The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!

The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!


The minimalist approach of Darren Lynch is comparable to a nice breathing room after the madness of the rush hour.  

Dublin born folk musician and writer Darren Lynch is full of surprises. According to his bio, he started off playing music after finishing a successful amateur boxing career with Crumlin Boxing Club. His first instrument was the banjo which progressed to mandolin and then mandola. I became familiar with his music after listening to his first musical project, The Feekers. They released Tarbolten in 2012. When The Feekers parted ways he continued to explore other creative avenues.

His first novel ‘Siltation’ was published in 2013. All the proceeds from this book are donated to The Irish Cancer Society. If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to do so. His prose is astounding, giving you a glimpse of Dublin through his character’s eyes. After the release of Siltation, he started performing around Dublin. The audience took note of his intricate bouzouki work with The Ballyfermot Rakes.

The Spinning Wheel.


Darren Lynch: Bouzouki, Vocals

Derek Copley: Banjo, Mandolin

Ais Conway Keogh: Fiddle

Produced by: Darren Lynch

Recording Engineer: Gareth Desmond, Loop Studio’s

Photography: Joe Butler

From the sleeve notes:

This album is a collection of some of the songs I have sang over the past 15 years or more. Groups such as The Fureys, The Dubliners and Sweeney’s Men –  as well as singers like Pecker Dunne and Brendan Behan – did not merely perform these songs, but offered them to listeners as their own story. 

This is testament to the timeless quality of the art of the folk song and the stories of yesterday, which stand the test of time and filter into the future by their ability to resonate with every era. This is an album of my renditions of these timeless stories.

The Spinning Wheel is a testament to the enduring power of folk music. No technology or fad can destroy its spirit as the music of the people. He sings in the tradition of such greats as Luka Bloom, Andy Irvine and Christy Moore.

The bouzouki is an expressive instrument. It evokes that  ‘afternoon sunshine in the woods’ kind of feeling. There is something organic and sonorous about it especially when played with low chords. And of course there’s his vocal delivery which is timeless in its simplicity and its adherence to tradition. Both his voice and instrument deliver unparalleled expressive power.

Other artists  also appeared in the recording session, notably two virtuoso musicians: Banjo/mandolin player Derek Copeley and fiddler Ais Conway. Recording Engineer Gareth Desmond provided the clean and warm palette to the recording. I like his mixing method especially when it comes to the high-end  and low-end of the sonic spectrum. He takes us  to the surface of the sound, achieving this intimate and airy kind of recording  characteristic.

The rendition of The Wind That Shakes The Barley  (written by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1836–1883)is a refreshing take on this popular track already covered by diverse artists as Loreena McKennitt, Lisa Gerrard, Amanda Palmer, The Clancy Brothers among others.

Dance To Your Daddy showcases his eclectic choice of materials. For those unfamiliar, the track is actually a traditional English folk song that originated in North East England. According to Wikipedia, it was popularised as the theme tune to the 1970s BBC drama serial When The Boat Comes In in an arrangement by the composer David Fanshawe.

Overall, The Spinning Wheel is a satisfying album. It has a pace that moves forward regardless of the tempo. And it is a work of art in its simplicity.

The Spinning Wheel is a high achievement for a singer-songwriter  who performs with bloody passion and then, quietly leaving us with our senses on fire.





The Baxteria #10 Podcast

The Baxteria #10 Podcast

My post Halloween special featuring The Hothouse Flowers on autodj and special guest Kyle Carey joins us on an interview in the Celtic music hour. More goodies on the indie variety show.

Tracks played:

Hothouse Flowers-I’m Sorry
Hothouse Flowers-Your Love Goes On
Hothouse Flowers-One Tongue
Hothouse Flowers-Forever More
Hothouse Flowers-Born
Hothouse Flowers-The Older We Get
Hothouse Flowers-Thing of Beauty
Hothouse Flowers-Alright
Hothouse Flowers-Gypsy Fair
Hothouse Flowers-Learning to Walk
Hothouse Flowers-Out of Nowhere
Hothouse Flowers-Saved
Hothouse Flowers-Si Do Mhamo i
Altan-Cuach mo Lon Dubh Buí
Cara Dillon-Black is the Colour
Kyle Carey-One Morning in May
Kyle Carey-Interview with
Samuel Smith-Song for Leon
Darren Lynch-Spancil Hill(live)
Steven Hawson-Banjo tribute to Jimmy Shand
Mick McAuley-The House Carpenter
Tri Yann & Alan Stivell-Tri Martolod
The Sisters of Mercy-Walk Away
Bauhaus-Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Active Child-I’m in your Church at Night
Heyward Howkins-Praline Country
Ghost Hotel-All Day Ocean
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros-Better Days Live
Grizfolk-The Struggle
Pedro Martins & Layne Greene-Into the Mystic (Van Morrison) Cover
Velvet Underground-Who Loves The Sun
Alex Pardini-No One Is Like Everyone Else
The Sisters of Mercy-Lucretia My Reflection
Peter Chains-Carrion Crows
Lisa Gerrard-All along the watchtower

As heard on

Siltation: A Forthcoming Novel by Darren Lynch

Siltation: A Forthcoming Novel by Darren Lynch


I admit the character I had in mind was different from the book cover that is part of the promo prior to the book release which is November 10. I am talking about the story called Siltation by Irish musician/writer Darren Lynch.  Somehow I see Bamm Bamm as a little bit on the round side-not heavy but somehow mesomorphic with few traces of fat.  More like Liam Cunningham when he was in his early 30s.

The main character is Bamm Bamm Doyle whose real name is Joseph Anthony Doyle.

I was christened Joseph Anthony Doyle, but as a
child, the mother used to call me ‘Bamm-Bamm’, after
the character in the Flintstones cartoon, I think. Think it
might have been Barney Rubble’s kid, or a pet dinosaur
in it. It was just as a bit of a nickname and a slag, but it
soon stuck, and friends and neighbours knew me as
Bamm-Bamm Doyle.

Bamm Damm is a Dubliner who is suffering from bouts of depression and alcoholism. He often gets into trouble with the neighbors but he strikes me as someone you can get along with if you don’t rub him the wrong side-and as long as he gets his daily dose of drink. He carries a tin whistle and enjoys the craic and good old Irish music. He also keeps a poster of Bobby Sands on his bedroom wall.

What’s really interesting bout Siltation is that Darren Lynch has painted an accurate representation of a life on the edge of the cracks. The perfect candidate of that part of the society that’s marginalized by poverty and mental sickness. “I wanted to show a certain type of person in society that people chose not to see, but lives under the radar.. ” The Man You don’t Meet Every Day was  the initial title according to the author.

I didn’t know what to expect from the kind of language the book has, upon the first few pages. It is spoken through the mind of the character-the first person storytelling. There’s a lot of local expressions. Two pages and I am engaged. This is very Irish. The cadence of the prose sounds like music when you read it aloud but that’s just in my opinion. People read book for the story I guess. Me for both:story and style of writing.

I learned new slangs along the way like for example:gaff:house and looper:crazy.

It has raises a lot of powerful feelings to those who read it. I feel it is timely, with all the things going on over there…the tanking economy..the wounded pride of the Irish. Read up to the end and if it doesn’t make you feel something then you are an android logo.

If you check out the right side of this blog you see there the advert and the release date which is November 10. Please like the fb page of Siltation and let us help Irish writers get their works out there. Yes by the Irish and for the Irish.

Siltation by Darren Lynch

Darren Lynch, Penn Du and Bobby Sands

Darren Lynch, Penn Du and Bobby Sands

Darren Lynch is Back! And he has now the title “novelist” on top of his being a musician.

Remember the duo The Feekers that released  Tarbolten?  I blogged about them before. Well looks to me that Darren Lynch is doing great musically on his own. He is really blossoming  and getting his music out there. I had a memorable Q&A with the Feekers which you can read here.

Darren Lynch is both  a folk musician and author. He is based in Dublin, Ireland. His repertoire is kind of extensive.They are f folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America. The Instruments played are bouzouki, banjo, mandola, harmonica and bodhran.
His  has played in such bands as The Broadside Merchants, So-Ranna, The Feekers and currently plays solo. His first novel, The Man You Don’t Meet Everyday, is due to be published this year, 2013!

Darren Lynch has a fantastic voice along with being a fine instrumentalist. I am looking forward to his novel.


Breton Rock with Penn Du

If you are in the mood for some feet stompin’ Celtic rock then listen to Penn Du. I came across them through Google+ I love the clean recording of the bagpipes. I also like the full energy that the band provides all throughout their tracks. There is something about their chord progression. It gives their sound a kind of metal appeal. I usually associate these minor chords with black metal but yes this style is also predominant in Breton music. The band knows how to knit sensual grooves over their big sound. This is definitely a crowd pleaser. More appropriate for arena setting than small venues. Elements of ska and jazz also sneak in and out seamlessly. What a joy it is to listen to something energetic that is Penn Du!

More here:



A lot of people in my network are posting about the late Bobby Sands. So I guess this is the Bobby Sands awareness day. I am aware that actor Michael Fassbender has portrayed the life of Bobby Sands. There are tributes floating out there. I am going to pick one up. It is by my friend The Wild Irish Poet a.k.a. Alan Cooke. We joked about his voice as gold. I said I should steal him now and place him inside a safe with complex number combination. Then sell him off for lots of $$$$! Oh the crazy things we talk about sometimes. He made this video. He is fund of making video presentations. His book Naked in New York is out now. I am advertising it on the right side of this site. Check it out, buy it and then read it. I already did and I love it!


A beautiful poem by Bobby Sands..’ The Rhythm of Time’ a poem that has echoed around the world. Read by Irish Emmy winning writer actor and filmmaker Alan Cooke aka Wild Irish Poet go to

Ok if you haven’t yet, I recommend the EP of NUA. Yes I praised them in this blog and I got quoted in their site:

“Confidence, experimentation and cohesiveness are traits of what a good album should have-and they are all here. If they are able to come up with a sound so full in this 4 track EP, just imagine what a complete album would be like. You would be missing a huge part of your musical life if you don’t get this EP!”

“NUA came up with an auspicious debut in a form of an EP. It gives us the taste of what this trio can offer not just today but also in future releases. These are clean, crisp tunes that sparkle with precision and showmanship. The audio quality is something get excited about. The surface sound of every instrument is captured giving us a degree of nuance and atmosphere.”

“Jacob McCauley’s bodhran becomes emotive, giving us an impression that this percussion has finally reached its tonal height and is capable of being a lead instrument.”

It feels good to be quoted! You should check out what Tony Lawless wrote about them via TradConnect. You know these artists, those that I met and yet to meet…they make my world do the boogie. If only I own The House of Medici then I’d be a patron of the arts.

Tarbolten: Q&A with Darren Lynch of The Feekers

Album launch, great instruments and feeking around: The Feekers!

Album launchings online and offline are interesting. You always get to pick the unexpected. Such as the luck I found with Tarbolten. It’s the debut album from Dublin based duo The Feekers. Aside from the interesting album title and of course what their band name means, we find some interesting bits about these two musicians. They have such passion for traditional Irish music. And well, because it is the thing that they do best.

Traditional music has really achieved such soaring popularity lately. I think with the gap between the ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ in the music scene has been narrowed down. It is only a matter of time when the world finally redefines what is considered as hip and what isn’t. Radio is no longer as influential as it used to be and more and more people catch what’s being streamed online or what they come across on blogs and websites. This where , social butterflies(those with over 2000 friends) and megaphones(those who love posting links to videos and music) in facebook come in.

So please have the pleasure of reading my Q&A with Darren Lynch. And I hope you get to spread this to your friends. Let’s put the spotlight to The Feekers.

Sample mp3s

What has happened to the trad scene for the past 10 years in your opinion?

Trad music has remained strong here in Ireland and continues to grow. Unfortunately, I don’t think there has been any recent bands that have broken the mould like the way some of the greats have done in the 60’s and 70’s folk revival. The final members of the legendry Dubliners and Clancy Brothers have unfortunately passed away in the last 10 years. I hope the passing of these legends will bring about a calling for more trad and folk music and maybe even another folk revival as people seek other bands to replace these.


What were the memorable things that happened during the recording of Tarbolten?

Recording sessions were very relaxed, with John and myself having very little planned beforehand. We didn’t record in layers or double track, so what you hear on the album is a direct recording of what and how we play. We think this gives the music more energy and a closer realism that represents how we sound at live gigs and performances. It was also less time consuming and allowed us to get more tracks recorded in a short time. Chris Marshall was our recording engineer in the Elektra studios in Temple Bar, Dublin. Chris has a very laid back attitude and left us to do things in whatever manner that made us comfortable while offering us his expert advice and guidance.

   John plays the banjo and whistles while you play the octave mandolin and also do vocals. What are the things about playing the octave mandolin (or the instrument in general) that we listeners don’t know of ?

I play the octave mandolin, which some people call the Irish bouzouki. I play in a similar tuning to the mandolin and Irish tenor banjo so I think octave mandolin is more accurate name for my instrument. I find it to be an all round instrument, in that it can play both melody and a rhythm equally well.

Why did you choose the title Tarbolten for your debut album? And also why the band name The Feekers?

Tarbolten is the name of one of the tunes played on the banjo on the first track of the cd. It was recorded in one straight take and we thought it captured the energy and character of The Feekers.

We called ourselves The Feekers after a couple of years of going nameless. John suggested the name as a joke originally, and it grew and stuck over time. Feekers isn’t really a word, but the verb ‘to feek’ is a slang name Irish travelers sometimes use which means… I’ll leave it to your imaginations!

Please tell us more about the album and also the tracks in term of styles.

As a duo, The Feekers basically consists of John looking after the playing of tunes and melody while I look after vocals and rhythm. We wanted an album that had a good mix of both tunes and songs that represented us both as a band, so that’s why we put a 50/50 mix on it. The 10 tracks on the album consist of 5 songs, along with 4 banjo tracks, and we couldn’t resist slipping a slow air on the whistle in!

  What can we expect from you guys in years to come in terms of your music. What is the next level for The Feekers?

This year is just really about getting our name out there. We have a few Irish festivals to play in 2012, which include the Ballinamore Festival in Leitrim, The Prosperous Festival in Kildare, and The Banjo Festival in Tullamore. Next year we plan to start recording our second album and spread our wings further afield and play a few festivals around Europe. Playing some Celtic and folk festivals around Europe is something we’d be really looking forward to.

You can buy or sample the music from Claddagh Records

Or their music page:

Please add and say hi t them in facebook:

Short band bio:

The Feekers are a traditional and folk music duo from Ballyfermot, Dublin.
Darren and John have known each other as teenagers when they hung around as friends in nearby Bluebell, but only met up again about 5 years ago to form a band after realising each other’s interest in folk and trad music.
Darren Lynch (Vocals/Octave Mandolin) and John Keenan (Banjo/Whistles) have played together for a number of years around numerous pub sessions, gigs and festivals, and plan to release an album in the near future.
Darren started off playing music after finishing a successful amateur boxing career with Crumlin Boxing Club. It was then in his late teens that he picked up the banjo and then later the octave mandolin and mandola. He
learned from some of the great folk and trad musicians in the area: that included Tom Moran, Liam O’Neill, Darach de Brun and John Lane. He then went on to play and record with the bands The Broadside Merchants, So-Ranna and Tam-Lin before forming Feekers with John in 2007.
Darren plays a mixture of folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America, and is influenced by The Dubliners, Planxty, The Fureys and Sweeney’s Men.
John plays Irish tunes on the tenor banjo that he learned from his grandfather John Keenan Snr. John has been
playing banjo since the age of 10 and has also learned from his uncles who he has also played with over the years. John’s uncle Paddy Keenan plays the uileann pipes and played with the Bothy Band, and John’s other uncle Johnny is known today for his banjo playing and for the festival set up in his honor ‘The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival’.
This year, The Feekers are due to perform at the Ballinamore Festival in Leitrim, The Prosperous Festival in Kildare and The Banjo Festival in Tullamore.The Feekers form a unique and fresh folk sound that is rooted in tradition and this sound gets across in their first album ‘Tarbolten’ which was released on 1st May 2012. The album is available from Claddagh Records –