Raise your glasses to a rip-roaring new album from Cheers!

Band: Cheers!

Album: Daily Bread

Release date: May 2017

Snarling, swirling, raging, roaring vocals and electric guitar tempered by fairground accordion arpeggios, whistles and flutes.

‘Chances’ – the opening track on the new album ‘Daily Bread’ from Cheers!

Cheers! was born in a whiskey and Guinness-fuelled frenzy in Pilsen, Czech Republic in 2011 and the first single was released in November the same year. Their debut album ‘Wrong and Right’ was recorded in a 10 hour marathon live session and released in 2013. They are touring almost constantly, playing clubs and festivals, and took their music to Italy in 2015 and 2017. ‘Daily Bread’ is their second album, and unlike their first, this one was made in the studio over a period of weeks, but still keeps a gritty, powerful live sound.

Call me old- fashioned, but I still like my music (if I can’t get it live) to come in CD-sized packages – downloading just doesn’t do it for me, and I put a lot of store in first impressions. A mighty handsome looking CD this is with a work-soiled, heartbroken figure on the front, ironically plastered with the jolly name of the band, and then in sombre, tombstone gothic font, the album title ‘Daily Bread’. According to the band, ‘daily bread’ means several things both in Czech and English, including ‘hunger for what you deserve or daily routine misery, this is what drives the lives of us all…’

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When I first heard this lot live five years ago, I thought ‘here’s a breath of fresh air on the Czech music scene’ – in fact I was blown away by them then and even more so now. Their debut album was rough and ready, but the energy was definitely there. ‘Daily Bread’ really is a mature piece of work and a labour of love – independently released by the band. The new album is very nicely produced and mixed and all the instruments, even the quieter whistles, fiddle and accordion, keep their character within the melee of driving sounds. Pick me up off the floor guys- I’m knackered just listening to this- but in a good way. My ears are still ringing with the joyful collision of electric guitars and acoustic whistles, the reverberation of accordion and uilleann pipes and Pavel’s distinctive and passionate vocals holding it all together.

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Pavel (vocals, acoustic guitar) very kindly took some time out of the band’s busy schedule to answer a few questions about the album.

How long did ‘Daily Bread’ take to record compared to the first album? 

Pavel: Ten times more I think. The first album took 10 hours to record and a couple of days of mixing. We started working on ‘Daily Bread’ this January and recorded it in, like, two months or so. Mixing and mastering took 3 months. It’s plenty in comparison with the first record, but not that much on an LP studio album really.

Influences on your sound?

Pavel: Each band tries to preserve its unique sound or at least that’s what they say. But one way or another, it’s necessary to have a fixed point. In this case, those would be The Dreadnoughts and Dropkick Murphys. I think the sound is overrated though. I know too many bands whose records suck, but rule on stage.

How do you feel about the new album? 

Pavel: Bored of it already. We got to make another (laughs).

What message (if any) are you trying to put across in the songs?

Pavel: Hard to say. Each song’s got it’s own. But overall the usual – love, hatred, people, feelings, politics, etc. That’s what the genre does, don’t you think?

Guards of the Poor (2014)

Where/How can we buy your CD? 

Pavel: It will be available on Itunes, Spotify and other servers in digital format. Physical CD on Amazon or Czech band merchandise e-shops. Or you can contact us directly. Right now we’re trying to spread it over so it’ll take some time before it reaches the counters.

What’s the true story behind ‘Mr. Batter’? 

Pavel: True story? That’s it. We got busted on the streets for stealing copper sheets from a theatre by local police and the night guard pointed us out even though we had no idea. Coming to that, do you need any copper?

What are your favourite songs on the album?

Pavel: For me personally, that would be ‘Dagger’ and ‘Misery’. ‘Misery’ is an old piece and we’ve been playing it since I can remember, and still I get goose bumps when it gets to some parts. We picked the title of the album from its lyrics and I’m glad we did. ‘Dagger’ is a much younger song and was made for the album. Simplicity and straight meaning is sometimes hard to follow, unless the muse kisses you on the cheeks and that happened with ‘Dagger’, I guess. So it makes me feel free every time we play it.

So, prepare to hang on to your seats for an angst-filled 48 minutes and 23 seconds of Celtic folk-punk brewed in Pilsen…

Cheers! on Facebook

Cheers! on YouTube

Cheers! on Bandzone

 

 

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The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!

The Spinning Wheel: A Refreshing Acoustic Folk Album!

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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.

Personel:

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.

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Shotgun Down The Avalanche by Cara Dillon from the New Album “A Thousand Hearts”

Shotgun Down The Avalanche by Cara Dillon from the New Album “A Thousand Hearts”

This was posted last April 30. This was supposed to be a blog but I noticed it was part of the ‘menu’ section above. I took it down and placed it here for everyone to see:

Folk diva Cara Dillon is making rounds all over the UK to promote her new album A Thousand Hearts. I already sent the interview questions to her publicist Ali and I am just waiting for the results. It is amazing to finally be able to ask her directly everything related to her musical career. Big thanks to my friend Paula for watching her concert and getting me the spot to do an interview. Here is one of the songs from that album and it’s called Shotgun Down the Avalanche.

It is a fantastic folk ballad featuring Sam Lakeman’s acoustic guitar (joined by equally amazing musicians). Her voice always awakens something in me. It is a beautiful voice that sounds like it’s coming from the pipes of a sad angel.

Buy the new album here: http://www.caradillon.co.uk/albums/thousand-hearts-1

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: http://www.davehum.com/

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

Interview with Luke Fraser of The Bombadils

I wrote a post about The Bombadils working on a new album. What I haven’t told you os that I made an audio interview with Luke Fraser and it is finally here. This is the first audio interview with him and you can tell that we made a good team.

Luke is one of the four members that comprise The Bombadils. He plays the guitar, mandolin and other stringed instruments. He also played for Raftmen.

Original song written by the Bombadils. Copyright 2012. Filmed and recorded by Denis Martin at Stewart Hall – Point Claire, Montreal, Canada.

Order their CD online:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thebombadils

The Bombadils are:
Sarah Frank – fiddle, vocals
Luke Fraser – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Anh Phung – flute, Irish whistles, vocals
Evan Stewart – bass

Visit their website:
http://www.thebombadils.com/

Become a fan on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/thebombadils

Book them at:
thebombadils@gmail.com

 

Here’s an old video of Luke Fraser and Kit Soden made four years ago, shot in Sutton farm in rural Quebec…

 

 

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 http://www.moxiemuso.com https://www.facebook.com/Moxiemuso
https://www.framelight.ie
http://beechpark.com (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

http://www.robertdoyle.net

 

 

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.

” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

” Esyllt ” by Children in Paradise

Band members:

" Esyllt " CD Record 10 songs

” Esyllt ” CD Record 10 songs

Gwalchmei, Guitare

Dam kat, Vocals

Patrick Boileau, Drums

Stéphane Rama, Bass

Loic Blejean, Uilleann Pipes & Low Whistles

Jean Marc Illien, Piano & Keyboards

Now for something so totally different is an atmospheric band from Brittany called Children in Paradise. Singer Dam Kat already drew me into their musical style after hearing the first track Little Butterfly. The new album is called “Esyllt.” How do I describe their sound? I will quote their bio which, I think, really sums up what the band is all about and the influences behind the music:

Children in Paradise invites you to travel to the Sidh, the other celtic world, somewhere beyond the horizon of the sea, in these beautiful islands, deep of peace, harmony and purity. The music of Children in Paradise is a mix of many influences, sounds inspirated by Pink Floyd or Anathema, a research of ” atmospheric environments ” and ” power ” of the sacred music, like Dead Can Dance… sometimes between darkness and melancholy … the band’s musical originality is also the inspiration : the Celtic Legends (Irish and Welsh Legends). With a rare finesse in the arrangements, the voice of Dam Kat, so fresh and full of emotions occasionally remind Kate Bush or Tori Amos …

Birds, waterfall and other natural sounds are seamlessly woven into this beautiful album. Hearing all the tracks  is a transporting experience. I noticed the diverse artistic influences. I love the album cover which features a Celtic warrior looking at a ship. A Viking ship perhaps? Or maybe loved ones sent away to escape the ravages of the Viking invasion.

I’d suggest you listen to this when you are taking a break from work. The album relaxes the mind.It also posses a distinct musical energy that gives you vitality. Gwalchme keeps the tracks interesting with his own style of guitar playing.

My Son turns my attention to the instruments that embellish this track. Low whistle and uilleann pipes take the stage along with the lush vocals. Everything works together, from the drums, bass and keyboards.

I think the apt comparison to Kate Bush is derived from the eclectic arrangements, the use of World influences and also the vocal style. But I have to note that Children of Paradise has an original sound. It is a confident Breton sound. I also think that this  album’s efforts are close those  made by Nolwenn Leroy, in a sense that in the midst of its eclecticism, the musical vision is there. Ysyllt is not really an album made for dancing. It is more of a chill out experience. Except for The Battle where the song builds into a heavy metal frenzy . Its use of heavy atmosphere makes it accessible even to fans of Gothic rock.

In Silent Agony, Dam Kat explores the vocal style which is close to Tori Amos. Plus, the harp is amazing to hear in this track. So far, everything in Ysyllt sounds good. And the pure bonus is that they are streaming the album via soundcloud for free! However, if you believe in the mission and vision of Children in Paradise then you better visit their shop and buy merchandise there : http://www.childreninparadise.com/#/shop-of-children-in-paradise/4418856

Help independent artists and help maintain our musical culture.

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers  plus Podcast #25

Naoned Whisky by The Maggie Whackers plus Podcast #25

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After almost two years, French band The Maggie Whackers are back with a new EP called Naoned Whisky. And yes they are from Nantes France. A great place of music! Drunken Sailor is timely because it’s a decade of the mainstream’s fascination with Pirate movies and tunes. There are strong Breton elements in their songs especially in Sans Regrets Sans Remords which is my favorite track due to its beautiful use of the bombarde. Fucking Goblins show their punk side. I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday is shocking with its tenderness and melancholic melody. Burn in Hell showcases the joint forces of traditional Breton instrument and Clash-inspired guitar playing.

Naoned Whisky is the testament to the band’s continuing energy. Their songwriting has evolved since the release of their self-titled EP. They have  great sense of musical and visual style. I am sure their live shows are really entertaining. Listen below and go to http://themaggiewhackers.bandcamp.com/album/naoned-whisky to buy the album.

For bookings and any question:

The Maggie Whackers
06 33 72 49 44
themaggiewhackers@gmail.com

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The Baxteria Podcast #25 is Up!

The Baxteria Podcast #25(Celtic and Indie variety) by Baxter Labatos on Mixcloud

Feauturing:

Sharon Corr-We Could Be Lovers
Brishen-Live at the Victoria International JazzFest 2013_ “Coquette”
Bachue-Rumble Thy Bellyful
Jacob McCauley-December 2010 Concert Part 6_ Bodhrán Solo
Moya Brennan-Sailing (radio edit)
Jack Raven’s whores-Bad Trip
The High Kings-Gucci
Arctic Monkeys-Arabella
Beth Orton-Something More Beautiful
J.P. Kallio-Too Late to Say
Fiona Joy Hawkins-The Journey (600 Years in a Moment)
Rebecca Brandt-The Moment
Fleet Foxes-English House

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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.