Lau, So Happy To Be Playing Live in the US (Q & A with Martin Green)

Lau, So Happy To Be Playing Live in the US (Q & A with Martin Green)



The band members of Lau are in middle of their American tour. You can get the tickets here. Now is your chance to hear their epic recordings getting a live treatment. And if you are lucky enough, you might even get to interview band members. I am so happy to have my questions answered by Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) courtesy of my friend Anita Daly.

1. You are starting  your US tour. Are you excited?
Always exciting to be in America, we have some good friends here and there is such remarkable music to enjoy.

2. Is this your first time performing in the US?
Lau have been in the US several times, but this is the longest tour to date, fantastic to get a chance to explore a bit more.

3. The Bell that Never Rang continues to receive positive reviews. How’s the recording process?
It was an extremely enjoyable process Joan Wasser came over from New York to record with us in Scotland, she has an amazing energy about her as a person and as a musician. We learned a lot from her during the recording.

4. The title track is an epic track that calls to mind British bands like Renaissance and Fairport Convention. What’s the story behind this song?
The Bell that Never Rang is part of the city of Glasgow’s coat of arms. The piece was commissioned by Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. It is a celebration of Glasgow (a place we love very much).

5. What have you learned collaborating with other bands and also maintaining Lau creatively?
Lau is a small band, and has never changed line-up (and never will) and so we find it hugely useful to collaborate with other musicians, it brings new ideas on and helps keep us open to new ways of thinking.

6. What’s your favorite song in the new album?
Death of the dining car, Kris sounds like Paul Simon, and I’m into that.

7. Your message to fans?
It’s great to be over here, hope you can make it out to one of the shows!
Titanicdance will have you on the edge of your seat: My Interview with Raymond Sweeney

Titanicdance will have you on the edge of your seat: My Interview with Raymond Sweeney

  I wrote an entry about this Irish song and dance phenomena Titanicdance a few days ago. Now, Producer, Creative Director and Lead Dancer Raymond Sweeney, took time to answer this interview. I am currentlyqvzrbp44upehnzbms7a4

listening to the soundtrack while transcribing our online conversation. You have to see this show. This is the best thing that happened to the stage since Riverdance and Celtic Tiger. Please don’t forget to visit their Indiegogo campaign and hopefull take part as one of the show’s backers. This is music and dance arrange in a way that will captivate both young and old fans of Celtic music.

1. Hi Raymond, you are from Donegal which is known as a place that gave birth to global artists.What’s the story behind Titanicdance?
It was in 2012 on the 100th year anniversary of the tragic events of the Titanic that I came up with the idea to do the show. Creating my own production was something I always dreamed of doing so I got a team together and started choreographing the show with Louise Hayden & James Keegan in a little prefab in my dad’s work yard. It took many long hours of hard work, determination and a lot of patience but it was all worth it as the end result exceeded our expectations.
2. You joined Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance at 16. What were the challenges of being in a big and famous troupe at a young age?
Being from a small village in Donegal and heading into the unknown was exciting but scary at such a young age. It was a huge challenge trying to meet the standard required for such a large production and as well as the dancing there was a lot to learn about performing on stage. The other thing I found challenging was being away from home at such a young age and getting used to my new independence. It was a great experience. 
3. I think Titanicdance will strike a universal chord as the story (Titanic) itself is still a phenomenal success brought about by books and of course Hollywood.
This is so true and is the reason why we think we have something special.
4. What’s the training ritual of your dancers before a big event?
Well it takes many weeks/months preparing for a big show as first and foremost fitness is very important as well as learning routines etc.. The choreography of Titanicdance is of a very high standard and therefore plenty of training is required to get it perfect for show time.  
5. How do you handle the responsibilities of leading 30 top Irish dancers?
I’m fortunate enough to have the experience of being a cast member and touring in a big dance production for over 15 years and therefore I know how to find the right balance to treat cast members in a firm but fair way in order to get the best results. I have a lot of friends that I have work along side and toured with previously and that are now in my cast, now being Creative Director and having to direct them and call the shots isn’t always easy but I do it in a manor that they still so me respect. 
6. How is it like working with producer David McLaughlin? You must be great pals right now.ykusbiflr8xnphaiihly
David and the whole team have been great. Everyone really believes in this production and works endlessly to make sure it will become a huge success. I have a great relationship with David and it is growing stronger and stronger..!!
7. What do you hope to achieve this Titanicdance?
I hope to achieve everything possible with Titanicdance. It’s always been my dream to have a touring show and I am so honored to be in the position I’m in at the moment and I will continue to strive to meet my goals because I believe this show can be a huge success. 
8. Your message to the readers?
Titanicdance has it all. Live Irish Music, Song and Dance and a story line that will have you on the edge of your seat and possibly in tears. Audiences across the globe deserve to see this production and I will do my best to make that happen. You will not be disappointed. 

Kind Regards,

Raymond Sweeney
Watch out for my review of the Titanicdance music soon! Big thanks to my friend Anita Daly of Daly Communications for arranging this interview.
Live shows for this month and beyond

Live shows for this month and beyond

because I am not posting any album reviews at this time, I’d rather post something about live music. I am hoping that you’ll be able to watch your favorite artists performing in your area. Due to my right hand injury, I am using voice dictation to write text messages. And so far, it has been working quite OK.


Dubbed internationally as the singing priest, father Ray Kelly is in New York City promoting his new album “Where I belong.” He is also releasing a Christmas album this November. So watch out for that one I am sure it will be amazing.

Visit his Facebook page to see more.

Following the release of his celebrated book A history of Irish music, Larry Kirwan is performing live in New York City catch him and also buy the new book.

Visit his band page to see more.

If you are in the Czech Republic, you better check out Sliotar as they are currently touring and performing. These guys never grow tired performing. They have inexhaustible energy to sing and play those wonderful tunes. I think it takes passion and also good health to be able to really play in many venues.

Visit their website for events and releases.

Even though I am not currently writing album reviews, I’ve been listening to these wonderful albums. I highly recommend them.



About this item

Track Listings

Disc: 1

The Duke Of Leinster/Gardiner’s/John Stenson’s #2

A Sailor s Life

Tommy Potts’ Slip Jig

The Bay Of Biscay

The King Of The Pipers/Behind The Haystack/The Maid On The Green

Paddy Cronin’s/If I Had A Wife

The Close Shave/East At Glendart

Moving Cloud

The Heart Of The World


Kiss The Maid Behind The Byre/Tá Do Mhargadh Déanta

Dónal Na Gréine

Sore Point

The Hut On Staten Island/The De il Among The Tailors

Belfast: Back To Belfast/Anne Lacey/Eroticon VI

The Pipers Of Roguery

Wedding Dress

Disc: 2

Hardiman The Fiddler


A Mháire Bruineall

Portaferry Swing

Róise Na BhFonn Tuneful Rose

Pota Mór Fataí

The Slide From Grace (Dusty Miller s/Dan O Keefe s/The Slide From Grace)

Bean An Fhir Ruaidh The Red Haired Man s Wife

Beer Belly Dancing

The Beauty Spot

Cailleach A Shúsa The Hag In The Blanket

Product Details

Original Release Date: 2012

Label: World Music Network


Patrick Ball has been keeping me awake at night with his wonderful Music. It is great to hear the Celtic harp  without other instruments. So pure, so magical, it is something that you can listen to again and again.

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Interview with Larry Kirwan about his live show at the Cutting Room NYC, St Paddy’s Day Eve.

Larry Kirwan will be performing live at the Cutting Room NYC St Paddy’s Day Eve. It will be the first since the announcement of doing separate musical projects from Black 47. See the details below:

1. You will be doing  first solo St Paddy’s Day show in NYC! Are you excited?

Sure! Playing on St. Patrick’s Day in NYC is like jumping atop a wild stallion.  You try to guide

it but you usually end up just hanging on and going with the excitement and glow.  I did a solo

show at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore on Saturday and it went really well, so I’m wound up and ready for St. Patrick’s Night.  When I did solo shows during the Black 47 era I usually contrasted the performances – take the solo show down and make it more introspective.  But now I just take the Black 47 fire onstage with me and attack the electric/acoustic Takemine just as I did the Stratocaster for 25 years.

2. Can you share with us your set list? 

I won’t even decide on that until just before going onstage, and even then I’ll change that set list around while onstage.  I have a lot of Black 47 songs to choose from and will re-imagine them, oftentimes adding a bit more of the back story before the actual song; so it’s somewhat a different experience.  People will hear more of the lyrics and perhaps get deeper into the soul of the original song.  I’ll also be doing some songs from my musical Hard Times, and setting the scene back in July 1863.  I’ll probably do a couple of covers.  And there’s a Yeats poem that I set to music about 10 years ago that I’ve never really performed.  We’ll see… but whatever, it will all be fresh.

3. What can we expect from you this year, in terms of live shows and also solo projects?

I’m developing Hard Times for a bigger production up in Toronto so will be up there quite a bit.  I’m also doing a solo show of Foster in the Five Points out in Bergen Community College Theatre in Paramus, NJ on April 16th.  I was commissioned to do that by the Lincoln Library and will probably do more of those shows.  I have a new book coming out in April, A History of Irish Music – and will do some readings from that over the next six months.  I’m also working on a new musical about Iraq that will incorporate a number of the songs from Black 47’s IRAQ CD.  But I will do some strictly solo music shows – I’ve really gotten back into guitar playing again.  I miss the Fender Strat – it was like a part of my body for all the years of Black 47 – but I’m enjoying the acoustic again.  So, onwards and upwards, as the bishop said to the actress!

4. Message to your fans?

“Treat every day as if it’s your last – and one day you’ll be right.”  That’s actually from my friend, Malachy McCourt.  But it’s so true.  On a more personal basis, thank you so much for all your love and support down the years.  Even though Black 47 will no longer play, the spirit of the band will go on.  The songs are still there and I’ll be playing them.

It’s going to be an exciting event. Go to his website for more details:

Michael Mc Cague and Donal Mc Cague , Cuisle – Irish Music Reels

Michael Mc Cague and Donal Mc Cague , Cuisle – Irish Music Reels

I am blogging from work today. Yay, I am the first person to arrive so I am taking this opportunity to blog about the music video I saw very early this morning. It is called “Cuisle” (Irish for pulse). According to the info I gathered, they (Michael Mc Cague and Donal Mc Cague) both recorded as the final track on Donal’s debut album “Bits N Pieces.” This was filmed in An Culturlann in Belfast on 17th July 2012 and publicly aired around Feb 2013.

For those who don’t have copies of Waylaid Man, it is time to look for that album. IT’s fantastic and many notable Irish musicians contributed their talents to record that album really one of a kind. Looking forward to more trad releases this year and beyond. You all have a great day.

More here:



Great performance by Maria Doyle Kennedy

Great performance by Maria Doyle Kennedy


I’ve heard of her name mentioned many times in the world of TV and music. But it is the first time I saw Maria Doyle Kennedy perform live. You have to pardon me Irish music lovers. I have been covering a lot of music in the Celtic genre that there are artists that are still waiting in my ‘must listen to ‘ list. Anyway her performance of The Most Beautiful People are Broken blew me away. There is something in that voice. There is truth in that song. The backing of Kieran Kennedy and Donal Lunny are exquisite.

this means I need to watch Orphan Black because she plays Ms Sadler. She also appeared in The Commitments. One of my favorite Irish movies of all time. This is my amazing introduction to her wonderful talent. I will follow her career from now on.

Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra in Paimpont, Bretagne.


Pictures taken by Isabelle Buffard

The First Lady of Celtic Music Moya Brennan appeared in Paimpont Bretagne along with Cormac de Barra and their band. It has not been indicated the performance has something to do with the Interceltique celebration but just look at her. She’s gorgeous!

The rest of the photo set can be found here:

There is also an amazing video:


COMMANDO TRAD: A Cool Way to be Ambushed!

COMMANDO TRAD Mission 5 Avenue Mont-Royal

The new mission of the Commando Trad is online! With their weapons of mass tradition, 54 persons participated in this spectacular flashmob of traditional dance and music from Québec.

More Commando Trad videos here:

Thanks to Alfred Montmarquette for sending this link through email.

Northern Roots Festival as Chronicled in Brush by Paul Taggart

Paul Taggart is a Scottish painter who recently became my contact in facebook. He uploaded and provided a link to this video, and now you have it. Look at his WORK in the middle of this video. One day I am going to ask questions from this artist and have them posted here. I listen to Hank Williams and this is a wonderful surprise.


A further video from Northern Roots Festival 2010 featuring Dean Owens, Bruce MacGregor, Lorraine Lucas, Bob Massie and others at the “Are you sure Hank did it this way? tribute to Hank Williams. A wonderful Saturday afternoon had by all in the Musicians’ Snug & Bistro.

My friend from Ireland Donie Ryan ( also a painter sent me a link to a Christy Moore video. As you might remember, Donie became our guest last time when I ask him about his art. Here is the Video. Enjoy!

More news…..

Cecile Corbel will start her performance dates in Japan this August. one of which is the anticipated performance in Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall

Here are the dates:

Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall
08/04/2010, 19:00
Festival Rock in Japan
08/07/2010, 00:00

I finally got Fiona J MacKenzie’s new(autographed) CD  A Good Suit of Clothes (songs of the immigrant gael) and I tell you, I am so moved by the beautiful arrangement and her voice! I will write more about it here soon.

Just look at these reviews of her album:

Unreleased Brenda Wootton Live Recordings Uncovered!

Brenda Wootton.This voice still haunts and reminds us that there is this thing called continuity and immortality when we talk about this type of music. Previously unreleased live recordings of her performance in Paris has been discovered and will undergo professional production for public release. Learn more about this news here:

According to Living in Cornwall website:

John, my husband, had a recording studio back in the ’80’s and was Brenda Wootton’s sound engineer and co-producer during the peak of her international recording career. He came across two tapes from that time and written on the labels was, ‘Brenda ???’. These have transpired to be unique for two reasons; firstly, these live tracks have never been heard, and secondly, that the tapes are still in a playable condition!


Fiona  J MacKenzie..the Voice!

Listen to this beautiful performance in Scots Gaelic.