Updates from Moya Brennan, Kyle Carey, The Ballyfermot Rakes and Jennifer Licko!

Updates from Moya Brennan, Kyle Carey, The Ballyfermot Rakes and Jennifer Licko!


Moya Brennan

Album progress 

Moya Brennan has the spirit of rock n roll. Maybe not overtly as one would expect but it is there. As a longtime fan of Clannad, and have researched  the band’s history, I’d say it is only fitting that she would shine on her own. She might not be as hyper as Icelandic singer Bjork or outspoken as Tori Amos but the need for constant challenge and restlessness is there.She is also prolific and has an amazing body of work to boast!

Innovation is always part of her evolution as an artist. You can hear it in her melodies and arrangements. She does not shy away from collaborating with other big artists. Her associations with Schiller and Chicane brought forth good results. It exposed her voice to the younger audience who were not born yet when Clannad’s first UK top 40 hit “A Theme From Harry’s Game” shot into the mainstream.

Provisionally titled River of Songs, she picked her children to work with her in this album. I have heard a few snippets via Paul Jarvis’ Snapchat posts and I can say they are amazing! There is no shortage of experimentation there. And although 10 seconds cannot reveal everything, I sort of get the idea what it’s going to be. It is bold, big and contemporary. It will definitely appeal to the younger ears while still enchanting and captivating original Clannad fans.

Her son Paul Jarvis is doing interesting things with the guitar and some experimentation with other musical instruments(including technology). Aisling Jarvis(apart from making a name for herself as a singer-songwriter/ sound engineer) is manning the sonic landscape. She was also hired by Clannad for the same job with their recent album Nádúr.

Apart from her ability to play many musical instruments along with the harp, she is also a philanthropist and a mom. And we all know, moms are awesome!

The new Moya album will be released early next year and I am so excited!


Kyle Carey…


Kyle Carey combines Gaelic tunes and artfully crafted songwriting.

Have you been following the Kickstarter Project of singer-songwriter Kyle Carey? She has one week to go to fulfill her campaign in order to record a new album. Check it out The Art of Forgetting here:

I’d say she’s one of a kind. A true gift to the Celtic music community. Supporting her art means preserving the musical culture that we really love.


From Dublin…


The Ballyfermot Rakes

For those who love Irish folk in its true sense can now bask under the artistry of The Ballyfermot Rakes. A little bit about the guys:

The Ballyfermot Rakes are a folk duo who formed following many great sessions together in the vibrant Dublin traditional music scene.
Their intuitive ability to entertain pub crowds with folk songs and lively traditional dance music has already taken them around the country this summer, exciting audiences at festivals and venues.
They have quickly honed an exciting, dynamic set which draws influence from some of the great Irish folk groups such as Sweeney’s Men, The Dubliners and the Fureys.
As the name suggests, this duo of Darren Lynch (bouzouki, vocals) and Derek Copley (banjo) are natives of Ballyfermot in Dublin, and both take great pride and influence from the rich musical connection of the celebrated Furey and Keenan families, as well as from singers like Liam Weldon and Paddy Sweeney to name a few.Darren Lynch’s keen ear for a song, along with intricate bouzouki work, adds a rich, diverse layer to this folk outfit. The bouzouki is also the perfect compliment to the driving melodies of Derek Copley’s tenor banjo playing, which ranges from haunting airs to wild, foot-stomping jigs and reels.
Christmas in in the air…
The Lights of Christmas by Jennifer Licko featuring Patrick Mangan from Riverdance. 
I did a review of Sing by Jennifer Licko so I am sure you have an idea what she is capable of in musical terms. Glad she is releasing aholiday album called The Lights of Christmas. Here’s a snippet of what to expect from the new recording:

Album Information: 

Celtic Album of the Year winner (Celtic Music Radio), Jennifer Licko releases her first Christmas Album – The Lights of Christmas – via Sabas Records. The album features the Jennifer Licko band which is comprised of Riverdance Star, Patrick Mangan on fiddle and award winning Irish guitarist, Patsy O’Brien. The backbone of the band is Jennifer’s long time British producer, arranger and keyboardist; Bob Noble.  He has produced five of Jennifer’s seven albums including this release ‘The Lights of Christmas’ .  Vocal production took place at Remidi studios in Florida as well as Estudio Cajueira in Brazil with Grammy award winning sound engineer, Mauricio Cajueiro. 

“A true reminder of what the Christmas season means” says one music fan.  ’The Lights of Christmas’ is a follow up to The Jennifer Licko band’s extremely successful annual Celtic Christmas tour hailed by critics as one of the best Christmas traditions of the year. The album continues the theme with favorite Christmas carols, given the unique special celtic touch, and some traditional Irish Christmas songs that share traditions and stories of Celtic lands.

The Jennifer Licko band will be touring the Southeastern United States from Dec 8 – Dec 18th with their ‘Celtic Christmas’ concert in support of ‘The Lights of Christmas’ album. For more information and tour dates, please visit www.jenniferlicko.com 

Track List

1. Pat a Pan

2. The First Noel

3. Brightest and Best

4. Soilse na Nollag

5. The Holly and The Ivy

6. There is a Star

7. Children’s Winter

8. Silver Bells

9. Bread and Fishes

10. O Little Town Of Bethlehem/Hark The Herald Angels Sing 

11. Rebel Jesus

Awesome. Will be reviewing this as soon as I get a copy. Cheers!

‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!

‘The Art of Forgetting’ – Kyle Carey’s New Album Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched!


So it begins! Gaelic-Americana singer-songwriter Kyle Carey has launched her Kickstarter campaign with a lot in store for music lovers. This is going to be exciting. Given her track record, you will not be disappointed!

As you might have noticed, I mentioned this in my previous post. I am highly supportive of her music. If you have been following my posts you know that it goes back to her first album.

As evident in the video above, Carey only surrounds herself with the best in the industry. Sios Dhan An Abhainn was performed in the 2016 Celtic Connections. That video is an example of her evolution as an artist and it will be further showcased in ‘The Art of Forgetting.’

Here’s an exerpt of the project:

Now that I’ve carved out a niche for my transatlantic sound, I’m ready to add a new element, and so I’ll be heading down to Louisiana in January to record my third album The Art of Forgetting with seasoned and acclaimed producer Dirk Powell – who I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to work with.

Dirk and I have already discussed the ways in which we can present ‘Gaelic Americana’ with a slight Acadian twist, which includes conscripting the aid of veteran guitarist Sam Broussard of ‘Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys’ – an expert Cajun and alternate-tuning guitarist.

We’ll be laying the basic tracks in Dirk’s beautiful home-studio known as the ‘Cypress House’ and then through the winter – adding accompaniment from the finest Celtic and American musicians from both sides of the Atlantic.

With a wonderful graphic designer (Heidi Pitre!), exemplary backing musicians, mastering services already secured and a team of talented promoters to spread the word – I’m confident that this album will be some of my finest work, and make an even bigger splashthan its predecessors.

You can read more about the campaign by clicking the link below.



I am posting the pictures which are all approved by the artist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Autumn Leaves Are Falling

Autumn Leaves Are Falling

I took the title of this blog from a Clannad song. It is a track taken off their late 90s album, Landmarks. It also happens to me one of their strongest albums in my opinion. 

Autumn is the time of the year when everything slows down. Everything becomes quite. People become more contemplative. And what better way to celebrate the month of October than to listen to new and upcoming albums from your favorite Celtic bands and solo artists!

Now for the list:

Kyle Carey id launching a kickstarter campaign ‘The Art of Forgetting’ – which will be released in the fall of 2017. The album will be produced by Dirk Powell and will feature some of the finest in Celtic and American music. 

This will be her third album following the critically acclaimed North Star. Her vocal style is unique. And she can sing in many languages. I am sure this upcoming album will be as strong as her previous ones.



New album by Clanu out!


From Belfast!

For fans of Bluegrass, Traditional Irish, folk and instrumental music, Clanu will be a welcomed released. We have seen and heard releases that are loud and fast and it is time to quiet down a bit with Long Way Round. The album art is not the only thing that’s beautiful in this album. Hint: use your ears 😉

Members are Dee McIlroy, Niall McIlroy, Damian McIlroy, Paul Conlon and Fiona McIlroy. Grab this album now while it is fresh from the recording studio!


Famous Lead Vocalist of Goth/New Wave band The Bolshoi is now a Celtic Rocker with Rathkeltair

I am talking about Trevor Tanner. This came as a surprise because I was going to write a story about his former band for this Goth magazine that I also write for but further research pointed me to his new music. This is exciting because it shows that when a door closes, another door opens and that goes to any form of art. Music is fluid and it doesn’t matter what style you play, it is still music. Check out more videos of Rathkeltair via YouTube.




Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Review of North Star a new album by Kyle Carey

Why a casual Celtic music fan would love North Star by singer/songwriter Kyle Carey-It has a universal appeal. 

Every album is a musical journey. The experience is always complete when one listens to all the tracks in the album (in the order they were recorded) instead shuffling.I think Kyle Carey has worked hard in recording every track in North Star. This is a follow -up to her highly acclaimed Monongah. Every nuance is given emphasis.

North star is a journey across continents. It has taken her to Scotland, in order to record the twelve tracks, each with its own story to tell. In the title track (Northern Star), she sings of how each point of light draws a constellation. Like the album itself, it is about seeing the bigger picture from the complexity of notes and melodies. We are part of each other. We are connected by this endless chain of histories. The album is a testament to the modern and ancient Celts. North Star Cover

Apart from the melodic merits, North Star has superb packaging and meticulous recording process.The music doesn’t intrude. Yes it draws you in because of the beautiful songs (this includes the instruments, the chords and yes the amazing voice of Kyle Carey). This is highly recommended for lovers of chill out pop and indie folk. Her sound has evolved. She blends Gaelic and English songs in this album seamlessly. Everything feels supple, organic and also healing.

The word north conjures many thoughts. One of them is the cold and quiet that an artist needs in the gestation period of his or her creativity. North Star is Polaris which has been embodied in a lot of myths. The fact that this album is produced by Seamus Egan proves that she is backed by stalwart talents.

North Star is one of the great releases of this decade. Everything works. Her vocals are more stretched and exploited as there are tracks where she lets those pipes loose. I love Sios Dhan An Abhainn. I got goose bumps listening to that song. It is my personal favorite. Across the Great Divide is also poignant and memorable.

And lastly…I love the album artwork. I think the images and overall design give justice to the feel of the album. Her persistence and professionalism has paid off. This started off as a crowdfunding project. This album proves that those who are passionate about this kind of music are out there! Now looking forward to the next album.


I among those fascinated by the music of Breton singer/songwriter Cecile Corbel. It has something more to do with the melodies in her songs than her vocals or arrangements. Although it is worth noting that her arrangements are superb as well! She’s one of those artists celebrating the beauty of Breton music(the other one is Nolwenn Leroy). I think these two artists are the best  in terms of putting out Celtic music with pop appeal. She continues to dazzle our imagination with her Arthurian concept.

This is a captivating song called Entendez-vous from  La Fiancée. Would you agree it’s beautiful in all aspects?


Celtic Colours Int’l Cape Breton, Canada

Celtic Colours continues to be an influential festival in North America. Great shows, fantastic artists and a wide array of genres (or colours). Here’s a Soundcloud sampler of music you get to hear when you attend the festival.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next, I will be writing about American group Soulsha: Afro-Celtic Funk, so watch out for this one.

Gifts and New Album

Gifts and New Album



While there are events in our lives that ebb and flow, we are like willows bending and enduring whatever life hands us. But in that space between two  hills we are blessed by the calm that comes when we behold something beautiful. Be it the sunset or waking up to a fantastic song, the fact is, magic happens. So yes sh*t happens and so is the realization that everything is going to be ok. If we just hold on maybe the next day or week is going to be different.

Finally the new album by Kyle Carey is out!

Finally the new album by Kyle Carey is out!

So what’s new? Kyle Carey has new album out! Yes we’ve waited since last year as she wrote that the said album was going to be recorded during the Celtic Connections in Scotland. She posted pictures from these sessions via Instagram and in her facebook page. Now it is out! I will listen to it and then write a review.

Congratulations to Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser of The Bombadils for finally tying a knot. I knew this was coming. This two will create beautiful music together so I am sure I will be writing about the Bombadils soon, There are many things out there really worth blogging about. And yes check out the picture below. Those are gifts from my English friend Paula. She and Gilly went to Dublin to meet Ian for a photoshoot. You will read more about it in my other blog.

I am also posting a video from Kyle Carey. Thanks to Dave Hallowell for posting this beautiful live performance. You will hear this song in the new album by the same title.

I am hungry for new materials. I am excited for something new. But for now, this is going to be a blog post below 500 words. Just let it out in small doses. We don’t want to choke on too much info. For now.



photo (3)

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 www.radiohappy.eu

Celtic Music Fan Podcast # 7

Celtic Music Fan Podcast # 7

This is the podcast version of my radio show last Saturday at http://www.radiohappy.eu. Yes just music without me talking. I have added links to the band page and yes you better listen to my fantastic interview with Fraser Fifield!

The Indulgers-Ceili Mor
Qristina Bachand; Quinn Bachand-Spootiskerry/High Road to Linton/Big John McNeil
Keltic Trancefusion-Abberance
Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen-Esotero
Interview with Fraser Fifield
Ensemble Eriu-Jurna
Irish Moutarde-Glasses to the Sky
Taran Celt-Taran
Kyle Carey-One Morning in May


Kickstarter campaign for “North Star”by Kyle Carey is up!

Kickstarter campaign for “North Star”by Kyle Carey is up!

Yep folks. The one and only Kyle Carey from New-England is releasing a follow-up to her beautiful debut ‘Monongah’  North Star will be produced by  Seamus Egan, founder of the acclaimed Irish American band Solas, So I know what you are thinking out there. It’s going to fantastic! She has the gift of writing songs and the delicate voice to give justice to both traditional and original tunes.  I fully support this artist because she adds a beautiful part in this huge tapestry of our musical culture.

The recording will begin in January 2014 in Glasgow Scotland. It will be during the Celtic Connections.

Visit the kickstarter site here. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kylecarey/north-star-kyle-careys-sophomore-album?ref=email

I will be playing a tune by Kyle Carey on my radio show  www.radio-happy.com this Saturday 3 to 6 pm German time.

3-4pm: Auto DJ (I will be playing the whole Clannad album Lore)

4-5pm: The Celtic hour which I will be playing Celtic music including Kyle’s.

5-6pm: Indie variety for those who are into other music genres.

Way up north in Manitoba, Canada--on my Home Routes 2012 tour. This photo was taken by Craig Werth, one of my favorite touring partners and songwriters.-Kyle Carey

Way up north in Manitoba, Canada–on my Home Routes 2012 tour. This photo was taken by Craig Werth, one of my favorite touring partners and songwriters.-Kyle Carey


Visit: http://www.kyleannecarey.com/

Kickstarter Campaign for North Star by Kyle Carey (2nd album)

Kickstarter Campaign for North Star by Kyle Carey (2nd album)

 Kyle Carey North Star

It is amazing how we’ve come a long way. Before, we merely rely on the recommendations from friends, word of the mouth from experts and also through the whims of record execs. Finally, that dream album will happen.  Now the power to put whatever music we want to the top has arrived. One of the common tools used by musicians to fund their new projects is kickstarter. I am sure you are familiar with this one.

Let me tell you. Singer/songwriter and vocal extraordinaire Kyle Carey is preparing to record her new album. North Star will be recorded in Scotland aound January, during Celtic Connections.  Seamus Egan will produce the album. Now expect nothing less from this project because I know it will be an amazing album!

Kyle Carey is based in New England. You know, that beautiful place in the East Coast where everything becomes colorful this time of the year. If you remember she released that amazing album called ‘Monongah‘ and it is one of those albums that occupies the top of my playlist.

Listen to tracks off her debut album Monongah:

Traditional Irish, Bluegrass and Americana

 Featuring:Patrick D’Arcy, Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha, Kyle Carey and Noriana Kennedy

Introducing Piper Patrick D’Arcy

For some musicians and listeners, simplicity is everything. Patrick D’Arcy sets an example of how one instrument can give out so many layers to observe, savor and glorify. His simplistic use of the uilleann pipes, unadorned by other instruments sort of magnifies that soul of the instrument making its core radiate.

Most of us usually take the drones for granted as our attention is focused on the play of notes and also interplay of other instruments. Patrick makes every angle of sound posses that bulk and electricity. I am amazed how beautiful the drones can be when your ears don’t process too much information.

Patrick D’Arcy is now based in Woodland Hills California after leaving his hometown of Dublin several years ago. He manages five websites. http://www.patdarcy.com/ is a directory of all his other sites.  One of them is web and print design called www.darcycreative.com while www.patrickdarcymusic.com is about his music. http://www.uilleannobsession.com/ focuses more on the instrument and also learning it.  http://www.socalpipers.com/ is a place where all pipers meet around  Southern California.

It might surprise you to know that this passionate piper studied classical guitar at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Why did he give up guitar and chose the uilleann pipes? That is what I will find out one day! He just released a traditional album called Wallop The Spot composed of 13 tracks. You can buy the album here: http://patrickdarcy.bandcamp.com/


The breezy music of Kyle Carey

Real life is HARD. But Kyle Carey does a good job of transporting us into lazy afternoons, visions of orange blossoms and fireflies at dusk. Her various styles(Bluegrass, Irish and New Age) create a satisfying experience that leave you with a feeling you get after a good nap-fresh and clear headed. There are gentle guitars and lurking banjos in the sea of fiddles and vocal harmonies. Her voice has this silky feel reminiscent of Alison Krauss and Grada. To be able to escape for a moment into the music that channels the power of kindness and childhood innocence is really worth your time…maybe an hour a day would be good for you.

If you love original music that will stand the test of time then Kyle Carey’s Monongah is for you. Buy her albums here: http://www.kyleannecarey.com/

Visit: http://soundcloud.com/kyle-carey to sample her music


Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha

Presenter and producer: Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha

Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha is a head radio presenter at RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.  If you want to know the phonetic way to say her name it’s “Nancy”. I listened to her recorded shows and they are truly informative and exciting. They are geared towards the traditional music audience. Her approach to hosting is relaxed and once in a while she inserts anecdotes. There’s never a dull moment. Throughout her career, she moved between Galway which is her hometown and the United States, back and forth. Her favorite quote is: I can resist everything but temptation! Don’t we all? Especially if the temptation are those beautiful Irish tunes!

Visit: http://soundcloud.com/neansa-n-choisdealbha To hear her recorded shows.


Noriana Kennedy

The Bluesy Noriana Kennedy

A few months ago, I feature a video by Galway based singer who is working on her album with her band Wildflowers. According to her recent post to her website:

We made a merry start to recording the new Wildflowers CD last weekend. Myself, Nicola Joyce, Noelie McDonnell and Gerry Paul spent the weekend at Larry Kelly’s beautiful Finnish log-cabin home in Tuam, Co. Galway.  We put down new versions of  ‘Dear My Maker’ and ‘Poor Ellen Smith’ along with three other brand new tracks.  We’ll give it another blast next month to finish it off…all going well the CD will be fit for filling stockings in December!  Big thanks to Liam Caffrey, our patient and gifted engineer and of course Larry and Olivia for the generous loan of their fabulous home, the gourmet menu and constant feed of happy vibes.

I know there are friends who are excited to hear something by this amazing singer/songwriter with a unique voice that can deliver a full range of emotions.


and also : http://soundcloud.com/noriana-kennedy to sample her music.