Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Recording Updates from Moxie and Robert Doyle

Wow it’s just the middle of the week and more phantasmagorically smashing updates are coming up from the world of music. OUR world of music 😉

Moxie announced their plans of recording a new album late last year. Now, they are in the middle of it and the effort looks and sounds really promising. Check this amazing link. It gives the new meaning to the word busy :

MOXIE (Studio)

Robert Doyle is releasing his new album next year. Here’s a sneak peak at the tunes he’s making. Arrangement by  Mark Thomson and video by  Alan Lambert .

Sliabh Russell/Out on the Ocean



Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.

Two Available tracks from Wish by Poitin, via Soundcloud.


Yes you heard it right. The new album Wish by Poitin is finished. The main reason to rejoice.

Just when the thought the seas have calmed, Poitin brings out a new album called Wish. I am not sure about the details of the album yet, but I know the band have worked in recording tracks around Autumn last year. They uploaded two track via soundcloud: The Broomfield Wager and Toffee Jigs. The former is a vocal track showcasing the versatility of Jeremy King’s voice. It is also an acoustic and bodhran driven song. The latter is an instrumental collection of traditional tunes.

Like I said, I have not listened to the whole album yet, but I can tell this is something new. The poitin flavor is still there. But there is that slick and superb texture that I noticed in these two tracks. It is easy to judge that the album will sound this way. And this is an exciting release!

The album will be available everywhere and I will tell you more about it in my future post about the guys of Poitin.

Repost your Soundcloud!

Repost your Soundcloud!


A blog featuring John Breen, Fraser Fifield and TradConnect

It is great to realize that soundcloud has grown into a site where musicians and listeners can interact and repost music. Have you been reposting the music you heard too? I have been doing this today. I have not uploaded my podcast in soundcloud as I use mixcloud for that. But soundcloud is still the biggest site where you can reach many people.
From a mere(passive)listener of tracks you can actually make a difference by reposting. So you don’t have to be a blogger to influence people if you have a soundcloud account. Just share what you are listening to and the Internet will take care of the rest.

When bloggers like us experience a downtime in traffic and comments, we launch into conclusion that perhaps we have done something wrong to put our readers off. Maybe we are not doing good enough and that is why readers are going somewhere. Well, the truth is, you are wrong. For niche bloggers like me, it is expected that I will get specialized subscribers who are really passionate about Celtic music. I don’t expect pop listeners to check out what I post. This goes with other niche blogs out there.

Too many choices.

As new bloggers crop up everywhere, competition becomes deadly. The market is no longer dominated by those who are ‘stalwarts’ in this industry. Prepare for that. When you are doing video blogs or simply writing blogs, don’t be discouraged when you have lost view counts. This is normal. It happens to everyone. It’s even happening to Tech vlogger Chris Pirillo.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Are you afraid that if you do something different you will turn certain subscribers off? Don’t be. In fact it might be a good thing. Blogging is like marriage. There are times when a relationship hits plateau and you need to do something different to spice the relationship up.

Going back to soundcloud, I have discovered new posts today and I am sharing them with you. Yes this post is after all about soundclous. But if you get something helpful from by detour then good!


John Breen’s Compilation



I enjoyed many songs from John Breen. There is this simplicity in his way of delivering songs. Expect a range of songs going from simple to grand treatments. This time he compiled his own soundcloud playlist of what he thinks are his top artists.


Fraser Fifield Playlist

Here’s the Scottish master of eclecticism. This is a good introduction to what his music is all about. There are other amazing talents that share the spotlight with him, in these recordings.


TradConnect playlist:

If you are looking for something purely trad then this is the best site for that.



Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

The sounds of urban New York and the lush rural landscapes of Ireland are the main ingredients of Saoirse’s Heart by Celtic Cross.

It is an energizing experience to listen to the new album of Celtic Cross called Saoirse’s Heart. It seems that the Irish 1939701_10202492302182764_790937896_nspirit has jumped out of my speakers into my living room. It’s been ages since I heard a Celtic inspired pop rock band that can go out into the open with such confidence and maturity. Celtic Cross have all the elements found in groups like The Corrs and Bellefire. But these bands are more pop than Celtic, though there are traditional elements in the former. Celtic Cross made an easy transition between two worlds in Saoirse’s Heart. The interplay of rock and ballads are seamless.

I have many favorites and among them is Jameson Johnny in which lead vocalist Kathleen Fee pinned in what I can describe as a soaring hills-to-heaven singing. She is joined by band mates band mates Kenny and John who are her brothers and co-founders of the group. There also other members who showcased their beautiful playing. Saoirse’s Heart combines New York urban energy and the lush atmospherics of rural Ireland. When you fuse the two, you get something that works for everyone.

After hearing all the fourteen tracks, I don’t remember anything I am not enthusiastic about. Every track sounds different. But the unifying factor is the radio-friendly melodies and catchy hooks that are present in every song. The vocals are not too pop and not too folk/traditional to be too exclusive. Rather, they(the style of singing and instrumental arrangements) set a balance between modern and traditional styles. There are bluesy elements like in Best of Days. I listen to this in the morning when I exercise or water the plants. It is an energetic album that has a smooth appeal. I’d say Saoirse’s Heart is a great album and has a potential to sell like hotcakes!

Sample their tracks here:

You can contact the band through:


Email The Band….

Kathleen Fee – Lead Vocal

Kenny Vesey – Fiddle

John Vesey – Accordion

Walter Ensor – Guitar & Vocals

Patrick Dineen – Bass, Keys & Vocals


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

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

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

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

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

Reflections in Fingerstyle: The Robert Doyle Interview

Reflections in Fingerstyle: The Robert Doyle Interview


The thing I like about Robert Doyle is that he has a lot to say about creativity. It is always exciting to eavesdrop inside a creative mind and discover what he does in a day-to-day basis when not working on music. This interview sent me looking for his last CD Life in Shadows and played the album once again. I remember the day it got to me. Like music, the artist has many layers. You can read between the lines or you can listen to the songs: They are all a part of him.

You have just released a new single Flags of Belfast with other musicians playing on this track. Are you taking a new direction for the new album?

‘Flags of Belfast’ is a reworking of the melody to ‘Star of the County Down’ with new lyrics. When I began working on it I knew I wanted to add other instrumentation when recording the song. I recorded a lot of demos of the track and some of these were done in Flood Plain Studios here in Dublin which is run by Graham Watson. He suggested trying a second vocal along with uilleann pipes and Aoife Dermody and Eoin Dillon were the perfect choice for this. So yeah there’s going to be some other musicians involved on parts of the album but it will still mostly be a solo record. Sometimes it feels right to have different instruments and then sometimes the music feels better played solo.

You mentioned the new album will be released in 2015. How’s the recording going?

I had hoped to have the album ready by the end of this year but that probably won’t happen now so 2015 is more realistic. From a recording perspective the last single was interesting for me because I got a new preamp for the home studio which now lets me record a guitar sound I’m happy with. This was always a problem in the past. So for the single I recorded the guitar and vocal myself and then we put the other parts down in Flood Plain. This gives me some flexibility for the next record that I didn’t have before. So for now I plan to record most of the album myself and for any extra instrumentation I’d like to work with Graham again. This will be a totally different recording process to last time when I only recorded two of the tracks myself and the rest with an engineer. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to recording yourself and I’ve been debating these with myself over the years. We’ll soon see if I’ve made the right choice this time round!553461_376232242408880_1434945284_n

How will the tracks differ from your last album Life in Shadows in terms of arrangements and lyrics?

At this stage I still have a lot of work to do on writing and arranging. Like the last album it’ll be a mix of original and traditional music but there’ll be a different feel because hopefully I’m a better musician now and this should show in the music. I have about 15 or 16 separate ideas that I’m working on. Some of that material will get cut and hopefully there’ll be a good album in what’s left. Also there’ll be more songs in English this time. In the past I was mostly interested in singing in Irish but there’ll definitely be more English on this record. There’ll be some new instrumental pieces and I want to push those arrangements further on this record. I love to improvise when playing fingerstyle because you have the chance to play basslines, harmony and melody altogether so I’ll improvise around the themes and try to work out the arrangements that way.

Aside from music, what are the other projects you are working on? Can you tell us a bit about your day job?

Work and music takes up a lot of time so aside from that I don’t have any other projects. There are other important things in life though so I hope I make time for them too. The day job is in IT and this comes in useful when invariably you have technical problems in the studio. Obviously not being a full time musician means you can’t spend as much time as you’d like on the music but you try to use the time you have and always stay with it. It would be great to have time to play more gigs and record more often but the important thing is to keep playing music.

After the last album what has changed so far?

Well I think I’ve learnt a lot since then. Each project is a great learning experience and it’s worth all the work for that alone. There was a big jump from the EP I released in 2008 to the album in 2011 and I think it’ll be a similar step this time. Overall I was very happy with the last record. It was great to get a positive reception and some good coverage and radio play. Of course listening back there’s some things that I’d have done differently both in the recording and post-production but that’s all part of it.

What do you plan to accomplish musically this year?

Work on the album is the priority now and if I can get a good piece of it recorded by the end of the year I’ll be happy with that. I’m also working on a collaboration with a bouzouki player based around some traditional songs which hopefully will get to involve other musicians too.

Where can listeners buy your last album Life in Shadows?

The CD is available from Claddagh Records and will soon be for sale again directly from A digital download is available from iTunes, Amazon and eMusic.

What other instruments do you play?

I’m learning to play some piano at the moment. It’s not serious piano study but I’m enjoying playing some chords and seeing how they’re built on a different instrument. It would have been great to learn piano when I was starting out all those years ago because as a guitar player you’re often trying to play like a piano player if that makes any sense! I think it’s important to not get too obsessed with the instrument you’re playing so spending some time on another instrument is something I’d recommend.

Robert Doyle – guitar and vocal
Aoife Dermody – vocal
Eoin Dillon – uilleann pipes

Flags of Belfast

Boundaries are drawn
On council walls
Divisions are made easily
When a vote was called
The decision did say
The flag won’t fly daily

The Union remains
But the North had changed
Some divisions are the same
Next time you hear the Lagan sound
See the flags of Belfast town

When the protests began
Where are the leaders now
Heard with nothing to say
If there was a chance or a call for calm
It was soon swept away

Living on the sides
Of religious divides
Faith not faded with time
Next time round can you ask the crown
Has she seen the flags of Belfast town

At the start of the night
Through empty streets with dark light
Marches begin to pass
Along an enclave
Calls of an old age
Armed guards to defend both sides

Segregation in schools
Teaches old rules
Lessons begin early
As the children plan
To not let tradition down
And wear the flags in Belfast town

With the city closed
Blockades along the roads
Wasn’t this all a thing of the past
A sectarian divide
A part of city lives
No need to portray any side

Masks leave faces with no names
One after another taking aim
As broken bottles fall all around
The flags of Belfast town

Lyrics printed with permission.  

Interview with Brian Cunningham (audio)

Interview with Brian Cunningham (audio)

Interview with Brian Cunningham of the Atlantic Steps by Baxter Labatos on Mixcloud

Brian Cunningham of Atlantic Steps took the time to have this interview . He talks about:

1.How are things going on the creative side

2. What can we expect from Atlantic steps this 2014

3. As a producer of a tour.

4. Teaching Sean Nos  Dance lessons in Milwaukee.

5. How he maintains his agility as a dancer.

6. What’s great about sean nos dancing and why should people come and see or even learn the art.

You Tube version of the interview:

Atlantic Steps promo clip:

Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Nashville Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced tour of Ireland Plus Podcast #20

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville is the home of great music. When the Chieftains went to the United States in 2002, they released a live album Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (2002) featuring Nashville artists. It’s also a reminder how American music (Country and Bluegrass) are all related to Ireland. This time, it’s the other way around. Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced that he will be taking a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014. I heard a couple of his songs and they are really beautiful and uplifting.

With nearly 20 million records sold worldwide I think it is timely that he should meet his fans abroad. He is joined by Craig Curtis,with Paul Hollowell (Dolly Partons Piano Player). The tour is produced by Irish musician/traditional dancer Brian Cunningham of Atlantic Steps. Here’s the full press release:

Max T. Barnes Announces Tour Of Ireland

Nashville, TN  (December 11th, 2013) – Award Winning singer/songwriter, Max T. Barnes, announced today that he will be embarking on a month-long tour of Ireland, in early 2014.

Barnes, who has written and published Thirty-Three Number Ones and country hits in America, and has had nearly 20 million records sold worldwide, is elated to bring his music to fans overseas. His tour is set to launch on February 28th, 2014, with a performance at Monroe’s Live in Galway, Ireland. Other scheduled dates include The Cork Opera House, The Helix in Dublin, Josie’s Country Tavern in Letterkenny, The Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe  and The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran to name a few.
Performing hits such as, “Before You Kill Us All” by Randy Travis, “A Night To Remember” by Joe Diffie and CMA nominated Song Of The Year, “Love Me” by Colin Raye, Barnes will easily engage listeners as he shares the stories behind writing these songs. Barnes’ show will also include songs from his late father, Max D. Barnes, who was a Two Time CMA Song Of The Year winner and was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame. The late Barnes wrote dozens of hits for some of Country’s biggest names such as George Jones, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette to name a few, and has sold over 50 Million records world-wide.

As a staff writer in Nashville for over 30 years, Barnes has written for companies such as Warner BrothersSony, Curb, Polygram and MCA. Barnes is the only songwriter in history to be nominated for CMA Song Of The Year against his father in the same year.

Accompanying Barnes on stage and tour will be accomplished singer/songwriter, Craig Curtis, who’s YouTube Hit, “Keepin’ It Rural”, has made an impact on country fans nation-wide.


For more on Max T. Barnes, visit
For more on Craig Curtis, visit
For digital Press Kit including Bios, visit:

Contact & Media Inquiries:
Brian Cunningham
Hypermedia Nashville

Contact number 920 288 1151


Podcast #20 is up but you wont be hearing me talk. My radio show went live but the computer did not record my stream. I had to put everything back piece by piece the way I played them.

Clannad-Gaoth Barra na dTonn
Eileen Ivers-Crowley’s/Jackson’s (Reels)
Robert Doyle-Flags of Belfast
James Galway-Brian Boru’s March
Carlos Núñez-St Patrick’s Polka
Nightnoise-The Rose of Tralee
James Galway-Pennywhistle Jig [From The Molly Maguires]
J.P. Kallio-It Ain’t Easy
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians-Circle
Fleet Foxes-Drops In the River
Don BeeKeeper-Night is Falling Fast
Glen Hansard-Bird Of Sorrow
Mary Fahl, former lead singer of October Project-Exiles(from The Wolves of Midwinter)
Gavern-The Otherworld Fragments
Samuel Smith-Try

Raise ‘Em All by Irish Moutarde

Raise ‘Em All by Irish Moutarde



Mathieu Audet (guitars, drums, keyboard, lead & back vocals)
Fred Vandal (bass, guitar, lead & back vocals)
Jérôme Bélanger (lead guitars)
Christian Haerinck (great highland bagpipes)
Dominic Haerinck (banjo, mandoline)
Andrée-Anne McHalley (lead & back vocals, keyboard, bass)
Sébastien Malenfant (drums, guitar, bass, lead & back vocals)

Hometown: Quebec City

Another remedy for a depressing day is Canada’s Irish Moutarde. Electric guitars and bagpipes really go hand in hand. Raise ‘Em All is the band’s exciting release to date. They pride themselves as influenced by Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Great Big Sea,  and Traditional-Irish folk music.  What’s with the band title? Here’s a little trivia: The idea came from Jérôme’s brother, who proposed it as a pun on the French expression “relish-moutarde.” When the name was proposed to other Eerie(their former band) members, the favorable decision was again unanimous.They liked the name for two reasons: it said something about the band’s musical style, and it was both humorous and light.

This is true with what I discovered after listening to the entire album. It’s a loud, melodic and exciting collection which promises to keep you awake with good tunes. This happens to be their debut album after forming together in 2009. Elements of ska, punk, alternative rock and folk are showcased in all tracks.  Yes I keep dancing while listening to this album because the driving rhythm is really irresistible. Andrée-Anne Hallé has a good strong voice that shows flexibility. What I also noticed is the band’s use of vocal harmonies. My favorite track happens to be I Heard Jesus Was. You have to find out why.

There are also reflective ballads in the midst of the energetic tunes. For instance, Glasses to the Sky shows that Irish Moutarde can also break your hearts with their nuance. I think Olaf is a great driving or running tune. It has that soaring high energy. I love the drums! LLL is an instrumental focusing on the bagpipes. It starts with a slow mournful pace only to explode in the middle and end with a satisfying sonic richness.

The Fields of Athenry is their beautiful tribute to an Irish classic. I like the simplicity of just emphasizing on the male and female voice, the guitar and then occasional drums. The Wearing of the Green makes me want to get up and kick the chairs. It is such a fine tune. A Lad and a Hag ends the album with a nice ska- influenced rhythm. I think with this approach to music, the band will really create successful live shows and win more fans in the process.  I think they already did. They are big in Canada. Raise ‘Em All is composed of tunes that are both good live and on record! Check them out and feel the energy.


Tune in to this Saturday 4pm German time (10 am in Ontario) because I will be playing their song The Black Mill. A podcast of my radio show will be available a day or two after the show.

Irish Moutarde - Raise 'Em All - Promo

Conversation with Liam Ó Maonlaí

Conversation with Liam Ó Maonlaí

Photo courtesy: Patrick Glennon

Liam Ó Maonlaí talks about his project Rian, working with Glen Hansard and  beyond.

Born is the first album I listened to from Hothouse Flowers, a band fronted by my special guest Liam Ó Maonlaí. The part of me that loved(and still does) U2, The Cranberries, Sinead O’Connor and a whole bunch of Irish rock artists warmed up to this album. Born  featured Wayne Sheehy on drums and Rob Malone on bass guitar.  This album contained extensive songwriting contributions from O’Toole( who stepped out of  his bass responsibilities to showcase his multi instrumental abilities). The album  featured mostly guitar, bouzouki and keyboards on the recording. This is one of their complex records  as the music also incorporated more elements of electronic loops, synthesizers and studio effects.

I believe that an artist grows with his listeners. Somewhere in the mid 200os Liam Ó Maonlaí supported traditional Irish music. His humanitarian efforts are notable and they continue to this time.  He admitted in interviews that as a child, he was mostly influenced by traditional Irish music and Gaeilge was spoken as the main language. He even went as far as releasing a recording called Learn Irish with Liam O Maonlai.With Rian and other projects on the way, the bard joins us in this amazing interview!

Since Hothouse Flowers and then your project with ALT (and also acting on the side), what are the driving forces that keep you in shape and give you the drive to continue in this artistic journey?

With Hothouse Flowers

Mostly I respond to what comes my way and within that I find inspiration. I spend a lot of time looking at the world, our history and our present. What worked ,what works and what might work. For some people on Earth, these are terrible times and I see us as one. Music always drives me.

I am one of those who got a copy of  Learn Irish Project and it is an amazing work. Are you planning to launch another Irish Language course soon?

I would like to and I do intend to…. I need to make sure I get it right.

 You are amazing both in Sean Nos singing and also in lending your voice/talent to other projects. What are your other Irish based projects that we should hear about?

I have been involved with a project called Rian . It is a collaboration with Michael Keegan- Dolan  and his company, Fabulous Beast dance theatre. Rian involves eight dancers and five musicians. The music is mostly traditional …the dances are newly created. It has been travelling the world to standing ovations. Next stop Singapore. Rian has been to Norwich, London, Dublin, Cork,  New York , Sydney, Hong Kong  ,Umea, Wiesbaden , Lyon and Paris. ..sell out shows mostly.

That sounds fantastic! You also do acting on the side. One of them is The Busker(2006). Do you find difficulty switching from your musical side to acting? Or is it as easy as counting 1 2 3.
…My mother said to me once that what I do with the Hothouse Flowers is acting . I think in a way she is right.

 You are a great Bodhran player. What are the things we should know about playing this instrument that other probably don’t know about yet.

Not to forget that it is a drum and that the drum has a voice and that is powerful. The player mostly listen and feel the music that is being played . A steady beat is a great thing.

Your video Sadhbh Ni Bhruinneallaigh has been getting a lot of views on youtube. Do you have plans of making another epic performance like this soon in shows like Highland Sessions or Live Trad?

… I hope so. The Highland Sessions and the Trans Atlantic Sessions were great projects .

You worked on a project with Glen Hansard. How was the experience and care to share a bit about that one?

Yes…Glen is full of enthusiasm and energy. He and Marketa helped finance my last solo cd To Be Touched. They were there as a force of encouragement and a lot of fun as well. He is an eager worker… not afraid to sweat. He tuned in to my way of working in a great way.

You are currently on tour with the Rian project. How’s it going?
It is going really well. It is a great show with a great team. We love performing it and I believe that comes across. We have been to Paris, Hong Kong, New York, London, Dublin, Cork, Carlow, Longford, Sydney, Wiesbaden, St Polten, Lyon, and Norwich. I may have left out some as well..

You are composing a soundtrack for forthcoming John Carney film. Can you give us a heads up about this one?

That film has been made and I handed over the composition because he was looking for a different style. I would love to work with john and we are talking about possibilities now.

 What’s your message to your fans?

Thank you for taking the time to hear my work. It gives me great healing and pleasure.

Last question:How can one deal with change both spiritually and artistically?

Well… Art is a great boat to take on the sea of change. Art is an observer and responds in an uncalculated way at its essence to all things. If you can be true to yourself with your art then your art will have meaning. Trying to be or work like someone else will only bring about second rate work.

Well said!

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