‘The Space Between’ is Jamie Smith’s Mabon’s upcoming album.

‘The Space Between’ is Jamie Smith’s Mabon’s upcoming album.


The Welsh Celtic supergroup Jaime Smith’s Mabon are releasing a new album called The Space Between through crowdfunder UK. Crowdfunding is the trend these days as more and more artists are finding that their fans can make it possible. And why not? Jamie Smith’s Mabon released a highly acclaimed Windblown 2012 and I LOVE my autographed copy of the CD. Their debut single is ‘Yr Ennyd’ which you can hear today if you go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocymru

I think this single will be as fantastic as their fan favorite Caru Pum Merch. They have proven that the Welsh language holds a mystical magnetism that attracts people in all parts of the globe.

They have excellent musical style! You’ll know right away it’s them.

You can learn more about their album by visiting this link: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/TheSpaceBetween

This is their latest video recorded during the latest Lowender Peran 2015. 

Jamie Smith’s Mabon: Dedicated Tour of Wales!(Plus free song download)

Jamie Smith’s Mabon: Dedicated Tour of Wales!(Plus free song download)



Good news and good song!

The great lads of Welsh Celtic band Jamie Smith’s Mabon is finally doing a dedicated tour all over their own county of Wales. After countless touring all over Europe the gang feels that it is time to reunite with Welsh fans and also with their own place. According to drummer Iolo Whelan:

I guess the most exciting aspect for us is that as well as being a tour *of* our home country, it also feels a bit like a homecoming – four out of the five of us live here in Wales, but we work away so often and our fans are so widely spread, that it feels a bit like we’re bringing the music home. I don’t know if that sounds pretentious, but it is making me very excited for this tour!-Iolo

And guess what. They are giving away a FREE  SONG DOWNLOAD  through their band newsletter. Please subscribe if you haven’t yet and feel free to download their haunting and enchanting track ‘Caru Pum Merch.’ I personally enjoyed this beautiful song which is the last track off their CD Windblown released last 2012. I also got an autographed copy of the album from all of them and I sometimes like to show it off hahaha.

The free track is a good one to point out to people too – the Welsh-language lyrics make it the most relevant to the Welsh tour, and it gives people who are new to the band a good idea of what we do, since it captures some of both the emotional and the more strident aspects of our playing.-Iolo

The band also said that  in the Spring of 2014, they’ve got a joint tour of England playing about 15 venues with the young singer Maz O’Connor so watch out for that one too.Awesome update from the band through Iolo and also goodluck to the tour of your homeland!   Here is the link to their newsletter where you can download the track ‘Caru Pum Merch.’ http://gmtiny.com/DSQJT/

Album Reviews and Debut Video

Featuring: Jamie Smith’s MABON, Brendan Mulholland, Slim, Scott Hoye and Jeremy King

Hello readers of the page. We are featuring two album reviews in this edition.  I am also sharing a video for Peggy Gordon by Slim. He has been busy promoting his album Gallows Tree Tales which is a good album. We have one traditional album by Irish flutist Brendan Mulholland. This album satisfies your craving for traditional music which has not been present here lately since we have become very eclectic but I assure you once in a while this dude goes back to the roots.

We are starting this edition with the review of the stunning Windblown by Jamie Smith’s MABON. Iolo Whelan provided the album liner notes. I really love liner notes because they explain in detail what the music is all about. I don’t understand people who just listen to music without wanting to get their hands on the liner notes. It is just plain weird to listen without understanding what you are listening to. It is like eating something without knowing the ingredients.

What makes me like these albums? You will find out.

Album Review: Windblown

Band: Jamie Smith’s MABON

Track listing:











This month marks the release of the most anticipated album from Jamie Smith’s Mabon. Windblown is composed of ten tracks with varying moods. The common denominator however is that each song is finely crafted. There are tracks that are veering on being candidates for top 40 tunes. One fine example is the carrier single Lady of the Woods. All the tracks are sung by Jamie Smith and backed by the band. His voice is a pleasant surprise. I know this man to play the accordion like a devil but hearing him sing stops you in your tracks.

Windblown can withstand the great divide: between pastoral beauty and urban sleekness. The band members are well informed about the UK pop/rock scene as well as the varying styles of Celtic music all over Europe. All tracks play like pieces of poetry blown from another world- messages of beauty and grace from the subconscious.

The overall mood varies. It’s like watching a subtle intersperse of motion between light and shadow playing intricate pastiche of sound, creating patterns and breaking like scattering leaves on nameless roads. This is where you pick up the pieces of things unsaid and could have been. A hopeful painting of our times where tradition wrestles with technology. Here the two embrace like pieces of the same puzzle. They don’t fight but complement one another. I think even those who don’t listen to Celtic music will be instant converts. The band is the testament that our musical culture doesn’t stay in the museum but constantly evolves, takes other forms yet still retains that sacred identity.

I think the most hunting song in the album is the Welsh vocal track called Canu Pum Merch which starts slowly then builds up into a rhythmic play of classical and ethnic styling. This is the song that will leave you wishing the band creates more of this style in their future albums.

The album closes with Whiskey Burp Reels that is mesmerizing. I am fascinated with the way the band combines trad reels with electronica. Oh yes you heard me!

Windblown is like a voice from a friend telling you: Hey we’re in business. Let’s go ahead and spread beautiful music to the world!

Liner notes by Iolo Whelan:

‘Windblown’ is the crisp new 10-track studio album from Jamie Smith’s MABON, where Wales’ finest purveyors of original, InterCeltic music celebrate the autumn equinox after which the band is named.

Following on from Mabon’s award-winning Live at the Grand Pavilion, ‘Windblown’ is a “coming of age” album from a young band of virtuoso musicians spearheaded by composer and accordion maestro Jamie Smith.

Already established as “a mighty instrumental force” (The Independent), the band also unveils songs for the first time, including the aptly named Yes We Sing Now and the haunting Welsh-language track Caru Pum Merch (Loving Five Girls).  These songs take the band’s well-loved sound into new dimensions, but stay in the same ethos – reaching into contemporary soundscapes but still firmly rooted in their Celtic heritage.

From slick songs to joyful jigs, graceful mazurka to ecstatic muiñera, ‘Windblown’ is an emotional journey, an expression of joyful musicality: an autumn storm of youthful energy balanced by a mature restraint – taking Jamie Smith’s MABON on to a brand new page of their ever developing story.

“stunning” – R2

“stratospheric” – Financial Times.

“Both fur coat and knickers. Uplifting, energetic and cerebral in equal measure” fRoots



The theme for the album is derived from the band’s name: Mabon is the name of the autumn equinox in the old pagan calendar, thus ‘Windblown’, and the leafy, stormy, autumnal theme.

The album’s title also refers to a line from one of the songs: “windblown leaves whispering” advice to the song’s central character.


Jamie Smith: composer, accordion, lead vocals.

Oliver Wilson-Dickson: fiddle, backing vocals.

Adam Rhodes: bouzouki, backing vocals.

Matt Downer: bass, upright electric bass, double bass, backing vocals.

Iolo Whelan: drum kit, percussion, backing vocals.


Tomas Callister: fiddle, banjo.

Tom is an occasional ‘dep’ for Oli, and has made a great contribution to the album’s sound. Raised in the Isle of Man (yet another connection!: Adam, as well as Jamie’s and Iolo’s wives are all from the isle of man) and trained in Scotland, he features alongside Oli in places, and as the main fiddler in one track, ‘Huzzah!’.

As well as standing in for Oli in this band, Tom plays alongside Jamie and Adam in their acoustic Manx music trio, Barrule.

Calum Stewart: flute.

Scottish flautist, long-time Mabon friend and collaborator Calum appeared on the last two Mabon albums. He is now based in Brittany, but appears on several tracks of Windblown, and one set on the album features a composition of his too.

Will Lang: bodhrán

Another long-time collaborator, Will adds his trademark bohdrán sound to several tracks.

Dylan Fowler: acoustic guitar, lap steel.

Dylan engineered Windblown in his eco-studio in South Wales. His creative musical contribution in the control room inevitably spilled over into instrumental contributions too.



An instrumental album-opener, in classic ‘Mabon-style’!  A set of three tunes – slip-jig, jig, 6/4 reel – that starts off very traditional and works its way into a full band groove.


A tribute to Jamie’s love of epic fantasy, this adventure song is a reminder that nobody is entirely immune to the temptations of the flesh, and that those who think they are can be the first to fall prey to infidelity.

This song includes backing vocals from the whole band – a great candidate for singing along in the kitchen!


Tunnag was a particulary crazy Manx cat of Jamie’s. Tunnag is Manx for ‘duck’, and the cat was so named because, as he had no tail, he looked as if he had a duck’s arse.

This is an elegy in several parts: ‘Mr Nibbles Cheats Death’ is the story of a field mouse which survived Tunnag’s attentions and was nursed back to health; ‘Farewell Tunnag’ is self-explanatory; and believe it or not, the name of the last tune, ‘Feed the Worm’ is totally coincidental, though curiously apt.


A self-explanatory title, Jamie sings about the end of summer: and so the autumnal theme pops up again!


This dramatic piece is dedicated to a lonely member of night staff at Gordano services on the M5, who launched into a long, unbridled rant about modern society and celebrity culture when Jamie and Oli were just getting a coffee on a late drive home from a gig.


Written for Jamie’s good friends Gareth and Aoife Roberts and performed at their wedding in October 2011. Features special guest guitarist Dylan Fowler, who opens the track with a solo introduction.


The first song Jamie wrote for the band when we decided to introduce vocals to our sound in 2011. It’s a positive song about finding happiness through the forgotten art of contentment. Pursue goals and seek to improve your lot, but don’t forget to enjoy the ride!


The first of these two tunes is dedicated to Jamie’s daughter, born earlier this year. It’s a beautiful, sensitive tune played acoustically by Jamie, Oli and Adam.

The second tune, A Costa de Cricieth, was written in a north-Wales hotel room overlooking the sea, and is in the style of the Galician ‘muñera’.


The band’s first Welsh-language song, with a melody by Jamie and lyrics by drummer iolo, whose mother-tongue is Welsh.

The material is in a very traditional style – a slow, haunting air with lyrics about love and death, written in iolo’s local dialect and reflecting his region’s rhyming style: but the treatment is very contemporary, with epic arrangement, rich production and a driving groove.


Jamie Smith’s MABON is a concert band in nature, and flourishes best in front of an attentive, seated audience: but a lot of our fans love to dance too, so this one is for them – a feel-good, dancey track to round off the album.


Album Review: Jean’s Hill

Artist: Brendan Mulholland

Track listing:

1) Reels: The House of Hamill – Sean’s Reel
2) Hornpipe & Reel:The Tin Wedding – The Maids of Castlebar
3) Slow Air: An Chuilfhionn
4) Jigs: The King of the Pipers – Behind the Haystack – The Maid On the Green
5) Hornpipes: The Belfast Hornpipe – The Newry Hornpipe
6) Reel: Farewell to Ireland
7) Slow Reels: The Laurel Tree – The Sally Gardens
8) Jigs: Dermot Grogan’s – The Pullet That Wants A Cock – Erin Go Bragh
9) Hornpipes: Factory Smoke – The Acrobat – The Sunshine Hornpipe
10) Reels: The Pigeon On the Gate – The Thrush In the Storm
11) Slow Air: The Hills Above Drumquin
12) Reels: Sailing Into Walpole’s Marsh – Corney Is Coming – The Chattering Magpie

Released: 1st April 2012
Catalogue Number: THM001
Barcode: 5060092483292
Running Time: 46mins.

What makes the wooden flute interesting is its resonant and sonorous sound. In really good recordings you can even hear the air passing through the holes which makes it possess an almost human sound. I think what is great about traditional recordings is how a particular instrument is highlighted. In these recordings it’s the instruments that become stars. Although the player’s virtuosity is important, artists take the backseat and let tradition shine. In music there’s always room for everything. There’s room for expression and that is why we have singer/songwriters. But we also have musicians who take the other road which is building the attention towards a style that defines the musical culture. It is true that although we have Celtic artists who make fusion music, it is through these traditional recordings that the roots are defined and gives the whole community its Celtic identity. And I am not just saying this is about Irish music. This is about the music of the seven Celtic nations.

Jean’s Hill by Brendan Mulholland takes the elegance of the wooden flute and embellishes it with tunes which he learned from family and friends. If you pick a copy of the CD and browse through the liner notes you can see how he explains the history of each track. By the way I have to add that the album packaging is excellent. It has this coffee table quality. Yes the tracks are awesome but isn’t it nice that they find a CD case that describes how great this recording is?

Those who contributed their talents in this album are notable names in the trad scene.


Brendan Mulholland – Flutes
Stevie Dunne – Guitar & Bouzouki
Francis McElduff – Bodhran
Paul O’Donnell – Piano

If you are just learning your way around traditional Irish music then this is an amazing introduction because once again, the liner notes are very helpful. This album is also produced by Brendan Mulholland himself and I’d say he made a good choice having Brian Connolly Engineer the tracks. This man really captured the warmth of the music. The beauty of this album isn’t complete without the talent of Paul Conlon who added his visual style to this packaging.

There are three tracks that are original compositions while the rest are traditional. One of the tracks, the opening called Sean’s Reel is composed by the artist for his son Sean.Check the video I added above as reference. Jean’s Hill has played on my working table for days while I let the rays of the new day in. A zen way to start the day. Brendan Mulholland made an uplifting excursion into the mystery and beauty of traditional Irish music. A must have!


Video Debut: Slim | Peggy Gordon

At last what we have been waiting for is here. Peggy Gordon video was released in September 18. I waited for this to happen because this is one of my favorite tracks off the Gallows Tree Tales album. I know that I have friends who like this song totally. I mean it is not often to get a traditional inspired song to pull your beating heart out of your chest and have it smashed with the song’s riveting intensity. Slim’s voice has the power to inspire hurt, joy and redemption. The ballad starts with him singing gently and then the sweeping blanket of the choir takes you through landscapes of longing and release. A perfect song. One of the best I heard in ages. Check this awesome video!

BUY THE NEW SLIM LP ‘GALLOWS TREE TALES’ – visit www.slim-music.com and www.facebook.com/gallowstreetales

Filmed by Bruno Vincent at Slim’s album launch for the ‘Gallows Tree Tales’ LP, at Proud Galleries, Camden Town, London, on Wednesday 8th August 2012. Band personnel: Slim – vocals & guitar, Benn Cordrey – bass, Seb Wesson – guitar, jh – piano, Emma Bowles – backing vocals, Sam Kimmins – percussion, The Singology Gospel Choir conducted and arranged by Reese Robinson.


Belated Happy Birthday to Scott Hoye

September 11 marks the birth of this wonderful singer/songwriter. Scott Hoye introduced me to the whole new world of harp music. There I met Rachel Hair and her Trio, Corrina Hewat and a whole lot more . These artists appeared in several editions of The Celtic Music Fan. I owe that all to Scott. I am still waiting for the physical release of his album which I am sure will be very interesting.


Jeremy on Czech Radio talking about music, comparing life in CZ and in UK, etc.


It is great to hear Jeremy King’s speaking voice. Although this is in Czech it is nice to hear him talk about music.

Czech band Poitín (Irish traditional music) at pub Balbínka in Prague

Jamie Smith’s MABON in South of Wales this Summer! Thursday, 19 July 2012

Bout this pic: Adam and Matt modelling the new tour bus. A slight upgrade from the last one!
— with Matthew Emyr Downer, Jamie Smith, Adam Rhodes, Oliver Wilson-Dickson and Iolo Whelan.

Welsh readers, get ready for J S Mabon @ The Muni!Thursday, 19 July 2012.

Apart from the much anticipated new album from this amazing Welsh band, fans in their homeland will be thrilled to see them perform live.  Here is the news event posted by Iolo Whelan, the band’s  drummer:

Our only ‘home turf’ gig this summer – come out, South Walians!
Ein unig gig lleol haf yma – dewch yn llu!

Jamie Smith’s MABON emerge from the recording studio, blinking in the daylight, and champing at the bit to play for real live people again! Tucked in amongst a list of UK and European festivals, our only local gig this summer will be at THE MUNI CENTRE, PONTYPRIDD on Thursday 19th July.
We’d be delighted if you could spread the word, and join us at this great venue for a intimate evening of music. (:

Wele Mabon yn ymddangos o’r stiwdio recordio i chwarae ein unig gig lleol yr haf yma, yng NGHANOLFAN Y MUNI, PONTYPRIDD, nos Iau 19eg o Fehefin.
Fasech chi gystal a lledaenu’r gair? Basai’n hyfryd eich gweld chi yno! (:

Be part of the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/362339267168366/

This is an aside but that bus looks inviting! That band’s poster is also amazing. They surely hired a great photographer.

Jamie Smiths Mabon perform The Tale of Nikolai, The Dancing Bear at Priddy Folk Festival 2012

Chat with Iolo Whelan of Jamie Smith’s MABON

Jamie Smith’s MABON:  Concerts, changes and the new album.

I posted my first article about Jamie Smith’s MABON in May 5,  2010. Back then the band were known as Mabon. They  appeared in  posts as it is hard not to notice them. Everyone  was either tweeting about them or just posting status updates with youtube videos of the band.

The music is a mix of all the influences from the seven Celtic nations. That is why apart from being a Welsh band , they officially label themselves as playing  original, Interceltic, world music. To quote from the band: ” it draws inspiration directly from the traditional folk music of the Celtic countries. This is not Welsh music, nor Scottish or Irish; this is Interceltic music, a true exploration of forms and styles found in Celtic music and their forging into something bold and new.”

It is interesting to observe how this band continue to grow in their sound. After three albums(one is  alive concert)  they are working on the latest album. It is an honor to catch up with Iolo Whelan the drummer and official spokes person for the band to gather thoughts that very few know about yet. I am glad to know one thing and that is(sound of trumpets)……the name of the new album!

Band members

Jamie Smith – Accordion, Oliver Wilson-Dickson – Fiddle, Adam Rhodes – Bouzouki, Matt Downer – Electric & Upright Basses, Iolo Whelan – Drums and Percussion: Calum Stewart (special guest) – Flute & Pipes

Iolo interview answers for The Celtic Music Fan, May 2012.


Website: www.jamiesmithsmabon.com   FB: www.facebook.com/jsmabon


What’s the best part about touring with the band?

We are very fortunate in this band that we get to travel: as well as touring in the UK, which I love, we’ve also traveled in Europe, Canada, Australia and Mexico.  When we travel, we meet so many wonderful people, and see so many amazing things.  I always feel when you visit another country as a working musician, you see a very different picture than if you were a tourist.

As a brilliant example, I remember the first time we went to Poland: we were in the country for less than 24 hours, but by the time we left, I felt as though I had had an amazing insight into Polish life, Polish culture, Polish people’s lives, which will stay with me for ever.  It’s the same everywhere we go.

And apart from the travel of course, there are two obvious but very important things which I love about working in this band – the friendship and the music!  Playing with great musicians who are also your friends makes any performance a joy.

Tell us about the new project you are working on at the moment.


For us, this year is all about our new album, Windblown.  We were preparing  new material in the winter, and we’re recording it over spring and summer ready for an album release tour in the autumn.  Our last album was recorded live, so it’s a while since we were in the studio, and it’s interesting to see how things have changed.

The biggest change is the inclusion of songs in our repertoire now as well as the established instrumental aspect.  I was interested to see how the two things would sit side by side on the new album: and I think because we treat our songs the same way we treat our instrumental material, they form one unified collection very well.

We’re very excited about the way it sounds so far and can’t wait to get it out there for our friends and fans!

Has there been a change in the traditional Welsh music scene recently and what are they?


I think if there is a change in the traditional music scene in Wales today, it is a new confidence amongst musicians and bands.  I feel that more bands are happy to do their own thing and chart their own course.

Some are returning to the roots of the music and further exploring that material at its oldest sources; some are still mixing traditional material with rock and pop influences; others are exploring new realms of fusion with a broader palette of genres.  Our approach is to work without a specific niche or brief, and to make music as we fancy, taking in different influences from all the great music we hear, and seeking whatever sound we enjoy in our own original music.

Maybe that confidence in the Welsh folk scene is reflected in the appearance of more Welsh roots bands on the world music stage: Jamie Smith’s MABON, 9Bach, Calan, Burum, Catrin Finch and others are appearing more often on international stages now.  Indeed, I think some of these bands receive more attention on roots and world music platforms internationally than they do in Wales – maybe with time that will change too!

How do you define the music of Jamie Smith’s MABON and what are the things we will be expecting from the band this year in terms of concerts and collaborations, if there are any?


We describe our music as original, Interceltic, world music.  Original because, even though we work in a roots field and with trad music influences, our music is mostly composed by our accordionist and lead vocalist Jamie Smith; Interceltic because our primary influences are the cultures of all the Celtic nations; and world music because we do not feel we need to restrict ourselves to that field, and because our brand of original roots music sits so well on a world music stage.

Our main focus for this year is our new album, as I mentioned, and while that keeps us looking inward for a while, we will also be featuring several new and established collaborators on the recording.  Old friends Calum Stewart and Will Lang will contribute on wooden flute and on bodhran respectively, but our friend and recent collaborator Tom Callister will be guesting on the album too, as well as some other very special musicians yet to be revealed.

We’re hoping, after some festival appearances this summer and our album launch tour in the autumn, to be taking plenty of bookings for 2013’s festival season.  Hit our ‘Like’ button on Facebook or bookmark the concerts page of our website, and you can you can keep an eye out for a gig or a festival near you this year, next year and beyond!

You are the skins man and what can you tell us about the drums that we don’t know yet?


I often say that mine is the best seat in the house for any concert, but a Jamie Smith’s MABON concert in particular provides really interesting challenges.  For me, I feel my task is to support the melodies and the songs without getting in the way.  The sound of the accordion, fiddle and bouzouki is so full that it can be easy for the bass and drums to distract from that fullness, without adding anything special in its place.

So I tread a fine line between lifting the music and spoiling it, and I enjoy having to make those decisions from one moment to the next: I hope I get it right enough of the time!  There are many challenging roles out there for a drummer, but I’ve been doing this gig for twelve years now, and it’s still constantly stimulating, and fresh and somehow different every time.

One of our most faithful long-term fans told me last year that he can listen to us play a piece of music which he’s heard countless times before, but will hear something new or different in it each time he sees us perform – that gives me great inspiration for every concert we play.

You can buy albums of the band here: http://www.jamiesmithsmabon.com/shop/

Today in the Celtic world….

New album from an American harpist!

Congratulations to harpist friend Scott Hoye for releasing the album called Black Rose today! Listen and buy the album here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/scotthoye

Abagail Grey;Visually Explosive

Celtsmith is a Welsh band led by Derek Smith . Looks familiar? Well that’s because he is directly related to Jamie Smith of Jamie Smith’s Mabon. He is also the  Festival Director and chair person  of Cwlwm Celtaidd, the voluntary organisation that organises the festival under the Porthcawl Interceltic Festival since 2002. Celtsmith is a band to watch out for.

Highly emotive and explosive as icicles in March Abagail Grey, a project by Scottish singer Claire Campbell takes a daring direction in terms of style and interpretation. Her music is very visual and listening to her is like looking at shifting scenes of landscapes when you ride a train long distance. She has perfected the command of atmosphere. Incorporating beats in her music creates a balance that teeters between introspective mood and popish excitement. Elegant as chandeliers on castles yet powerful in an arena rock glamour kind of intensity, Abagail Grey has capture my ears…and heart.


Get more info here: http://abagailgrey.com/  and oh might want to check her interesting blog: http://abagailgrey.typepad.com/abagailgrey/

Barrule:The Flowering of Manx Music

It is a great year for the Isle of Man. The Celtic telescope points that way. A huge effort has been place in getting the music and art of the people into the scene.  I am always glad to receive updates from anything  Manx. Let me tell you that there are two sites now which I consider as best references for anything you need. And if you are a band, it is the best time to collaborate with musicians from this region because the best sound always comes from these collaborations. For instance, Jaime Smith of Jamie Smith’s Mabon has been working with local musicians and they are able to come out with something interesting. The new project is Barrule. I will let the video do the talking for you and later on you can talk among yourselves ok?

Members: Jamie Smith – Piano Accordion, Tom Callister – Fiddle, Adam Rhodes – Bouzouki.

Hometown: Isle of Man


During the Manx festival ‘Shennaghys Jiu’ in 2011, musicians Jamie Adam and Tom came together to play a one-off concert in Ramsey. It soon became apparent that they enjoyed playing together and the audience really enjoyed listening to them, so they decided to do it again!

Playing a mixture of traditional and new Manx music, Barrule hope to bring music and songs from the Isle of Man to new audiences across the globe.

The trio are currently in the process of writing and recording a new album, scheduled for release later this year. The CD will feature guest musicians from the Isle of Man and further afield.

Fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist Tom Callister has established himself as one of the leading Manx musicians, despite being only nineteen years old. Tom has spent the last year studying traditional music on Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides and has just finished recording his debut solo album, produced by the renowned Scottish musician Matheu Watson.

Here are the best sites for Manx Music:



Today’s Playlist Over Coffee

I spend the rest of my afternoons looking for new music either on the web or through friends. I have  a close knit circle that loves Celtic music. My taste is eclectic. That is why I run another site called http://www.spheremusic.wordpress.com. There are times when I think the the music is appropriate for this blog or on that blog. There are also times when it is hard to decide so it is either this or that. The point is: music speaks a universal language.

In the end it doesn’t really matter. Labeling is a marketing strategy to help consumers decide where they should look if their interest is specific. But you always know when you need to get that record regardless of the genre. You always know that there is somethings special about the songs that grab you. Such is what I found when I listened to the tracks of Brendan O”Shea. The guy is down to earth and he is sending me his newest CD in the mail. He agreed to have an interview as well.

I also realize that apart from maintaining this site and posting songs, I need to act like a disc jokey too. So therefore I need to talk to you my readers. It isn’t so hard after years of experience in customer service hahahahaha. Time is really precious. Once we have it, we can do a lot of things. I wish we have more time to discover new music. And I hope you all stay with me through this journey.


News bits from facebook and the rest of the web.

Jamie Smith’s MABON – Spring Tour / Taith y Gwanwyn
Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 19:00 until Saturday, 24 March 2012 at 22:30

Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 19:00 until Saturday, 24 March 2012 at 22:30
Milton Keynes / Reading / Powys / Solva / Somerset / Winchester / Bristol / Norwich / Cumbria / Caerleon
A perfect chance to catch the fearless five-piece on fine form as they prepare to record their new album in April.
New music will feature alongside established repertoire, songs alongside instrumental music, all bound together by consummate musicianship and joyful performance.
Dates are all in MARCH as follow:
WAVENDON, Nr Milton Keynes – The Stables Theatre – Tues 6th;
READING – South Street Arts Centre – Thurs 8th;
POWYS – Llanbedr Village Hall – Fri 9th;
SOLVA Memorial Hall, Pembs – Sat 10th;
BRIDGWATER Arts Centre, Somerset – Fri 16th;
WINCHESTER – The Discovery Centre – Sat 17th;
BRISTOL – The Thunderbolt – Sun 18th;
NORWICH Arts Centre, Norfolk – Weds 21st;
COCKERMOUTH, Cumbria – The Kirkgate Centre – Fri 23rd;
CAERLEON Town Hall, Gwent – Sat 24th.

Dewch i ymuno a ni wrth inni baratoi am albwm newydd eleni – cyfle gwych i weld y band mewn cyngerdd agos, personol. Fe ddwlen ni’ch gweld chi yno!

Come and hear what tunes are in the pipeline for this year’s new recording…!


Weaving a Celtic Past – Moya Brennan, Cormac De Barra, Edel Bhreatnach



The Society welcomes Edel Bhreathnach and musicians Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra to its headquarters for their presentation “Weaving a Celtic Past.” Through song, history, music and images of books and manuscripts protected by Irish Franciscans, Brennan, de Barra andBhreathnach weave a vivid portrait of Celtic history. Edel Bhreathnach is a historian of medieval Irish history and literature, and is deputy director of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute for the Study of Irish History and Civilisation at University College Dublin. Moya Brennan is the lead singer for Grammy award winning Irish band Clannad and Cormac de Barra is a traditional harpist. The program is a narrative lecture, interspersed with songs and music performed by Brennan and de Barra. Bhreathnach says the presentation is “the story of preserving and reviving the memory of Irish identity.”

See http://www.aihs.org/American_Irish_Historical_Society/Future_Events.html


Jimmy’s Playlist

Here are the choices from my friend Jimmy. He always brings the freshest tunes in Celtic music everyday.

Buy on itunes (studio/band version of the song):
cd-baby (studio/band version of the song):
Song 2 from The Citadels debut cd – letting go holding – to mark the 10 year anniversary and the fact that the cd is now available on itunes and cd-baby. 
ITUNES: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/artist/the-citadels/id467445516

For more info:

Trip to Skye by John Whelan & Eileen Ivers.
From the cd “Celtic Odyssey

Paddy and the Rats – Official video for the song “Pilgrim on the Road”. Album: Hymns for Bastards (2011) Itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hymns…

Brian Fitzgerald (banjo), Oisin Mac Diarmada(fiddle), Seán Mc Elwain (bouzouki) performing at the 2002 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Listowel

The Scottish Scene and the rest of the UK

Friends are in Scotland today. Weekend is here and it’s time to keep the ball rolling.  Julie Fowlis is embarking on her US tour from October 26 to November 11. Music of the Scottish Isle will begin on Hillsdale Michigan and that falls on a Wednesday. I haven’t confirmed with My friend Christi if she will be there. But I am sure all lovers of Scottish music will not surely miss this one out.  More of this news here: http://www.juliefowlis.com/


Welsh band Jamie Smiths MABON  are about to sep up their UK tour next month. I have confirmed this news with their Manager / Sound Engineer John Eelles whom I am going to contact for a possible interview with lead man Jamie Smith.  Listen to the new tracks posted here: http://www.jamiesmithsmabon.com/


Jamie Lawson – @ The Thatch Rahan Tullamore   Today at 23:30 – Tomorrow at 02:30 .Don’t miss this event. The album ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ is now out! Here’s the press release:

The title track ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ jumped to #1 on iTunes after a rush release in Ireland following radio airplay on Today FM. The YouTube hits accelerated to 85,000 views and are now over 194,000 views. And Jamie has since performed on RTE The Late Late Show as well as appearing on TV’s Ireland AM (and that’s just the beginning).

Born and raised in Plymouth in what was he says a resolutely non-musical household, Jamie asked for and received a guitar when he was 8-years-old. Experimenting with covers band while at school, it was only when Jamie was 17 that he started to discover his own voice – and that voice proved to be something very special indeed. No-one who has heard him sing live would disagree (and in addition to his own regular schedule of gigging, he has played with artists including The Frames, Martha Wainwright and Damien Rice, as well as having been chosen as opening act for outdoor gigs by both Van Morrison and Katie Melua). Even-keeled, even undemonstrative offstage, he comes alive in front of an audience and in the service of his songs. “American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel has been a big influence, in the sense that he sings with his whole body and puts so much into his performance. The difference is that my voice is sweeter and more pure.”

Currently residing on the north coast of Cornwall, Jamie spends most of the year living in a caravan overlooking the sea. “I like the freedom it provides. There aren’t as many of the distractions of modern life, so I have the space to write songs. I’m not Bon Iver, though!”

Before settling in Cornwall, Jamie spent two years working and playing in the clubs of Ireland, fully immersing himself in the music scene and performing alongside the likes of Mundy, The Four of Us, Glen Hansard of The Swell Season, Tom Baxter and Gemma Hayes.


The Welsh Scene and Celtic Colors.

The colors of Autumn are here. And so is the music that fits the season. Don’t you just love it when after a long day you can finally sit down , relax and listen to your favorite Celtic tunes? Right now I am listening to The Battlefield Band, Jamie Smiths MABON, Cleghorn and The Gothard Sisters.

Jamie Smiths MABON are a group I am keeping my ears on lately. They have this contest for listeners to name the new tunes. That’s interesting. The band have been busy with so much musical stuff that it will take so much space if I mention them here. They also have amazing photo shoots and the band have been on the top list of my best computer wallpapers. I’d recommend you visit their website www.jamiesmithsmabon.com

The Gothard Sisters remind me of Pre-Raphaelite models who stepped out of Rossetti’s paintings to charm mortals. They are  photogenic that it’s lovely to stare at their album covers. Heard about them when my friend Jimmy posted a video on facebook and he got a lot of comments for that. It’s nice to know that Celtic music has gotten more and more hip and fashionable. The amazing Scarborough Fair video is beautifully conceived and the rich sophisticated playing of the sisters are sure to captivate more ears. I’d say they’re the bomb and everyone needs to listen-and look! http://gothardsisters.weebly.com/

 Cleghorn are a band everyone’s been passionate about . They performed at Pirate Days of Texas at Stewart’s Creek Park. I hope you’re able to catch this father and son musical act. If you look at the right widget section of this blog, you will see that I posted the Cleghorn player for fans to have a listen especially this wonderful new track Windswept Girl. It will surely sweep you off your feet. http://store.cleghornmusic.com/