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.

Young Trad, Sweet Trad.

Young Trad, Sweet Trad.

Featuring: Moxie with the music video What Lies Behind the Wall, JP Trio and Last Track from Lyon France.



Perhaps the title of this post might come as a surprise but I took this line from an old mushy song from the 60s simply because youth is indeed a sweet time to experiment and to be insanely in love not just with people but with music. Yes this is not a post about love or love songs but about the love for traditional Irish music or any forms of music in the same musical culture.

January is not over yet but we have a huge batch of artists whose flowering talents are just waiting to be plucked and savoured to your satisfaction.  We start this off with the world debut of What Lies Behind the Wall by Irish trad band Moxie. Just go to the search bar on the upper right of this side beside the header and type Moxie or Cillian Doheny and I am sure you will have links to interesting articles I wrote about this band.

What Lies Behind the Wall by Moxie.

Cillian Doheny Tenor Banjo / Nylon & Steel String Guitar / Mandola
Jos Kelly Button Accordian / Keyboard
Darren Roche Button Accordian / Nylon String Guitar
Ted Kelly Tenor Banjo / Tenor Guitar / Mandolin
Paddy Hazelton Percussion

Shot by Peter Clyne;

Energy, style and craft: These are things that make any song captivating. Moxie made an electrifying debut with the music video to their track What Lies Behind the Wall. The track is already stunning on its own. Add a stylish black and white video and what you get is a great package of visual and aural treat. This is what a good trad video should be. Straight to the point, elegant and the focus is the music. Peter Clyne’s artistic vision captures the band at their most stunning: playing live music. I like that part in 0:50 when percussionist Paddy Hazelton starts tapping. It is like a build up of suspense only to be consummated when the band  dips into heavier playing at 2:20. The whole ‘rain of notes’ element is brought about by Ted Kelly’s Tenor Banjo. Jos Kelly, Darren Roche all deliver exceptional playing along with their telegenic talents. And Cillian Doheny is rocking!  I will quote from my previous review I wrote about this track:

What Lies Behind the Wall has notes tapping with suspense at the beginning of the track. It is like watching a flower bloom in hyper speed. Like all remarkable Irish bands playing traditional music, Moxie offers fresh approach to a tradition that has been around and is determined to stay.

Their sound is vibrant and the arrangements are intricate. This is traditional music with a cool twist. Sophisticated style blends with rustic simplicity making them one of a kind Irish band.

Band Bio:

Formed in late 2011 as part of the annual folk festival, Sligo Live, Moxie are a Sligo and Limerick based band that formed through years of musical friendships from playing together at certain festivals around Ireland. The band incorporates Irish music with other genres such as folk, rock and new age bluegrass. A vibrant new band playing an exciting mix of traditional based compositions with richly developed layers of fantastic harmony. The band includes JPTrio members, Ted Kelly (banjo, tenor guitar, vocals), Jos Kelly (button accordion, keyboard, vocals), Paddy Hazleton (percussion, vocals) and Limerick based musicians, accordion and melodeon powerhouse Darren Roche and virtuoso banjo & guitar player Cillian Doheny.



Introducing: JP Trio


Fresh, hypnotic and amazing. The JP Trio is definitely you need to listen to. They describe their sound as Celtic roots funk. According to Cillian Doheny who recommended this trio: “They are so talented. Some of the members are in Moxie but its a totally different type of music. ” So let is get to know them better. JPTrio is composed of  brothers Ted ( on banjo, tenor guitar and vocals) and Jos (button accordion, keyboards and vocals) Kelly, Paddy Hazleton (percussion and vocals), joined by Niamh Farrell for the lead vocals. JPTrio amazing fresh trad sounds incorporating their personal influences. According to their bio, all three musicians are founding members of Spraoi. They claim to be  influenced by jazz along with traditional music. These influences result to a fusion  which is described by critics as  unique and exciting. Trivia: They recently won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections.



Last Track from Lyon France

Last Track: Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel

Last Track: Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel

From Ireland, we move to Lyon which is the place of good Irish music in France. Lyon is also the hometown of the band Shelta. More and more French Celtic musicians are making this huge impact in the trad scene for both old and young. Last Track is one of them. The duo are comprise of Jean Damei and Jean-Christophe Morel. Their meeting created a very strong bond of friendship and musical partnership. They are influenced by different styles including jazz and funk. Looking and listening to their live performances will tell you that they are musically matured and sophisticated.  You can listen to their tracks and watch videos via their official website :

The Celtic Music Fan would like to thank Cillian Doheny for this post. He’s the one who recommended these bands and for that A big thank you to him!

The High Kings August US Tour 2010 Plus Clannad’s Old Video from 1990

Hi guys. As always, our musical culture is alive and exciting. It is really great being alive in this generation , to see things happening and taking off. What I love about what I do is that , I am part of the pieces that make up the whole. Writers, painters, photographers and collectors are all part of the scene. We keep this culture alive. Without your help then this will not go on. So let us give ourselves a happy dance and check out for more news. I urge you to blog about the music you are passionate about, discuss it to people, write about it and play it in public. It is a treat to greet the day with passion .

Now for the news….


August 2010 US Tour

New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland and St. Paul

The High Kings –Martin Furey, Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy and Darren Holden – exploded onto the folk scene in Ireland in 2008 with their self titled CD and DVD and quickly achieved platinum sales status there. Since then, they have become the most exciting Irish ballad group to emerge since The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem electrified the worldwide folk revival of the 1960s. The High Kings have revived a flagging Folk scene and brought well-loved songs back to the masses in three sell out Irish Tours.

The High Kings launched in America in March 2008. They created a buzz that led to their appearance on ABCʼs TheView and NBCʼs This Morning and they opened for Celtic Woman on their US tour.  In September The High Kings returned to the US to headline their own tour, performing from Boston to San Diego.

As word of their live reputation spread, the lads were invited to do numerous TV appearances in Ireland, including ringing in New Year 2009 with Tubrudy Tonight on RTE and performing their hit ʻFields of Gloryʼ to 80,000 sports fan at the All-Ireland final in Irelandʼs National stadium, Croke Park. They were the closing act on Pat Kennyʼs last show of the longest running talk show in the world, The Late Late Show, in 2009. The High Kings continued to tour throughout 2009 and they were voted, by the public, Best Newcomer and Best Folk Act at Irelands Music Awards 2009, sharing nominations with accomplished Irish acts, The Wolfe Tones and The Dubliners.

This year is set to cement The High Kings reputation as a phenomenal live band, as they have already completed a hugely successful Irish tour. The new album, Memory Lane, released by Universal Music in Ireland, debuted at No. 5 in the Irish charts and quickly achieved platinum status. The album features classics such as Fields of Athenry, Star of the County Down and Leaving of Liverpool.  The Cd will be released in the US early in the New Year. To preview it the band will be performing 5 shows in the States this August, see dates below.

Sunday August 15th, Irish Fair of Minnesota, Harriet Island, St Paul, 2pm, Main Stage

Monday August 16th, Cleveland Westside Irish American Club, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, August 17th, Chicago Irish Heritage Club, 7:30 pm,

Wednesday, August 18th, Philadelphia, Brittinghams, /

Thursday, August 19th, New York, Connolly’s, 8pm,


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More from Weekly Inspiration Edinburg

Here’s the official promotional video to Clannad’s 1990 single “In Fortune’s Hand”, taken from the album ‘Anam’. © 1990 BMG Records (UK) Ltd.  Interesting. I love that moving statue (of the Virgin Mary?) and the way the video is presented. But who doesn’t love anything by Clannad right?

The New Jimmy Rankin Video “Slipping Away”

Thanks to Christi, my head is once again turned into the Rankin Family direction. Jimmy Rankin has an official video out in YouTube so you might want to check his site out. This is country tinged with that unmistakable Cape Breton echo. Slipping Away is a warm track that simply makes your head sway and spread a warm sensation all over I realize how bitter-sweet the song is. I like the part when he sings: ” I hear you calling, a thousand light years away”. That voice is awesome. The new album Edge of Day is out!


I will be posting an article plus interview with the band The Gypsy Nomads soon. So stay tuned for that.

Loreena McKennitt’s official You Tube channel.


Click on her photo to be directed to her Official Site Quilan Road.

Click on her photo to be directed to her Official Site Quilan Road.

 For those of you who might wonder where to see Loreena McKennitt’s videos.For those who already saw some but could not find an official one.


  Quinlan Road,her own label has an official channel and you can see it here in YOUTUBE  .So you’ll know.The site also showcases tour dates but sad to say she has to stop some of them due to a family emergency.


  Lets pray that everything goes ok back home .