Remembering The Late Dave Hum

Remembering The Late Dave Hum


Dave Hum was a great banjo player. He added a twist to this traditional instrument by going beyond the styles intended for the banjo. In his last project, he fused electronic sounds with ambient styles to create a marriage between the old a the new, the rural and the urban. It’s sad to announce that he passed away last year as he succumbed to a physical illness. It made me wonder for a while what happened to him. He disappeared from posting on facebook. Then one of his children made the announcement. It was heartbreaking because I used to chat with him. He was so happy with his recordings. He sent me two albums of his Traditional Irish and Scottish banjo music. He had so many things in mind. Then just like that…he disappeared.

I think I know what his family members went through and are and still going through. I lost my mom in the middle of last year. It doesn’t end. The hole of loss is still there. But I know that his music will be like sunshine in the midst of rain. He was an inspiring and beautiful soul. He will be missed. I know I will because I remember him today and I dedicate this post to him.

More from his official website:


Contemporary Celtic Rock, Jazz, and Instrumental Music

In this edition: Sahara, Declan Sinnott and Dave Hum

A great weekend to all you readers of this page. We have great albums worth listening and I will tell you what I like about them. Enjoy and listen to the music samples.

Sahara: A New Beginning

Genre: Original Contemporary Celtic Rock Jazz Eclectic

Members: Dave Long vocals, guitar keyboards & sequencing

Trish Long vocals, sax, flute, flageolet, recorder keyboards & sequencing

Release date: October 2012

Sample track:

Fans of Bruce Hornsby, Van Morrison and Marc Cohn will certainly welcome Sahara’s A New Beginning with open arms. The duo of Trish and Dave long incorporate a broader spectrum of musical styles. There are hints of smooth jazz, pop rock and Celtic. In terms of instrumental delivery, I’d say hands down to both of them. Their years performing on stage and recording  the way they want their albums to sound, ripened and made their music intoxicating like fine wine. It is the confidence brought about by the test of time, elements and LIFE that we all go through. There are certainly events that shake us rendering us incapable of moving. But it is the call of artistic desire that always brings us into a sense of purpose. This optimistic thought is present all over the album’s 10 tracks.

Sweetness, pain, laughter: these are emotions that surround A New Beginning. There are other atmospheric surprises like The Promise which possesses a definitive Celtic sound. The vocal layering and melody lean into Clannad and Loreena McKennitt. Other titles like Right the Wrongs and A New Beginning are songs that anyone who has gone through tough times can relate to.

The Sweetest Thing, track four, delivers the “get into the Irish pub” kind of sentiment. It has that relaxed atmosphere of being with someone you loved through the years. It says that you don’t have to hide anything because you can be who you are with the right person.

Let’s Unite affirms the belief that we can all get through our differences if we  realize our similarities. I reflected on this and also remember all the natural disasters like earthquakes, famine, disease and poverty. We aren’t invincible. So why should we fight each other when nature is already fighting us and diminishing our numbers? Must we also contribute to the pain? The song has that Irish marching beat.

It Could be True is an example of someone continuing to “court”  a beloved through the years in the relationship. I think it is telling us that winning someone’s heart doesn’t stop after marriage. It continues and there is never a morning when you wake up with a sense of wonderment and challenge to continue loving against all odds. The nice sound of the recorder glides throughout like a nightingale.

Renovating my Igloo is groovy. Fans of Talking Heads can relate to the 80’s New Wave style. Another tribute to being with someone through thick and thin and also the idea that nothing is constant but change. But love the a unifying and constant force.

Is it only Me has a rocking feel. Both vocal and instrumental arrangement set the example of musical excellence. Rainy Day At Shady Creek explores the world of Jazz and Bluegrass. It sounds like traditional Irish music gone crazy. I love it though. Such a nice ending for this album that needs repeated listens.


Declan Sinnott: I love the noise it makes

Genre: Folk Rock


Declan Sinnott: Lead vocals, guitars and various instruments

Owen O’Brien: Keyboards, piano.

Release date: September 2012

Sun Shine In is the carrier single off this new album by former member of Horslips (before they became official) and Moving Hearts. He is associated with both sisters Mary and Frances Black. He currently plays and tours with Christy Moore. “ I love the noise it makes “( a quote he loved from John Lennon when asked whether in music it is the lyrics or the melody he prefers ) was released on 7 September 2012 in Ireland and on 10 and 11 September in the UK and USA respectively.

There are twelve tracks. They are on the easy folk rock style that’s catchy and groovy. Everything in this album sticks together. The sonic quality is amazing, partly through the efforts of Tim Martin and Ian Cooper courtesy of Metropolis Studios. The album has a nice packaging imitating the cardboard style CD. The liner notes are informative and excellent especially in terms of visuals. There are photos of Declan with co-songwriter Owen O’Brien in the studio. The consoles he uses for recording will make a record junkie drool. In one photo, there is a room filled with ethnic instruments (African), synthesizers, assorted guitars and drums.

This album feels like a bunch of hay stacked and tightened in great detail. Craftsmanship and art are combine creating a collection of songs that is timeless and also at home with today’s folk rock top 40. His voice is just the right combination of time tested roughness and whiskey smoothness that goes down easily. Sun Shine is bound to stay in your head for  along time with its melody and easy breezy delivery.

Other tracks like Blood Rushing Through These Veins, I See the World From Here, Corrina, Corrina, Broken Glass and Circle Round the Sun beg for covers due to their amazing sentiments, and heartfelt lyrics. Other tracks like Me and My Dark Companion and Ocean are bluesy and finely executed that they will spawn more covers and jams in years to come. One sweet surprise is the ambient track called Orbit found at the end of the album. It is actually a remake of a traditional tune. I think it is an awesome way to close such excellent album. I like the fact that I won I love the noise it makes and yeah I love it…I love the music it makes!


Celtic and Bluegrass 5 String banjo Album 2

Genre   Instrumental – Celtic – Bluegrass – Old Time – Traditional – Original – Banjo Music

Banjo – Guitar – Mandolin – Bass – Harmonica – Keyboards – Percussion – Programming-All by Dave Hum.

Released Date: August 2011

Sample track:

Album two is a progress to album one of Dave Hum’s top notch banjo playing. I haven’t met anyone who plays like a deity. Expect tracks combining Irish, Bluegrass and Celtic music. Album 2 is composed of 21 tracks. Other artists would have released this as a double album. But you see folks, Dave Hum doesn’t boast his talents through promotion. He relies so much on the word of the mouth and social networking to showcase his craft.

He does everything here. But the star instrument is the banjo. It would be unfair not to mention his expertise in the guitar, bass, mandolin, keyboards, harmonica and percussion. Cluck the Old Hen is a track that has been around in youtube and never gets old. Check out his wild harmonica intro in this track. This is good bluegrass music. Other tracks really hardcore trad music because these are titles that are not familiar to me. He plays them all like he has known them all his life. One fine example is Nashville Blues which is track 15 in this album.

Everything in this collection has the polished sheen of expensive and worn pair of shoes. You could never go wrong picking up this album. I think it is the best banjo album I have heard in years.  His artwork has also flourished. It shows bolder and deeper colors. The Irish Traveller has come  a long way and is trying to explore new territories. Dave Hum has a wizard’s fingers and a chemist’s intelligence in merging and breaking apart the mystery of tunes. His playing is innovative yet rooted deeply in the past. Album 2 of Celtic and Bluegrass 5 String Banjo is a must have and it plays well in any season.

Album Reviews and Happy Weekend

In this edition: Dave Hum, Cormac O Caoimh, Frost at Midnight, Lignit, Kevin McKidd, Dave Martin and Gillian Boucher

Clockwise: Dave Hum, Cormac O Caoimh, Kevin McKidd, Gillian Boucher and Dave Martin

The midweek edition became a weekend post due to ISP issues. Now everything is back so we are back in business. How are you lovers of Celtic music and beyond? A couple of days ago, I had an interesting chat with Martin Tourish which turned into a nice interview. So you will see Gillian Boucher in this edition because I was reminded when he said he played with her along with other artists when they were in Asia specifically the Philippines.

Next you will see Kevn McKidd who recently starred in a critically acclaimed animation The Brave. It is great to see Hollywood stars being proud of their Celtic roots. We also have a featured MP3 from Roby Atkins who is part of Frost at Midnight and yes they play great Welsh tunes. You see the guy doing techno stuff in the pic with the penguin shirt? That is no other than Scottish producer and percussionist Dave Martin who will be our next featured artist. He is part of the Big Fat Electric Ceilidh. The two men above are in my featured reviews: Dave Hum and Cormac O Caoimh. I enjoyed their CDs and I am sure you will too! You will see a video by Czech Republic based Bluegrass band Lignit with Jeremy King on the bodhran. Please enjoy and drop me a message so I can improve this site further.

Album Review: Celtic and Bluegrass 5 String Banjo by Dave Hum

Depressed? Annoyed because you are having ISP issues and it has been more than a week and they were not able to fix the problem? Just crank in one of Dave Hum’s CDs and you will forget your frown. He has a happy way of playing that every track shines with optimistic vibes. I think he is the only one I know who plays the five string banjo as of the moment and he plays it like no other kind of master. Credit goes to the fact that he plays all the instruments including the guitar, mandolin, harmonica and percussion.

His years of busking and playing all over London with the band The Huckleberries have done him well and now he is gathering enthusiasts who love traditional Irish, Celtic and Bluegrass music. My experience listening to his nontraditional album Traveling Light made me aware that he is very much into the music of the times. Well in that one he experimented with a little bit of electronic music and reggae. Here, he is playing the standards which people who listen to this kind of music will surely love. We all know that traditional music is no longer traditional when it isn’t played in a certain way and Dave knows this path so well that he actually gave tribute to the tradition by coming up with a CD composed of 21 delightful tracks.

This is a perfect kind of music if you are having little bit of traditional music party over the weekend. Just put this in your player and you will be guaranteed with tracks that will last you a while. And after one listen, the album tempts you for another spin. That is how good it is-excellent playing but music that is not intrusive you can just talk while you let this play in the background. Tracks like Cripple Creek, Farewell to Erin, Mason’s Apron and the theme from ‘The Third Man’ (taken from the 1949 BBC movie) will put a smile on your face. There are other greats like his interpretation of Raggle Taggle Gypsy and Drowsy Maggie.

You also need to check out the artwork that Dave did himself. It show’s a traveller(as the cover is meant to depict the Irish travellers having to leave their country and head for America which is how a lot of the Irish and Scottish tunes merged with the blues, gospel, oldtime and bluegrass music-Dave) carrying a staff while running around with a kite. A dog runs before him carrying a stick. There’s a girl on near left playing a fiddle. There’s also a woman beyond riding a horse. On the right looks like a trailer house with a woman watering azaleas. Then there’s the 5 string banjo where the peacock is sleeping. The colors almost remind me of ‘flower power’. Well, this goes to show that the artist is an all around kind of guy. Makes you wonder more and wait for more recordings from Dave Hum.

First track off his 5-String Banjo CD1. Yes that is Dave without his disguise!

More about the artist here:


Album Review: a new season for love by Cormac O Caoimh

Like water color painting still running and moist, the music of Cormac O Caoimh seeps into your heart rendering you speechless with emotions. His classical guitar style combined with other influences is a joy to listen to. It makes you feel filled up, like you’ve just eaten a good meal. The spiritual nourishment that his music imbues is no accident.

Being from Ireland and having shared the stage with such artists as Declan O’Rourke, Damien Rice and Damien Dempsy to name a few; made his music eclectic but never losing that Irish spirit that is all over this CD. His lyrics are heartfelt and reflective as in the case of the opening track There’s Gold There Somewhere” –Who am I? Who are you? Who do we intend to be? It’s hard it’s hard when we can’t stand on our two feet…A combination of poignancy and passion is exemplified in the title track: With every morsel of muscle, Molecule of mind, I’d try to justify new oceans and new tides and new seasons, a new season for love…

On this side of the world it is the season of rain. And his music is the perfect soundtrack for that. There is a balance of musical precision and inventiveness that pull you up from the introspective lyrics that at times seem to overpower you with sadness. His voice is a fine instrument. I like the kind of ease he puts in singing like he is talking to you-almost intimately, close to your ears so there is no need to sing loudly …but rather in a breathy style. The transparency of the vocals and the gossamer arrangement make A New Season for Love a truly luminous listening experience.

It isn’t the kind of CD you will grow tired as in the case of those with too much fireworks in the production. This is something that grows on you. A kind of music you want to take with you anywhere when you need something warm and introspective.

One of my favorite tracks of the album A New Season for Love. This one is called Heart Attack.

More about the artist here:


Tambourin by  Frost at Midnight

Frost at Midnight is a project band led by Welsh musician Robert Atkins. It is nice to hear refreshing Welsh music based on tradition.

Robert Atkins, guitar, bass, keyboards; Catherine Atkins, vocals; Catherine Handley, flute with Johnny Quick, vocals; John Tribe, harmonica.

More here:


Featured Video: Lignit – Balada o Jenny (Official Music Video 2012)

Let us check out the Bluegrass scene in the Czech Republic with Jeremy King on Bodhran.
Režie: Pája Junek


Interesting Documentary: A Journey Home With Kevin McKidd

I am currently working on a feature with Scottish musician/producer Dave Martin. He is involved in a musical project with Hollywood actor Kevin McKidd and I thought this is a nice intro to a feature I am doing with Dave. I found this video really inspiring and I hope you feel the same way too. Enjoy!

Travel with Kevin McKidd to his hometown in the Scottish Highlands as he revisits his childhood, performs and records the Speyside Sessions Album with classic Scottish folk songs with his friends, and reconnects with his roots.


Gillian Boucher, fiddle, plays a lively set

My interview with Michael Tourish brought me back to the music of  Canadian fiddler Gillian Boucher. She is currently residing in Ankara Turkey. More of  her music here:

Dark Dealings: The Dark Interview with Novelist Karen Victoria Smith

Plus: Riders by Dave Hum, Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland and Paul McSherry, Kinfolk and Will Tun and the Wasters

Blog:  Storyteller’s Grove






Wall Street has fangs. In a 24-hour world, does anyone notice the unusual behaviors of many, including the reclusive rich. When international power brokers, vampires and shape shifters hiding in plain sight, threaten  Micaela and those she loves, will this heiress to a Druid legacy deny her power again and let others die? Can she accept the friendship and love of others with strange and frightening powers? A thrill ride of money, magic and murder across the globe.

Do you sleep better at night believing that vampires are things of fiction?

It is the first time that CMF features a novelist. I think that those who read Dark Dealings will really know why she is making a stir in the literary world. Through the twists and turns of this story, Karen Victoria Smith incorporates traditional Irish music either as a way to describe a feeling of the moment, an incident music or the tunes around characters when they go to a ceilidh. This is after all a story that merges Celtic myths and vampire horror. For those who haven’t picked their copy of Dark Dealings, I recommend you do it now. It is a great read.Very satisfying and full of suspense and action. You won’t be disappointed. In fact you will keep coming back for more and wish for a continuation story of the characters. It is a book with a lot of HEART, WIT and LAUGHTER. You will know more through this interview:

CMF You created an interesting character in Micaela. How many percentage is she you?


KVS: It is an interesting process. I did not set out to create a character that was me. But writers write what they know. And by that I don’t mean just that because I worked on Wall Street that is what I write about. We, as writers of novels or music,  know emotions and experiences; we know our life and the lives of those near and dear. I was recently talking to a friend about a difficult decision I had to make but wasn’t ready to make. I said I was just going to put it up on the shelf and deal with it later. I suddenly heard Micaela’s voice coming from my lips. She is in some ways a lot like me.  But good characters always get to do the things we wish we could do and say the things we wish we could say. Micaela is perhaps my alter ego in that way.

You told me that Dark Dealings is “It has been a labor of love. A tribute to all I know and have learned”. How strong is the knowledge of Celtic mythology in your family?

The knowledge was stronger in my grandmother’s generation. She is my Una (Micaela’s grandmother), but not so much in my parents’ generation. My grandmother instilled in me not only basic knowledge as a small child but a love and curiosity for my Celtic/Druid heritage. I began to seriously reconnect with that heritage in college and have pursued it since.  My dream would be to live in a traditional cottage in a  small Irish village where I could write and smell the earth and feel the energy from the land.

Your characters unfold gradually as opposed to in your face kind of vampire treatment. Do you have a liking for things that are implied in writing?

I have always like novels of discovery.  I want my readers to see my characters change and grow and, in the process, become dear friends and family, even the vampires.  I am a throwback to in my approach to writers like Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, even Stephan King.  I can only wish to approach their caliber of writing, but I like the tension, the relationships to evolve. It is so important that reader feel like a novel is an experience in which they are a participant and not an observer.  When I read as a child, I always imagined myself to be a character in the story. That extended to my favorite television shows and movies.  I wrote some of it down but never kept it.  Guess today you would have called it FanFic.

Dark Dealings is certainly not your typical vampire novel. We are dealing with a career woman dealing with powerful people and war of wits. Is this going to be a chronicle?

It will be a chronicle of both Micaela and a number of the characters in Dark Dealings. I am currently working on edits for Ogham Court, which is based on Devlin, Nora, Aine and set primarily on the street where the Salmon Run Inn and the Singing Stone is located.  Relatively minor characters in Dark Dealings but who have developed lives of their own that I suspect one day will come full circle back into Micaela’s life.  Micaela as a strong career woman is again a reflection of my personal career path before a became obsessed with writing.  She is also a product of my taste in female characters. I could never stand helpless females waiting always to be rescued.  Even when I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (hardly paranormal horror LOL) I identified with Jo. She was smart, strong-willed with a hidden vulnerability, with a sharp tongue that was sometimes her undoing.

I think one of the things that are worth noting is how the relationship between the characters unfold. When we think of Nikki, her tale is kind of ‘sneaky’ because who would have thought there is more to her than just working as a law enforcer. Are you more into the characters or the plot?

I think both are important. But I consider myself character-driven.  I start with a rough sketch of a plot and the theme. I spend a lot of time in the beginning developing my characters and they continue to reveal themselves in each round of edits.  For me, it is taking well formed characters and sticking them in tough situations and watching how they respond and are changed as a result.

 Where did you get your inspiration for the Baron?

Beyond my central interest in my Celtic heritage, I have been fascinated by old European royalty before the late 19th century. Two of my favorites are the English , particularly the Tudors and the early Russian dynasties. Both are so deliciously dysfunctional full of treachery, murder and political intrigues.  I actually debated the end scene for the Baron (trying to avoid spoilers here). Could have gone either way for him.

If ever this becomes a movie, who do you see playing the role of Liam?

I have some thoughts on this but I would really love to have readers chime in on my Facebook page with their suggestions or to  my Pinterest board for Dark Dealings.  I love seeing for my work and the works of others how each reader brings their own interpretation to the character. It is a shame we lost Heath Ledger, though 

The book is like a sly predator. It starts gradually and the last parts become really explosive and action packed. This isn’t one of those sentimental romance novels masked as vampire fiction. was deviating from the typical vampire franchise your intention?

LOL, I most definitely do not write romances.  The recent trend in vampire and shapeshifter fiction has been very light, right up to vampires that walk around in the daylight.  It was not always like that. Vampires and other preternaturals  can be multi-dimensional characters yet they are capable of great violence.  I am actually a huge fan of Laurell K Hamilton and her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series.  Ms. Hamilton builds intricate worlds of preternatural creatures in an alternates and very edgy universe.  Her plots and subplots are not everyone’s taste as she pushes the envelope on sexuality and violence.  But at the same time she explores questions of power and what it means to be human or a monster.  The Trueblood television  series is similar in that it does not sugar coat the needs and desires of the humans or preternaturals.  Lestat in Anne Rice’s chronicles is also from that same genre.  Ms Rice’s beautiful writing is I think pivotal to the resurrection of the paranormal genre beginning in the 1970’s and 1980”s

I think there can be romance but that it must be the light part of a very dark world.   It is part of the exploration of the character whether they are a normal or a preternatural.  In Celtic tradition there is the balance between the male and the female, the light and the darkness. Balance does not always mean 50-50. AS the light and dark half of the day the balance changes throughout the year and is part of the cycle.

Dark Dealings is an LGBT friendly fiction where characters like Connie really shines. Has the current political climate gay rights also influenced your writing?


Frankly no.  The current political climate is wonderful but a step in the evolution of society that began decades ago.  When I first imagined Dark Dealings, it came from the recognition that most non-Judeo-Christian cultures have some form of the vampire and shapeshifter. I wanted to develop an international multicultural world for Micaela to move in. It seems a natural extension that a diverse world be just that …diverse.

Somewhere in my upbringing, twelve years of Catholic School notwithstanding, I developed a more pagan philosophy regarding all living things. It perhaps comes from the Celtic acceptance of all the possibly creatures that populate the Otherworld and this world. Or maybe growing up in the post-Woodstock generation.   In my world, as in my life,  people do not come from cookie cutters or in one flavor. It is the variety that makes life an exciting ride.   In the middle of Dark Dealings, Micaela goes to her grandmother Una to talk about creatures and thing which are not supposed to be.  Una’s response is that “we who have touched the Otherworld know differently.”  I wanted to create a world in my book and the books that follow that accept that all things are possible and valid. It sounds trite but if we can accept the premise of vampires and werewolves who seem just like us than why not LGBT characters who are three-dimensional and powerful characters in their own right.  I love the character of Connie; she is smart, quick with a weapon when needed, a powerful shapeshifter and a loving and loved partner who happens to be another woman.  Regardless of sexual preference I want all my characters to be multi-layered and complex. I did not set out to make her lesbian but as she evolved she spoke to me and told who she was.  She is in some ways the perfect foil for Ethan or perhaps a hint at a less stuffy side of him.  I suspect we will see more of her.

Amazon page:

Barnes and Noble page:


Smashwords (for other formats)

Available in print through Amazon.

Also in print at CreateSpace eStore:


Featured MP3: Riders by Dave Hum

One of the tracks taken from the album Travelling Light. I will have a full album review soon.


Featured video: Brendan Hendry, Brendan Mulholland and Paul McSherry

They have a CD Tuned Up. Review also coming up soon.


Featured Band: Kinfolk


Kinfolk are Brian Mcdaid and Gerry Power. Brian and Gerry met in south of England in 2000. Both were working in different bands, and involved in different musical collaborations. Gerry was busy on the London singer songwriter circuit playing suppot spots to established artistes such as Nils Lofgren, Colin Blunstone, Geno Washington, Bert Jansch. Brian was poised to go to America having just been offered a deal. Since that meeting they have worked together with a number of other musicians, mainly playing live venues throughout the UK. Since late 2004 they have been drawing on their shared musical heritage to create KINFOLK and their debut album: THIS LAND.

Brian was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents are from Donegal and Fermanagh in Ireland. Gerry was born in London of Irish descent, his parents coming from Cork. Both share a similar musical heritage being influenced by traditional and contemporary folk music from Ireland, Scotland and England. For Brian this influence was inevitable – his uncle was the lat Irish folk legend Corny Mcdaid.

Typical of many young people, their musical experience and experimentation developed over the years. These included rock, pop, jazz, funk and country. However throughout their musical careers they have always maintained a strong acoustic and folk link.

This meeting of musical experience has produced a song writing duo that has flourished and developed together. They have produced songs of quality diversity, appealing accross a wide range of folk music tastes.


Up and coming: Will Tun and the Wasters – Star of the County Down- Acoustic Cabin Sessions

They will be my featured band around mid-October so watch out for an interview with someone in the band .