. It’s more than a year now. So far what are the challenges of this endeavor?

It is tough starting a business in these times but I have had a huge amount of support from Cornish business and organisations. One of the biggest helps was ‘Unlocking Cornish Potential’ who gave me training and financial support (from Europe) for the first year in business. The other main challenge was to explain exactly what I do – as there is no-one else in Cornwall with my business model. Essentially I was converting my broadcast skills to business. The podcasting element is the main tranche of this, and it is also the part of my business which developed out of producing ‘Radyo an Gernewegva‘ every week.

* What are the great things you gained having this show?

Essentially I began this podcast radio service because the Cornish language cause is/was not being supported to any serious extent by any other radio station in Cornwall. The BBC only produces 5 minutes a week! RanG started off as Nowodhow an Seythun (News of the week) several years ago… and then eventually mutated into a full music and magazine programme. I have gained a large worldwide audience for the language – people learning it in Cornish communities around the globe – as as a side advantage, created a place to play some of my own music in Cornish too.

*Your work is an asset to businesses as well as people who are into teaching. I am a product trainer for a private company. I dig what you are trying to say. When did you discover having this passion to teach?

I wouldnt actually say I have a passion to teach. I would say I NEED to teach because I prefer speaking in Cornish to English, and there aren’t enough Cornish speakers about. The only way I can rectify this is to provide services to help people reach fluency.

 * Cornwall is a place of huge Celtic heritage. I see you are passionate about the music and the language. What are the positive things you learned about reviving the language …the whole Cornish culture itself?

The positive points about reviving a language is that it is a steep slope that has been climbed once you realise it by looking back – at the moment in question it feels like you are banging your head against a brick wall. Essentially, I see no positives in the action of reviving a language as I see the positives in not letting a language be lost in the first places. It is unfortunate that we need to revive a language – one that should never have been let go in the first place.

The new anthem for the Cornish language written by Matthew Clarke, performed by Skwardya with additional help from: Elizabeth and Josephine Stewart; Phil Knight; James Dundon and Chris Cadwur James. From the Skwardya CD ‘An Eledhva’.

 *Can you give us list of music we need to check out?

Anyone wanting to check out Cornish language can have a tough time finding stuff – even in the modern digital era. So much is not available. Much was last available in the days of vinyl and cassette. This is why Radyo an Gernewegva is so important! Try and listen for the following artists (yes I have put myself in there??!!! and no this is not a chart with an order of importance):

1. Graham Sandercock
2. Brenda Wootton
3. Richard Gendall
4. Phillip Knight
5. Skwardya
6. Dalla
7. Brian Webb
8. Krena
9. Ragamuffin
10. Hanterhir

*With all the work you do, what are you trying to accomplish?

I am trying to make sure the language I feel at home with speaking is still there for future generations, and to make sure I have people to talk to! Yes, it is really THAT selfish!

* Radyo an Gernewgva is something I am familiar with! The site is also entirely in Cornish. Do you plan putting up English support for non native speakers? I however think that what you are trying to say about keeping the language alive makes a big sense. The language goes hand in hand with the music. I remember hearing Brenda Wootton singing in Cornish and I was shocked by the beauty of it all. Are there links you can give enthusiasts who are trying to learn the language?

There is no plan for English support to RanG – it takes enough barely funded time as it is to do what I’m doing (barely funded, not because The Cornish Language Partnership (Maga) doesn’t want to fund RanG more, but because it has not got much support from the Government) . If someone else wants to do that bit – all power to their elbow. This service is aimed at people who have learned a certain amount of Cornish and want to become fluent, or fluent speakers. It can be enjoyed for its music content if a listener has no knowledge of Cornish.
The best link to give for enthusiasts is – this is the Cornish Language Partnership and is a one stop shop for anything to do with the language.

* Been listening to your music with your project Skwardya. What are your plans for this band?

The band began in 1999 and finished playing gigs in 2002 when I moved to East Cornwall. I moved back a few years later and we began doing gigs again in 2006-2010. We stopped gigging again after the PanCeltic last year – though some recordings are still being made. We have released 4 CDs – all can be found on We have not produced a CD for a long time as it is expensive and it is tough marketing them. The only outlet for the music currently is on Radyo an Gernewegva. I have uploaded a few things to CDBaby – but this takes time and costs too – and the rewards arent that great.

* What would you suggest to musicians (Cornish and others) in order to push the music forward? I know the internet has been helpful as a tool to reach people around the globe but are there also other means that the musical culture can be spread?

I know there is … however, there is no organisation properly and professionally marketing Cornish music in the way that Sain does in Wales. Cornwall desperately needs a body to do this. The problem is that people’s lives are tough in just trying to make enough money to pay the mortgage or rent at the moment – and few people have the time or money to do this sort of thing effectively.

*Are there things you wish to finish in  terms of broadcasting and music before the year ends?

Radyo an Gernewegva needs a new backer as European money will start running out. It also needs more commitment from Cornish speakers. I cannot do all the work myself. Sometimes you will get someone offering a programme or some audio from something – but they end up (often) as unreliable. This programme goes out every week – I need to put it together every week. It cannot move forward until there is more professionalism in the approach to developing the language from its supporters.

Last question: What’s your message to your followers as well as people who like to blog about music?

My message is:

Govenek a’m beus hwi dhe omlowenhe an ilow ha skoedhyewgh an taves yn pub le pynag a vo chons dhywgh!

I hope you enjoy the music and support the language everywhere it may be possible for you to!

Radio Breton, Cornwall And All That Brythonics

Happy Monday folks. I guess you are all hesitant to get out of that bed and go to work eh? Me too. Work starts tonight but I had to get up to write this blog. Yes this is my life and I am happy to be connected to all of you. And perhaps you are happy once in a while when you drop by as I give you the links to the coolest sites in the Internet never been heard or seen before.

There’s this wonderful quote I read today: When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends-Japanese Proverb. What do you think? I love quotes and this one is interesting as this always hold the truth for me.


BZH a.k.a Radio Stalig is an umbrella site of all other radio stations in Brittany broadcasting in both FM and WebRadio Media. As long as you have internet connection, it plays automatically. All you need to do is go to each  station by clicking the links on the left corner. For example I am now listening to Radio Arvorig which plays a combination of Breton and Pop music in English. Don’t be surprise if you hear rap back to back with your typical Celtic music. By the way I made a screen shot of the station and edited it. Do you like it?


100 reasons why CORNISH isn’t ENGLISH

Interesting video. Check it out. The music is also amazing.


Brythonics – Guitarra armada

Brythonics show 25/02/2011 Ploemeur (Lorient) Brittany
featuring : Andy Jones – Colm O’Snodaigh – Dom DufF


Another export from Brittany: Gwennyn

You can listen and buy her 2nd album here

The Whole Of The Moon(two versions with lyrics)

Today I have been listening to The Whole Of The Moon– two versions repeatedly. Someone posted this in Twitter and before I knew it I was hooked going back and forth like what you do in a seesaw. It s a boring Monday and I have been doing paper works with that song in the background. Oh and I have to tell you I am doing this on a break-not during work.

There’s something about the lyrics that captivated my imagination. It’s originally done by The Waterboys in 1985 from the album This Is The Sea. In the early 90’s, Irish singer Terry Reid covered this.  Enya collaborated with him on this track providing backing vocals and keyboards.

The Whole Of The Moon lyrics
Songwriters: Scott, Michael;

I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands
I had flashes but you saw then plan
I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

You were there in the turnstiles with the wind at your heels
You stretched for the starts and you know how it feels
To reach too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings you just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried, you just knew
I sighed and you swooned
[ From: ]
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket and the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder and you know how it feels
To get too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon, the whole of the moon, hey yeah

Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision underneath the stars

Yes, you climbed on the ladder with the wind in your sails
You came like a comet, blazing your trail
Too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

Oh, how [Incomprehensible] did you see the whole of the moon


According to GrecoCelt: On a less speculative note, Mike Scott (The Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Pianist of the Waterboys) has said that the song’s subject is “a composite of many people”, including C.S. Lewis.

from Song Meanings website.


If you are in Cornwall and looking for a place to hang out for some Celtic music, then try Rule 7 Bar try this link for a complete info:


Now for some Scottish Puirt a Beul is Sileas.


Fisherman’s Friends from Port Isaac Cornwall will receive BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Good Tradition .


Once known as a safe haven for fishermen and sailors on the merciless north Cornish coast, Port Isaac, with its typical whitewashed cottages and cobbled lanes, is now a place more recognisable as the setting for television dramas such as Doc Martin and films such as Nigel Cole’s Saving Grace.

However, the Fisherman’s Friends have proved that home-grown talent can grab the headlines, too. The choir, who have sung together for 16 years, first came to critical attention when they released their first album, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, on Universal Records at the end of April 2010. Since then, they have performed at Glastonbury, the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Royal Festival Hall, Union Chapel and, slightly closer to home, the Boardmasters Festival in Newquay and the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival.

Sue Aston: The Cornish Muse Talks About Her New Album

Between Worlds the new album by multi-instrumentalist composer  Sue Aston  now out!

I love how the Cornish landscape is portrayed in the 1939 Hitchcock movie Rebecca. Corn wall embodies bandoned castles, windswept hillsides, moderate climate and so much more. But apart from these scenes, it’s the people  who make Cornwall the Celtic nation  that it is today.

The violin is a very transparent instrument in a sense that the player decides the kind of sound it produces. Violins don’t lie.Especially when one is an artist who is passionate  about  both the music and Cornwall’s political struggles.To quote from her : “My muse is the granite cliffs and the rolling moors of Kernow, her legends, her culture and people. Thank you for your kind words of support, I am inspired determined and ready for action!”

The second album has twelve tracks displaying her classical training and the honest sentiments of folk music. Sue ‘s music glides into the senses like fine wine. From the anthemic title track , The playful Mazy Dazey , the dark ominous charm of Storm Cat…the Vivaldi-like Hawthorne Tree, the Cornish Melody in Thursday’s Market (marghas yow), and closing with the introspective melody of Initial Bond. There are other instruments you can hear in the album(both Folk and Classical) as well as classical female voices.

Over the years, Sue Aston collaborated with Chris De Burgh (Quiet Revolution), Gordon Giltrap (Music for the Small Screen), and Andrew Downs (Centenary Firedances / The Marshes of Glynn) among others. But exploring her inner landscapes in albums like Sacred Landscapes and Inspirational Journey , she is able to carve her identity. And she is back in full force with the latest offer Between Worlds.


1.How long did it take to create this album?

It took 18 months to create my new album, as I composed many of the tracks as I went along, slotting them in between recording sessions. I was juggling my time with recording new solo violin parts, while working out the piano accompaniment and arranging the parts for the other instruments. Quite often there were two or three tracks on the go at the same time!

2. Was the process hard compare to Sacred Landscapes and Inspirational Journey?

In some respects it was an easier process as I was in total control of all aspects of the musical parts. My first and second albums relied more on the producer creating layers of sound and special effects to support the violin and piano melodies. This album was far more labour intensive for me, but much more satisfying. It also meant that the sheet music was ready to go, as I had had to get the arrangements ready for the other musicians to play on.

3. Your single The Hawthorn Tree is a very powerful piece . Vivaldi comes to mind. What inspired you to compose this?

3. With the Hawthorn Tree track, I wanted to push myself technically as a performer. On my first album, ‘Sacred Landscapes’, the track ‘Madron’ was a piece which I composed for solo violin, and with ‘The Hawthorn Tree’ I wanted another virtuoso showpiece which challenged me further – both as a composer and performer. I could never actually visualise myself recording or performing it – so when I eventually did both of these things it felt like a great personal achievement!

4. You music has always been labeled as ‘beautiful, healing, and elegant’. Has there been other description that you found rather odd?

I’m always fascinated to hear how people perceive my music. My music encompasses a wide range of styles and emotions, and when I perform in a concert it’s great to see people dancing to pieces like ‘Mazey Dazey’, then in tears over ‘The Final Homecoming’ for example.

5.I personally find your compositions challenging because they all have the classical discipline yet the expressiveness and simplicity of Folk. Do you have a plan of venturing into other forms of music?

Because I listened to different genres of music as a child – from Punk Rock to Classical – I have absorbed many styles, but really to me it is just ‘simply music’! On my new album Between Worlds, I improvised on a track called ‘Drift’ with the folk musician Rick Williams. It was recorded in one take, and has a jazzy feel to it with inspiration drawn from Stephane Grappelli.

6. Cornwall has been a visible emblem of your music. Do you consider your self as an artist and at the same time an activist?

I consider myself very fortunate to be living in Cornwall with my family. Because the spirit of Cornwall is deeply embedded in my heart, my creative output is infused with Cornwall, and so anything which affects this amazing place is of great concern to me.

7.What keeps you inspired to record albums?

Living in such a beautiful part of the world is a constant source of inspiration, as is the wonderful feedback and growing support I am so lucky to receive from people who enjoy my music.

You can purchase all of her albums here”

Looking at Cornwall

Looking at Cornwall

I love this shirt!

You can get it here:


The Cornish artist is on the rise again….

I interviewed Sue Aston a couple of moons ago and I am so impressed with her responses. Just goes to show that behind that enchanted violin lies a woman who is opinionated and witty. She released her new album this year with a great ensemble of well-heeled musicians. Here’s one of her great videos. Enjoy:


Traditional Music from Cornwall…

It has everything for everyone. For those who have been looking for something really Cornish and celtic then this is your introduction. This is one reference guide . Great packaging and samples you can hear from the web prior to purchase. Grab your copies now and celebrate Cornwall’s legacy to the music world.

Preview here:


Celebrating  Culture with Cornish Gorseth..

What I learned is that Gorseth Kernow (Cornish Gorsedd) is a non-political Cornish organisation, which exists to maintain the national Celtic spirit of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Also, The Gorseth Kernow (Gorsedd of Cornwall) was set up in 1928 at Boscawen-un by Henry Jenner, one of the early proponents of Cornish language revival, who took the name “Gwas Myghal”, meaning “servant of Michael“.

More info here:

Map of Cornwall

Map of Cornwall

Damien Dempsey In A New Book

The Irish Lion is featured in a new book along with other news..

Damien Dempsey is among those featured in a new book called With Love, From Me…To Me Letter to my sixteen year-old self  here .

About the book:

With Love, From Me…To Me gathers these words of advice, reassurance, admonition, praise and comfort. The letters range from funny to encouraging, hopeful to regretful, but always heartfelt. Contributors include Miriam O’Callaghan, Joe O’Connor, Ray D’Arcy, Sonia O’Sullivan, Maeve Binchy, Charlie Bird, John Boyne, Jason Sherlock, Nell McCafferty, Paddy Moloney, David Norris, Ross O’Carroll Kelly, Ardal O’Hanlon, Patricia Scanlan and Victoria Smurfit. With Love, From Me . . . To Me: A Letter To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self is the ideal gift this Christmas for family, friends – or yourself!

All royalties from this book benefit the Irish Youth Foundation.

You can buy the book @ Amazon.

He will also join Glen Hansard for  a Christmas charity single. More news here.


But of course we are always awed when we hear something about Julie Fowlis and Salsa Celtica-the latter which has my pal  Kenny Fraser playing the fiddle.


More info on the Golowan Festival 2010 in Cornwall and Sue Aston’s pics.

It is Cornish and Celtic. It happens every year. Penzance come alive with parades and music. Colorful people come from all over the world. Musicians play their wonderful tunes.

Sue Aston